The ancient Egyptians called peridot the gem of the Sun, as it can exhibit a strong golden-green color. It is thought that the famous emeralds worn by Cleopatra may have been peridot. Emeralds are rare and of poor quality in that neighborhood whereas excellent peridot has been available for millennia on an island known in ancient times as Topazios in the Red Sea.
Peridot is simulated, but never synthesized. Imitations are often made of synthetic spinel, either pale solid pieces, or more strongly colored triplets. Olive colored glass also makes a decent imitation. The real thing is easily identified by it's strong double refraction that can often be observed through the table with the naked eye. Imitations are almost always made of singly refractive material and so do not show any doubling.
You can see that doubling in this stone:
Some gorgeous peridot jewelry from our talented and starving Jewelry Artists:
The SATeam blog features artisan handmade creations by the etsy starving artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current etsy shop owner members can be found at SATEAM.etsy.com.