Two theories are opposed to determine the etymology of the word peridot: on the one hand, it comes from the Arabic word faridat, which means precious stone, and on the other hand, one should look for its origin in the Latin word paederos. This term comes from two Greek nouns translatable by young boy and love ... At all times, Peridot has been confused with many other gems, including the Emerald. Napoleon offered peridots to the Empress Josephine as a token of his love ...
Peridot is a variety of Olivine which is a mixture of two minerals: forsterite and fayalite. These minerals are largely in the composition of the Earth's mantle, the layer just below the outer crust. If Olivine is very abundant, gem-quality Peridot is actually rather rare.
Its beauty is the result of extreme conditions. Most gems of mineral origin come from the earth's crust, but there are two exceptions: the Peridot and the Diamond, which form much deeper, in this area called the mantle. Peridot crystals are created in the upper mantle magma, at extreme temperatures and pressures, and rise to the surface through tectonic or volcanic activity. This is why they are found in rocks from volcanoes, but also sometimes in meteors that fall on Earth, like that of Siberia in the 18th century.
The peridot is an idiochromatic stone: this means that it appears only in a single colour, green, and that this hue is not produced by the presence of inclusions but is due to the chemical composition of the mineral itself. This composition comprises iron, the main coloring element, but also variable proportions of chromium and nickel. This is why the colour range of the peridot ranges from yellow green as bright and luminous as the young grass in the sun, to the dark green evoking the depths of the forest. The small stones are often perfectly clear and pure, while the larger ones have tiny inclusions often invisible to the naked eye that attest to their authenticity.
The first known Peridot deposit is located on Zabargad, an island in the Red Sea, 80 km off the coast of Egypt. Known for 3500 years, it is hardly exploited nowadays. The brightest peridots, of exceptional colour, come from a Himalayan region of Kashmir. The climate is so harsh that mines can only be operated from June to September. The Apache Reserve of San Carlos, Arizona, now produces 90% of peridots. These gems are also found in Australia, Brazil and China.
But there are also extraterrestrial peridots or olivines! Between Mars and Jupiter, floats an asteroid belt. Some pieces sometimes fall on Earth, in the form of meteorites, the famous shooting stars that have illuminated the imagination of men for so long on clear summer nights. If we cut these precious and rare meteorites, called pallasites, we find a shiny metallic surface of iron and nickel with numerous inclusions of olivine crystals. We call palladots these celestial peridots ... We have also recently detected the presence of peridots on Mars ...
Peridot is considered a lovers' stone and is believed to protect those who wear it from sorrow and heartache. It was once thought that peridot possessed the power to attract people, and this is why peridot jewellery is often given as a Valentine's gift.
In ancient times, peridot was also believed to keep evil spirits away. Today it is still considered a protective stone for the aura and it is believed to strengthen the immune system.
Peridot is a very old stone that is already found in Egyptian jewelry from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC In antiquity, it was called peridot chrysolite. Under the Hebrew name of pitdah this stone is mentioned several times in the Bible. It is said to be inlaid in Aaron's armor, and in the Apocalypse it is one of the twelve jewels depicting the qualities of love and founding the heavenly Jerusalem. The stones used at that time came from a deposit on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea called Zabargad. The Crusaders began to bring peridot to Europe, where it was often used to adorn sacred art objects, such as those of the Three Kings Treasure of Cologne Cathedral. Peridot is mentioned in many manuscripts of ancient civilizations. It is surrounded by many legends and stories.
Send a message
You have questions regarding your purchase, need technical clarifications, additional pictures or advices while choosing a gift?
Please feel free to be in touch with our team for technical clarifications, additional pictures or any questions you may have about our jewels.
+33 (0) 1 42 60 52 39
Monday thru Friday 10am - 7pm
This jewel is out of stock : the workshops are working hard to bring it back. Sign-up to stay informed.