Peridot is a translucent gem-quality variety of olivine. (Olivine is a silicate mineral.) Unlike other gemstones, peridot (and olivine) is only found in one color, olive green. However, the intensity and tint of the green depends on how much iron is in the crystal structure, so the color varies from yellow to olive to brownish-green. The most valued color is a dark olive-green.
This gem is most often formed through volcanic activity, but it has been found in meteorites. It’s the only precious gem known to exist in outer space.
Olivine is named for its typically olive-green color. The word peridot has uncertain origins. A few articles suggested péridot is the French word for olivine. While the Oxford English Dictionary suggests it’s an alteration of Anglo–Norman pedoretés, a kind of opal.
Peridot is often referenced as chrysolite.
History and Lore
- St. John’s Island (also known as Zabargad, Zebirget, Topazios) is the first known source of peridot, dating back four thousand years.
- Ancient cultures considered peridot to be the sun’s gemstone.
- Ancient cultures believed that when peridot was placed under the tongue it lessened one’s thirst.
- It was also believed the stone would stop night terrors when the gem was in a gold setting.
- Worn as a necklace directly on the skin, it was believed to protect against dehydration and brittleness.
- Dreaming about peridot foretells of impending danger.
- Historians believe that some of the “emeralds” worn by Cleopatra were actually peridot.
- Ancient Egyptians believed it to be the gem of the sun. According to lore, ancient Egyptian miners searched for peridot at night when they glowed, marked their locations, then dug them up during daylight.
- The Romans called peridot the emerald of the evening because the brilliant color did not change in any type of light.
- Peridot is referenced in the Bible as chrysolite or pitdah.
- Early Christians considered it sacred.
- Catholic Bishops traditionally wear a ring of peridot and amethyst as a symbol of purity and morality.
- Napoleon made a gift of peridot to Josephine as a symbol of undying love and admiration.
- In Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of the goddess Pele (the fire goddess living in Mount Kilauea).
- Pirates favored this gem believing it protected them from evil.
Magical and Mystical Properties include
- helping to slow the aging process
- rejuvenating the body
- relieving digestive disorders
- relieving heart disorders
- relieving lung disorders
- relieving eye disorders
- relieving insomnia
- relieving depression
- reducing fevers
- reducing aches and pains
- calming anger
- soothing nerves
- dispelling negativity
- bringing the wearer peace
- bringing the wearer good luck
- bringing the wearer success
- driving away evil spirits
Discharging & Recharging
Discharge peridot everyday by holding it under running water. To recharge peridot, place it in the sun for a few hours. (In stone therapy, when using stones to heal, their energy is used up, requiring the stones to be recharged.)
images: Peridot of Lech Darski, Wikicommons, olivine “beach sand” by photo © Brian W. Schaller | License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
series logo image by wikimedia.org, awesome colorization by me!