The vivid green, zesty peridot is August's striking birthstone. Derived from the Arabic word "faridat" meaning gem, peridot is one of the few gemstones that only comes in a single colour - but what a colour! The refreshing green of peridot can range in shades from light lime to a deep olive and the specific colour depends on the amount of iron in the gemstone.
Our 5 favourite facts about Peridot
1. The "Evening Emerald"
Peridot is known as both a "day and night stone" as it maintains it's limey-green brilliance even at night, under artificial light and candlelight. For this reason, peridot has been known as the "evening emerald". In fact, throughout history peridots have been mistaken for emeralds many times. It's even said that Cleopatra's legendary collection of emerald jewels were actually peridots!
2. Volcanic Activity
Like diamonds, peridots are created only in extreme conditions, miles deep within the earth's mantle, before volcanic eruptions propel them to the earth's surface.
3. The Sun Stone
Known as "the sun stone", for centuries peridots have been associated with light. The ancient Egyptians worshipped them, believing them to have fallen from the skies and wore them as protection from “night terrors” and evil spirits.
4. The World's Greatest Peridot
The largest cut peridot in the world weighs in at 311 carats. It came from the island of Zabagad in Egypt, where peridot was first mined. This epic sized peridot is a mixed cushion cut stone and it is currently on display in Washington DC.
5. Out of this World
Our favourite peridot fact! Peridot has been found inside meteorites, meaning it has been discovered to exist outside our solar system.