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Birthstone for the month of AUGUST. Peridot is an ancient gem, often referred to as "chrysolite" from the Greek meaning "yellow stone".  Small peridots around 1ct and even up to 2 cts size are still relatively inexpensive and easy to find. However peridot rough in larger sizes is more and more difficult to find. Therefore, the price of nice peridot increases dramatically with larger stones.

Peridot belongs to the forsterite-fayalite mineral series, which is part of the olivine group. It is one of the "idiochromatic" gems, meaning its color comes from the basic chemical composition of the mineral itself, not from minor impurities, and therefore will only be found in shades of green. As a matter of fact peridot is one of the few gemstones found in only one color.

The name peridot most probably derives from the Arabic word "faridat" for gem. It's also called chrysolith (derived from the Greek word "goldstone") and olivine, because of its color and membership to the olivine group.

Historically the volcanic island Zabargad (St. John) in the Red Sea, east of Egypt, was the most important deposit that was exploited for 3500 years. Today's main deposits are in Arizona, China, Vietnam and Pakistan. The Pakistani peridot in particular is very fine, and a new find in Pakistan in the mid-1990's has made peridot available to a wider market.

Peridot Colors

Peridot is one of the few gemstones, which exist only in one color. Its color agent is iron that accounts for the deep green color with that slight golden hue. Chemically Peridot is just an iron-magnesium-silicate, and the intensity of color depends on the amount of iron contained. The color as such can come in any variation from yellow-green and olive to brownish green. An intense, deep green color is the favorite. The best colored peridot has an iron percentage of less than 15% and includes nickel and chromium as trace elements that may also contribute to the best peridot color.

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