Seen and Lime Green
The gleaming gemstone peridot is from the olivine mineral group, and just like an olive, it has a color range of yellowish-green to brownish-green.
Idiochromatic in nature, peridot is only found in one color since it is not colored by an outside trace element, but by its own iron rich chemistry. Peridot crystallizes during the intense heat of volcanic activity and arrives to the surface from Earth's upper mantle.
Typically peridot has excellent transparency, but it can be naturally included by dark chromite mineral crystals. Strong doubling is a visual characteristic that can give peridot a hazy mystical look. It can also feature very desirable "lily pad" fractures that are named for their shape.
Prosperous mining areas include Myanmar, Pakistan, Arizona, and China.
Ancient and Out of this World
Peridot has been favorable in jewelry since ancient times and is one of the earliest gemstones to be consistently mined. Many of Cleopatra's famed emeralds were most likely peridot from the volcanic island Zabargad, now known as St. John's. This site has been a fruitful source of peridot from ancient times to today.
It was referred to as "evening emerald" by ancient Romans since there was no loss of color at night, and the stone would remain a brilliant green. Peridot seems to glow and hold light very well making our ancestors believe it to be a protective stone that will hold the dark night at bay.
Rarely, peridot can come crashing to earth via meteorite, adding to its mystique. The olivine mineral group is present beyond earth and can even be carried here as stardust.
Peridot is hard and tough making it a very sturdy gemstone to be used in jewelry. Due to its transparent nature, the stone will often be cut into a faceted jewel to fully display its robust color.
Being green, the gem is thought to be representative of nature, making it a popular choice during the Art Nouveau movement. Its eye-catching hue made its use during the women's suffrage movement impactful, invoking leadership.
Peridot is the traditional birthstone for August.
Being a very durable gem, peridot can be cleaned using warm soapy water and soft brush. When stored, it should be stored wrapped in a soft cloth to prevent scratching softer stones and to avoid damage from harder stones. Avoid harsh chemicals when wearing peridot or any kind of jewelry.