Peridot: The August Birthstone

Peridot: The August Birthstone

Published by Elizabeth Anne on Aug 11th 2018

In honor of the month of August, I thought I would make my first blog post all about the August birthstone: Peridot!  So buckle your seatbelts... you are about to learn all about a truly fascinating gemstone!

Peridot belongs to the olivine family (not the quartz family, as many wrongly assume). At one end of this family is a mineral named forsterite (a magnesium silicate) and at the other end is fayalite (an iron silicate). Peridot kind of sits right in the middle and is a magnesium iron silicate (MgFe)2SiO4. Peridot is a pretty unique stone for a few different reasons… It is one of only a few stones that are idiochromatic (meaning ALL peridot is green... it’s kind of a prerequisite.) If you think about it, it kind of makes sense that an olivine would be… well… olive. :-) The intensity of the green is determined by the amount of iron present in the stone. Also, something that I find especially interesting… Most gemstones are formed in the Earth’s crust. There are only two exceptions: peridot and diamond… they are the only two that can form in the mantle. Actually, olivine makes up much of the Earth’s mantle, and peridot/olivine rises up to the surface during volcanic eruptions and at lava flows. 

Read below for more!...

Peridot Ring

You may or may not be familiar with the Mohs scale for measuring “mineral hardness” (or the ability of a stone to scratch or to be scratched)… but it’s basically a scale that goes from 1-10 with one being super soft (talc) and ten being super hard (diamond). Quartz (the most common mineral on earth) is measured at a 7. This is important because quartz is everywhere… even in dust. When caring for jewelry it is really important to know where your stones sit on the Mohs scale because if you have stones that have a hardness of less than seven, you must take extra care in protecting them from environmental factors… in other words… when it isn’t being worn, keep it in a jewelry box.  Peridot sits at about a 6.5-7… so it isn’t likely to scratch, but I would still keep it in a jewelry box anyway.

Other fun facts about peridot are that it is one of the oldest known gemstones. It was worn in jewelry as far back as 1500BC and there are records of it being used in Ancient Egypt. If you believe in the metaphysical properties of gems, peridot is known for increasing physical vitality and helps to foster emotional balance and eases stress. I have also heard that it if it is placed on the belly of a woman in labor, it will help to stimulate contractions while lessening pain! …I’ve had three kids and if you can feel stronger contractions with lessening pain with peridot on your belly, I salute you... I preferred an epidural, but that’s just me...

Who knew peridot could be so fascinating? I think my favorite fact is that it is in a private “gemstone club” with diamonds... 

 I hope you learned something, and thanks for reading!

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