The birthstone for the month of August is peridot. It’s a mineral olivine that’s formed in volcanic rocks in the Earth’s upper mantle. Peridots only come in one color – olive green, with slight yellow and brown undertones. Peridots that have a pure green color are exceptionally rare.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about peridots. We’ll also give you some tips on how to shop for the August Birthstone and how to clean them.
Myths and History of the August Birthstone
The Cald Ring from our Collection of August Birthstones. Learn more about this ring.
The word peridot derives from the term “faridat,” which can be translated from Arabic as “gem.” The stone dates back to Ancient Egypt, when it was believed that peridots symbolized light. Hence, people from that period referred to peridots as “the gems of the sun.”
First records of mining peridots refer to an island called Topazios, which is located in the Red Sea. Today, it’s known as Zabargad Island, or St. John’s Island. Back in ancient times, people mistook peridots for emeralds and other green gems. The first ruler to claim those peridot mines was Cleopatra, making some historians believe that her famous gem collection consisted of peridots, not emeralds. In Ancient Egypt, peridots were treasured to the extent that the locations of the mines were kept secret.
Peridots have been used for jewelry not only by Ancient Egyptians, but many other civilizations. Romans referred to peridots as “evening emeralds.” Apart from aesthetic purposes, peridots were associated with many ancient beliefs and superstitions. In fact, they were believed to have healing and protective powers.
A peridot stone is also a symbol of self-awareness and spiritual growth. A peridot gemstone is also the birthstone for August.
Mining Locations of Peridot
As mentioned earlier, the first records of peridot mines date back to Ancient Egypt, where they were mined on the island of Topazios. The island got the name due to the abundant sources of topaz that were found there. According to some sources, it’s believed that Ancient Egyptians started to mine peridots here around 300 B.C.
Interestingly enough, this island remained a secret even after the Ancient Egyptian era. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was the center of attention as a major peridot mine once again. Unfortunately, all of the peridot stones have been mined since then, leaving the mine itself depleted.
Today, the biggest mine to produce peridots is the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, which is located in the State of Arizona. What’s more, 80% of peridots have been mined there. There are other locations in Arizona that have produced peridots, but not as abundantly. Other sources of peridots in the United States include Nevada, Arkansas, Hawaii, and New Mexico.
Peridot mines can be found all over the world. Apart from the mines in the United States, peridots also exist in Egypt, South Africa, Australia, Mexico, Norway, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, China, Sri Lanka, and many more locations.
The process of mining peridots can be quite a challenge, given the fact that they are usually embedded in basalt, which is a type of volcanic rock. Various mining methods have to be employed to get the peridots out of the rock without damaging them.
Some peridots, although few, have been found in meteors, giving peridots the nickname “extraterrestrial gems.”
Physical Properties of Peridot
Peridot earrings from our collection of vintage earrings.
It’s believed that periods are actually 4.5 billion years old. What makes them so special is that they are one of two kinds of gems that weren’t formed in the Earth’s crust. Rather, they were formed during volcanic activity in the Earth’s upper mantle. Due to the extremely high temperature and pressure that created them, peridots were formed at a greater depth than other types of gems.
In other words, peridots were literally molded in fire. The reason it’s even possible to mine peridots is because of volcanic activity, which draws them to the Earth’s surface. That’s why miners usually find peridots in solidified molten rock, such as basalt.
Another factor that makes peridots stand out is that they can be found in pallasite meteorites. It goes without saying that these types of peridots are very rare. The most notable meteorite that carried peridots is the Esquel meteorite, which was found 50 years ago in Argentina.
The 4C’s of Peridot
A gorgeous Peridot Ring from our collection. Learn more about this ring.
In terms of physical properties, the quality of a peridot can be measured according to the four Cs – color, clarity, cut, and carat.
As with all colored gemstones, color is the most important quality factor. Peridots most often have an olive green or apple green color. The majority of peridots have a yellow or brown secondary hue, while pure green peridots are exceptionally rare.
Clarity is another important factor to keep in mind. While peridots of the highest quality have little to no visible inclusions, some can contain tiny black spots. However, these tiny marks can only be spotted with a microscope.
When it comes to the gem’s cut, you can find all kinds of styles of peridot cuts, such as emerald, oval, and cushion cuts. The same goes for the carat weight. The largest peridots have been discovered in Myanmar, which also have the purest green color.
August Birthstones in Jewelry
A peridot ring from our birthstone collection. Learn more.
Peridots have been used for jewelry since ancient times. Considering that they are generally soft gemstones, peridots can be used in many different ways. This gemstone is a very popular choice for earrings, rings, pendants, pins, and brooches.
Peridots can often be found in a variety of sizes, making them compatible with different settings. What makes peridots even more fascinating is that designers usually make the entire piece around the peridot. They are often combined with gold or silver, depending on the effect you want to achieve. To bring out the yellowish tone, designers will often place a peridot inside a golden frame. Alternatively, if you want to bring out the olive green color, then it’s best to pair it with sterling silver.
Since peridots are usually found in larger sizes, they are most suitable for pendants and brooches. When it comes to rings, the peridot has to have at least one carat to be faceted. For that reason, the most common cut for peridots is a polished cabochon. Other popular peridot cuts include the oval, emerald, round, cushion, princess, baguette, and trillion cut.
One of the most popular types of peridots is Arizona peridots. Not only do they have a vivid lime-green color, but they come in various irregular shapes. These characteristics give designers plenty of freedom to style them.
Unlike other types of gems, peridots are rarely enhanced. To be more precise, their color is not commonly enhanced. For aesthetic purposes, colorless oil can be added to fill the minute cracks in the gem, but other than that, they are usually sold in their pure form.
Peridots can also make stunning necklaces and bracelets. No matter which way you choose to wear a peridot stone, it will make a wonderful addition to your jewelry collection.
Price and Value of Peridot
Birthstone Rings from our collection. The Peridot Ring is on the far left.
Due to their availability, peridots are somewhat more affordable than other types of gemstones. Of course, the price of the peridot will always depend on the carat weight, along with the other quality determining factors. This makes a peridot a great alternative to diamonds and emeralds if you’re looking to purchase an engagement ring.
If you want to buy a well-cut peridot stone that has one or two carats, then be prepared to spend around $400. As with all gemstones, the larger the stone and the purer the color, the more it will cost.
Shop for Peridot Jewelry
Estate Diamond Jewelry offers a beautiful collection of peridot rings. Here is a selection of high-quality peridot rings that might catch your eye.
August Aven Ring
The August Aven ring is a beautiful August birthstone rings from our collection, and it’s also very affordable. The peridot center stone has a saturated lime-green color and a cushion cut. With 2.10 carats, the peridot comes with a white-diamond frame of 0.15 carats.
If you’re looking for a ring that’s hefty in carat size, then the Chaseley Ring might be the right option for you. With 3.54 carats, this enchanting ring has an emerald cut and dimensions of 8mm by 10mm. Its frame is made from diamonds and sapphires and a platinum ring.
The Essonne Ring is another magnificent ring from our birthstone collection. This 3.99-carat peridot has an emerald cut and a beautiful saturated green color. It features a fleur-de-lis with French-cut blue sapphires and old European cut diamonds.
August Birthstone Ring
If you’re looking for an affordable option, then the August Birthstone Ring is for you. The peridot centerpiece is framed by diamonds along the shoulders. While the peridot has 1.10 carats, the yellow gold ring has 14 carats, and the diamonds 0.03 carats. It has an oval cut and a stunning green hue.
Famous Examples of Peridot Jewelry
Peridot has been a favorite gem option for many designers for many years. Not as rare as Burma Rubies or Kashmir Sapphires, and not as expensive as diamonds, peridots are the ideal alternative for those who want to purchase an elegant, yet striking gemstone.
Many rulers and monarchs adored peridots, and kept collections of these green gemstones. They were especially popular during the Edwardian and Victorian eras. Peridots were even Edward VII of England’s favorite gemstone.
Here are some of the most famous examples of peridot jewelry:
- Cleopatra’s emeralds – As mentioned before, Cleopatra’s emerald collection is one of the most famous in the world. It was only later discovered that the majority of her gem collection actually consisted of peridots, not emeralds.
- The largest peridot ever found – With a stunning number of 310 carats, the biggest peridot in the world can be found in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. What’s interesting about this piece is that it also came from Zabargad Island, where Cleopatra’s jewels were mined.
- Austrian Grand Duchess Isabella’s collection – It consists of a tiara, a necklace, and earrings. The tiara alone has five large peridot stones.
- Russia’s Diamond Fund peridot – With approximately 192.75 carats, this piece used to belong to the Russian Royal Family. Today, you can find it in the Kremlin Armory.
Shopping Tips for the August Birthstones
The Roseland Ring from our collection
There are a couple of factors you should take into consideration when you’re shopping for a peridot. Whether you’re looking to buy an engagement ring, a pair of earrings, or a pendant, you shouldn’t rush the process. Instead, think about the following factors:
Is the Peridot Genuine?
The most important question you have to ask yourself is if the peridot you want to buy is even real. It’s easy to imitate a peridot. These types of fake gemstones are usually made from colored glass. If you’ve found a peridot, but you’re not sure if it’s real, consult with a gem expert.
To make sure you don’t end up purchasing a fake peridot, shop with a reputable store. At Estate Diamond Jewelry, all of our rings are 100% genuine, so you don’t have to worry about going home with a fake.
Has the Peridot Been Enhanced in Any Way?
The Essonne Ring from our collection
As mentioned before, peridots don’t go through any type of color enhancement, nor are they heat-treated. Rather, they are usually enhanced with colorless oil or wax. This is used to fill the small inclusions inside the gemstone. Many stores sell enhanced gemstones, so it’s up to you whether you want to purchase a natural or slightly enhanced peridot.
In any case, any gemstone that has been enhanced in some way must come with a certificate. This type of information is also usually stated in the gemstone’s bill of sale.
Has It Been Cut Properly?
Peridots come in various shapes and sizes. While the cut of the gemstone should depend on your personal preference, it would be best to search for a well-cut, brilliant peridot. The way the stone is cut can determine the overall value. In terms of cuts, peridots can usually be found with emerald, oval, and cushion cuts.
Does the Peridot Have Secondary Undertones?
The color intensity will always have an impact on the stone’s price. All you need to know is – the greener, the better. Not only does color saturation matter, but the clarity of the peridot as well. Does it have visible inclusions? Does it have secondary yellowish or brownish undertones? Keep in mind that pure green peridots with no visible secondary hues come at a higher price.
Does the Peridot Have Any Complementary Features?
Finally, you need to think about the stone’s settings. Will you pair it with yellow gold or sterling silver? Is it framed with diamonds or a sapphire halo? Will you choose one with diamond shoulders or prongs?
If you’re not sure what look is best, you can always consult with a gem specialist. Here at Estate Diamond Jewelry, our gem experts would be happy to answer any questions you might have about peridot engagement rings or any other type of jewelry. You can contact us here if you have any queries.
Cleaning the Peridot Jewelry
Once you go home with a peridot, you should know how to clean it properly. Since peridots are soft gemstones, they require special treatment. They can be especially susceptible to drastic changes in temperature. Not only that, but they are also sensitive to scratching from household dust.
When you want to clean your peridot jewelry, you need to handle it with care. Use warm water and mild soap to clean your gemstone. Note that you can also use a gentle dish detergent instead of soap. You should only soak your peridot in warm water for a short amount of time. When it’s time to dry it, gently pat it with a towel. To clean the settings afterward, you can use a soft brush.
Make sure never to expose your peridot stone to ultrasonic or steam cleaning, since these cleaning methods will surely do more harm than good. In addition, make sure you avoid any type of chemical cleaning product.
Another way to preserve your peridot for as long as possible is by not wearing it too often. If you wear it on a daily basis, it will lose its glow much faster.
If you’re looking to propose to someone born in August, or if you want to buy a present that’s ideal for their birth month, then look no further than peridot jewelry.
As the birthstone of August, getting them peridot jewelry would be the perfect gift. It’s a beautiful gemstone that doesn’t necessarily have to cost you a fortune. With its enchanting properties, it’s sure to put a smile on your significant other’s face.
If you’re looking for a particular Peridot August Birthstone, please let us know in the contact form below.