Peridot, the birthstone for August.
As you may well know, Peridot is the birthstone for August. It is a vivid olive-green gemstone, with a hint of gold. The lustre and warmth seen in the peridot are due to its olive and golden colours. This is probably why peridot is the birthstone for August. It is “the gem of the sun”.
In folklore, it is said that the peridot is born from fire. It is mined in extremely harsh conditions. Found in volcanic rock and meteorites. Originally, it was a rare gemstone, only sourced in Egypt. Later, when peridot was discovered in Pakistan, they could only mine it during the summer months. The mines were found high up, in the mountainous landscape. Very apt, don’t you think, that peridot is the birthstone for August… It seems quite befitting, that this gemstone is then linked to one of the summer months.
The origins of the name peridot are unclear. Possibly, it received its name from the Greek word peridona, meaning “to give richness”. Or perhaps it’s from the Arabic word faridat, which means gem.
The peridot is a gemstone that has been around for centuries. It can be traced back to the Egyptians, as early as the 2nd millennium BC. Its popularity faded for a while. It saw a revival during the ’90s, due to the finding of new mines in Pakistan.
Today, gem-quality peridot is found in localities other than St. John’s Island, Egypt, where it was originally discovered, centuries ago. Now, it is also found in Norway, Pakistan, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Myanmar, China, and the United States.
The most famous birthstone for August is the Green Goddess, set in a pendant in 2008, and now a star exhibit in the Grainger Hall of Gems at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois.
Dainty 18ct yellow gold ring set with oval facetted peridot in a rub-over setting.