Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August Birthstone, the Peridot

I am an August baby, so I am partial to the peridot, as I should be. It wasn't always so, however, since I used to hate that lime green color. But as I matured, my color tastes changed and I began to see peridot not just as a gemstone color in and of itself, but also as a pleasingly complimentary color to other pastels. I never shall forget the first time I saw peridot--lime green--and purple together. It was quite a unique color combination, and now it is one of my favorites, which is a good thing since the amethyst is my husband's and daughter-in-law's birthstone. So many new styles and settings use the peridot now that it has become a fairly popular gemstone.

Here is a little information about the peridot.

Though most peridots are a light lime green in color, they can also occur in yellowish green, olive green or medium dark green hues. In addition to being the birthstone for August, it is also the anniversary stone for the 16th year of marriage.

Peridot has been adored since ancient times and has been valued for centuries. People in the Middle Ages wore peridot to gain foresight and divine inspiration. Legend has it that pirates favored peridot to protect them against evil. Peridot was greatly prized by Egyptian Kings. Some of Cleopatra's emeralds were in fact peridots.
The deposit on Saint Johns Island in the Red Sea, that was mentioned by Pliny in his Natural History (AD 70), still produces fine gems.

The peridot is worn for general healing purposes, since it is believed to increase strength and vitality, protect against being nervous, helps liver and adrenal function, and protects the lungs, sinuses, and wrists from illness or injury. (I guess I'd better pull out my peridot ring and wear it every day since I have been experiencing severe bouts of sinusitis and allergic rhinitis!)

One needs to hope he/she has good dreams while wearing peridot, for it is thought to help bring dreams to reality. It also attracts love, dispels anger and negative feelings, and aids in a good nights sleep when worn to bed.

Although the peridot is a fairly hard stone, 6.5-7 on the Moh's scale, still care should be taken when wearing it to protect it from scratches and hard blows and from extreme temperature changes. (No fear of that in Texas right now!) It should NOT be cleaned in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. I always clean mine with a soft toothbrush and a little toothpaste, and then rinse, rinse, rinse and dry with a soft cloth.

Here are some pieces that I have made using peridot.  These can all be seen in my Etsy shop, on my Facebook page, or in my ArtFire studio.

Peridot with Amethyst and Druzy Pendant

Peridot and Turquoise Earrings

Peridot and Turquoise Bracelet

1 comment:

  1. I'm an August baby too, and never have cared for peridot. Doesn't help that my sister got emerald for her birthstone, I was always jealous of that. I'm only now starting to not hate peridots quite so much, and I think it's because I'm seeing more designs that use them along with other stones. Kind of tones them down or something.