Saturday, July 26, 2014

Perky Peridot - August's Olivine Birthstone

Peridot and Freshwater Pearl Necklace

Since I have an August birthday, I have a particular fondness for the lovely olivine green shade of the peridot gemstone, which is the primary birthstone for August. The vivid green touched with a shade of gold makes it perfect for a summer gemstone to coordinate with the lighter shades of clothing typically worn during those hot months.
The history of the peridot dates back as far as Egyptian jewelery from the early 2nd millennium B.C. The stones used at that time came from a deposit on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea, about 45 miles off the Egyptian coast at Aswan. The peridot is also a thoroughly modern gemstone, for it was not until a few years ago that peridot deposits were located in the Kashmir region; and the stones from those deposits, being of an incomparably beautiful color and transparency, have succeeded in giving a good polish to the image of this beautiful gemstone, which had lost its popularity in previous times. The ancient Romans were fond of this gemstone, largely because of its radiant green shine which does not change even in artificial light. For that reason they nicknamed it the "emerald of the evening". Peridot is also found in Europe in medieval churches, where it adorns many a treasure, for example one of the shrines in Cologne Cathedral. During the baroque period, the rich green gemstone once again enjoyed a brief heyday, and then it somehow faded into oblivion. The peridot is mentioned throughout the Bible, and early Christians considered it sacred. Today still, Catholic Bishops traditionally wear a ring of peridot and amethyst as a symbol of purity and morality. This gemstone has three names: "peridot", "chrysolite", from the Greek "gold stone", and "olivine", for the peridot is the gemstone form of the mineral olivine. In the gemstone trade it is called "peridot", from the Greek word "peridona", which means something like "to give richness". The peridot is one of the few gemstones which come in one color only. The rich, green color with the slight tinge of gold is caused by very fine traces of iron. From a chemical point of view, peridot is an iron magnesium silicate. The intensity of the color depends on the amount of iron actually present. The color itself can vary from shades of yellowish green and olive to a brownish green. Peridot is not particularly hard - only 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale - but it is easy to look after and fairly robust. Peridot is a stone of lightness and beauty. Only spiritual or clear-minded persons should wear peridot. The person with too many earthly problems will not be able to understand the beauty of the peridot. The very spiritual can wear peridot in a necklace with the stone at the base of the throat to feel its soothing effect. Used in a necklace, peridot is a protector against negative emotions. Peridot has been known to have healing effects on the gall bladder and liver.