Origins and history
Peridot was orignally found in Ancient Egypt. The pharoes believed that the stone had the power to repel evil spirits. The most famous deposit lies on the Zabargad island in the middle of the Red sea.
During the Crusades, Peridot was imported into Europe under the name of the 'Knights' stone' and was used to decorate objects of sacred art. During the Baroque period, peridot became very popular in Europe and continued to be used in jewellery during the Victorian period and from the 19th century onwards in Art Nouveau jewellery.
The etymology of the stone's name is unknown. Some believe that the name comes from the Arab word 'farida' meaning precious stone, others that the name comes from the Latin “paederos”, meaning “amethyst” or “opal”.
A gem variety of forsterite, a mineral belonging to the silicate group, peridot is composed of magnesium, iron and silica. This mixture gives it its exceptional green colour, which is more or less pronounced.
Information, virtues and legends
Peridot is the birthstone for August babies. It is said to boost confidence and self-esteem. It is supposed to help alleviate stress and symbolises marital bliss. Legend has it that Cupid uses Peridot on his arrow tips.
Thanks to the iron contained in Peridot comes in a very wide variety of green shades. The colour is more or less intense according to the quantity of iron within the stone. We categorise the stones according to their degree of green:
In Western civilisations, green is associated with hope and good luck.
The largest Peridot ever found comes from the Zabargad island, just off the Egytian coast and weighs 62 g (130 carats). It can be seen in Washington at the Smithsonian Institution.
Other famous Peridots decorate the Chalice containing the relics of the Three Wise Men in Cologne cathedral. Strangely, for a number of decades, these stones were thought to be Emeralds representing 200 carats. It is also said that Napoleon gave Josephine Peridots as a token of his love.
Peridot is the birthstone for August. It can be linked to Leo and Virgo signs of the Zodiac and if often associated with Saturn and Venus.
Peridot jewellery can also be given for wedding anniversaries.
Thanks to its intense nuances, this stone goes beautifully with all colours of metal. For less expensive jewellery, Peridot can be set on silver, but larger stones should be set on yellow or rose gold. Smaller stones will look fantastic on silver, white or black gold which will enhance their colours.
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