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Peridot : August Birthstone

The August Birthstone has no fewer than three names: ‘peridot’, ‘Chrysolite’, (derived from Greek, meaning ‘gold stone’) and ‘Olivine’, the latter being the family of minerals of which peridot is a member, and encompasses opaque or semi-translucent gems. The name peridot derives from the Arabic word “faridat,” which means “gem.” Most peridot was formed deep inside the earth and delivered to the surface by volcanoes. Some also came to earth in meteorites, but this extraterrestrial peridot is extremely rare, and not likely to be seen in a retail jewelry store. The August birthstone is one of the few gemstones which come in one color only: a rich green with a slight tinge of gold caused by extremely fine traces of iron., peridot can be a fine, rich olive-green, tending towards green-brown, with the presence of a larger amount of iron, or shaded to a yellow-green if the ratio of magnesium is superior to that of iron. The vivid green color of peridot, with a nuance of gold, called 'chartreuse' is the most valuable variety of the gemstone and an ideal color to match a colorful summer wardrobe. Peridot comes in several color variations ranging from yellowish green to brown, but most consumers are attracted to the bright lime green and olive green hues of this alluring gemstone.

It was once believed that the green peridot crystals found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. When set in gold, this gem was said to protect the wearer from nightmares.