Fun Facts About the Peridot

(Photo by Azuncha of Wikimedia Commons)

If you asked someone to name a green gem, they’d probably say emerald. Emeralds are amazing gems, but they aren’t the only green ones. If you want a different green beauty, look a few shades lighter. The peridot is sure to wow any jewelry enthusiast, for it’s a gem with great scientific and historical significance (also, it looks great with silver metal). 

1. Divine Olivine

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) says that peridot comes from a mineral called olivine, which is in Earth’s upper mantle. This mineral is found in a rock variety called eperidotite, hence the gem’s name. The GIA estimates the gem at 4.5 billion years old since it has been “found in pallasite meteorites” which are “remnants of our solar system’s birth.” Despite its old age, peridot still holds many meanings to this day. 


2. Take pride August babies! 

If your birthday is in August, you get to claim the gorgeous peridot as your birthstone! The American Gem Society (AGS) says that the jewel represents success. Surprise surprise, a green thing represents prosperity. Not only does it show the month of August and wealth the green also symbolizes Pele’s––a Hawaiin volcano goddess––tears. This is not the only religious symbolism the gem holds. 


3. Godlike beauty

Peridots have many meanings, some of which are religious. states that peridot is the second jewel in the High Priest’s chestplate. The word used in the Bible is pitdah, and the closest translation of the word is peridot. Pitdah is a debatably an older name for the peridot, but it has many other titles.


4. It has more than one name

Another name for the gem is chrysolite. AGS also says that some call it the “Evening Emerald,” and believes that it looks nice at any point in the day. Goldie’s says that some other names for it are stunning, beautiful, radiant, and lovely. Although peridots are real pretty, they aren’t real hard.


5. Not the hardest gem around

The gem’s Mohs hardness score is a 6.5-7. The Mohs Hardness Scale goes from one to ten, ten being the hardest, which is the diamond’s score. If we’re going by American school grades, this puts peridots at about average or below average depending on each stone. The vulnerability of the gem is a bit of a downside, but to minimize the fragility, get one with high clarity and a higher Mohs score. 

6. Imperfectly perfect

Newstar Jewelers says that inclusions in peridots are commonly known as “lily pads” because or their resemblance to the water plant. Although it’s a cute name, they do lower the rock’s value. These inclusions come from liquid and gases that find their way into the forming gem. 

Peridots are as fascinating as they are aesthetically pleasing. The rock is important to science, religion, and folks born in August. Even if you’re not a science nerd, religious, or an August baby, you’ve got to admit that peridot is pretty cool. If you’d like to get your hands on some peridot jewelry, click here.