Peridots August Birthstone. It’s August and for all of you with a birthday this month, you have a lovely gemstone associated with your month – the Peridot. Peridots are a bright olive green gemstone indeed their alternative name is Olivine. Pronounce the word Peridot as with a French accent leaving off the final T. More like Peridow than Peri-dot
Peridots August Birthstone Properties
For anyone interested in the techy stuff about gemstones they are formed deep inside the earth and come to the top in volcanoes. Their colour is formed due to the presence of iron and the more iron you have the deeper the colour green.
Gemstones have their hardness measured on a nonlinear scale of 1 to 10 called Mohs scale. A diamond is a 10 on this scale and talc is a 1. Peridots are about a 6.5 to 7 which is plenty hard enough to give a wear every day in a brooch or pendant but if you have a peridot vintage ring you may want to keep it for best to ensure it doesn’t wear badly.
It is said that they have an oily or greasy lustre to them but this is only seen in larger stones which are rare and so I’ve never noticed it. The light reflects with what is known as bifringence , in other words, if you look deep into a Peridot the back facets appear doubled when they are not in reality. Peridots August Birthstone.
It is quite a difficult stone for jewellers to cut as it’s a bit brittle, usually, we see step cut and table cut gemstones and also peridots formed as beads.
Peridots are measured in the same was as diamonds with the largest ever being 319 carats. This giant stone can be seen in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.
Have you heard about Cleopatra’s emeralds and her emerald mine? Historians believe that these were actually Peridots which look a lot like pale emeralds. The Romans name for them was Evening Emeralds. In the middle ages, the Crusaders coming back from the middle east brought peridots into Europe. It was particularly popular during the Baroque era ( circa the 1600s) especially when set in gold.
There is a rumour that Napolean gave Josephine a stunning set of peridot jewellery. The Victorians loved peridots set with pearls. Today Catholic Bishops wear a peridot in their Gold rings as a symbol of purity.
Mythical and Healing Properties
As with all other gemstones, somewhere back in the annals of time, Peridots have come to have mystical and healing properties associated with them. They are supposed to protect against negative emotions and nightmares. The opposite side of this is that the Peridot promotes success, peace and good luck.
Peridots have a medium hardness which means that harder gems and materials will scratch them and they will in turn scratch softer ones such as pearls. It’s safest to keep each piece of gemstone jewellery separate rather than putting them all together in a jewellery box. You can just place each item in a separate piece of acid-free tissue or maybe a small organza bag or individual jewellery box.
Best clean with soft soap and lots of water. Personally, I would avoid ultrasonic machines and jewellery dips with this stone unless the jewellery dips specifically state that it is Peridot safe. You can use a very soft toothbrush if necessary to assist with the cleaning. Once clean rinse with clean water and pat dry.
Buy Peridot Jewellery
AntiquesAvenue likes to have a few pieces of Peridot jewellery for you to buy. Please pop over to the shop and type Peridot into the search box to see what is available at the moment.