Peridot the birthstone for August. Here are a few fun facts about this gorgeous gem (nerd alert!)
- Peridot is one of the few gems that occurs in only one color, green! Shades range from lime to olive. The percentage of iron contained in the crystal structure determines the intensity and tint of the green.
- Peridot is a gem-quality form of the mineral olivine.
- Olivine is a very abundant mineral, but gem quality peridot is kinda rare.
- Peridot has been the official August Birthstone since 1912.
- Most gems are formed in the Earth's crust. The two exceptions are peridot and diamond. They're formed much deeper in the Earth; in the mantle. Peridot forms in magma in the upper mantle, about 20 to 55 miles deep. It is brought to the surface by tectonic or volcanic activity.
- Peridot has been found in some meteorites, making it one of the few gems known to exist outside of our solar system!
- Peridot was first used as a talisman in the ancient world. It has a longstanding mystical reputation and was once thought to ward off anxiety.
It is one of the oldest known gemstones, with ancient records documenting the mining of peridot from as early as 1500 B.C.
- Way back in the day, it was used as a medical remedy. It was powdered to cure asthma and was held under the tongue to, supposedly, lessen the thirst of a person suffering from fever.
- People in medieval times confused peridot with emerald. For centuries, people believed the fabulous 200-ct. gems adorning the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were emeralds. Nope, they're, peridots.