August, June and December are the only months of the year to be represented by not only 1, not even 2 but 3 gemstones for their birthstone. For August we have peridot, spinel and sardonyx. The original stone was sardonyx, only to be taken over by peridot as the primary gem for the month. Spinel is a new addition to the list.
Unlike many other gems peridot only comes in one colour – green. You can however get various shades ranging from yellowish-green to olive to brownish-green depending on the amount of iron in the composition. A deep and intense green stone is considered the most valuable and desirable stone though.
Due to the colour it has been mistaken for Emeralds over the years, but the varying shades of the peridot sets itself apart from its expensive cousin. It has been known as ‘the Evening Emerald’ though due to the green hue looking brilliant any time of the day and not changing in different lights. It is said to have healing properties that protect against nightmares and evil, ensuring peace and happiness.
The largest cut peridot was discovered on Zagbargad Island, Egypt and is now housed at the Smithsoniam Museum in The USA, weighing a hefty 62.35grams and is 311.78 carats big. You can find peridot in quite a few countries around the world, such as Egypt, Pakistan and China to name a few, however the most interesting discovery has been formations found in fallen meteors, on the moon and some has even been found on mars! How exciting is that!
Although it is only 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale peridot is fairly robust and easy to wear, with its affordable price tag as well it’s a popular gem to be used in jewellery making.