Origins

August Birthstone: Peridot is not the first official gemstone of August, as the original gem for August was Sardonyx. When Peridot was added, its beauty and allure made it August’s primary birthstone.

The origin of the name “Peridot” is unclear, although scholars believe it is derived from the Arabic word for gem, “faridat”. Others believe it is derived from the Greek word “Peridona”, which means “giving plenty”. This may be why peridot is associated with prosperity and good fortune.

Peridot is the gem-quality of the mineral olivine, which forms in the earth’s mantle, rising to the surface through volcanoes, manifesting itself in meteorites.

The signature color of peridot comes from the mineral’s composition, not from trace impurities like many other gems, explaining why it basically comes in one color. If the amount of iron is elevated or decreased, peridot can appear a yellowish-green, to olive, to brownish-green hue.

Peridot mainly comes from Arizona, more specifically the San Carlos Reservation, on which the Apache tribe dwells.

Because of an estimated 80-95% of the world’s supply of peridot being mined on this Reservation, people born in August find affordable options to wear their stunning and unique green birthstone.

The gem is also mined in Arkansas, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico. Internationally, peridot is found in Australia, Brazil, Burma, China, Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.

Peridot Has a Worldwide History

Peridot jewelry can be traced back to 1000 B.C. During this time, ancient Egyptians called this stone “gem of the sun”, believing it would protect them from terrors of the night. Egyptian priests claimed the peridot harnessed the power of nature and implanted it in goblets to communicate with their gods of nature.  In Egypt, peridot was found on the volcanic island of Topazios.

Cleopatra was known for her fascination with gemstones. When visiting nobility left, Cleopatra gifted them large Emeralds with an image of herself carved into them, or what she thought were Emeralds…

Many historians believe Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection may have actually been peridot!

Through the medieval era, people continued to confuse emeralds and peridot.

This gemstone saw a revival in the 1990s when new deposits were discovered in Pakistan, producing some of the finest peridots ever found. Some of these “Kashmir peridots” measured more than 100 carats.

Peridot in the 21st Century

In Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the volcano goddess Pele, who is said to control the flow of lava.

Peridot only measures 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, meaning when raw, it’s prone to cracking during cutting. When finished, the gemstone is robust and easy to wear and care for.

The peridot is known as “the Evening Emerald” according to the American Gem Society, because the sparkling hue of the gem illuminates an outfit any time of the day, including nighttime, respectively.

Peridot is said to carry healing properties that protect against evil and nightmares, bringing peace and happiness to those who wear it. Under this belief, babies born in August are guarded by the good fortune of the peridot.


Stay tuned into our blog, and follow us on all your favorite social media platforms and sign up for our newsletter..

Privacy Preference Center