The light green of the peridot gemstone usually has a cast of gold within the green. It brings to mind the effusive folliage and heat of the summer months, so it is quite appropriate to be declared the birth stone of August. Its lightness of color has the spectacular effect of always sparkling in the light. This is in contrast to other gemstones which, even if more valuable a stone, are darker in their pool of gem color and lack the spontaneous and constant sparkle of the peridot. In fact, its sparkle can rival that of the diamond.
The peridot is linked to the history of the world, in that they were discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs and relics, made possible by a rich deposit of the gem in the region. Later in Kashmir a larger deposit was found and mined for the beautiful peridot stones. Thanks to Afghanistan and Pakistan, peridot became a popular gem that was also readily in the market place. The current political rebellions and religious insane wars of that region cause wonder if the peridot will continue to be available in the same quantity and quality to the Western markets. It would indeed be a shame if the warfare and unrest of the region endangers the supply of the beautiful peridot gemstone, sometimes called the “emerald of the evening”.
In order to emphasise the special quality of Pakistan peridots, these are named ‘Kashmir peridots’, like famous Kashmir sapphires. Talented gemstone cutters have succeeded in cutting some fascinatingly beautiful one-off gemstones of more than 100 carats from some of the large, fine, clear crystals with their rich green. It takes a fortune to even attempt to purchase such quality.
Depth of Green = Quantity of Iron
The peridot is one of few gemstones having only one color. The rich, green color with the slight tinge of gold is created by very fine traces of iron. The intensity of color depends on the amount of iron. The color can vary over all shades of yellowish green, olive and even brownish green. Peridot is not a hard gem, only 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale but is easy to care for. Peridot cat’s eyes and star peridot are particularly rare and precious.
The most beautiful stones are mined between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but some are mined in China, Africa, Australia and the U.S. The stones of East Burma– now Myanmar – are some of the most beautiful in the world. In Arizona, peridot has more golden brown affects and is found in native American jewellery.
Uncomplicated Stone, but not for the cutter
The peridot gem is cut with its natural shape, mostly faceted or in classical table cuts, or perhaps round, as with an octahedron.. Smaller crystals are cut into standard stones, larger gems cut into one-offs. If the gemstone cutter finds the material holds more inclusions, he will opt for cabochon cut, for that domed design enhances the shine of inclusions to the utmost.
Contact Raymond Lee Jewelers, the expert go-to authority in fine gems, and learn more about the peridot gemstones.