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August Birthstone: Peridot

Vintage Peridot RingPeridot, the sparkling green gem that has captivated jewelry lovers for centuries, is the official birthstone for the month of August. Though peridot is often confused with emerald, the August birthstone is a lighter ‘aloe green’ hue than the deep, rich color of emeralds. It’s a bright, vibrant green that is loved by more than just those born in August. Thanks to its rich history and positive mystical properties, peridot jewelry has mass appeal.

History of Peridot

Throughout history, peridot has been prized by royalty in many civilizations. The use of the shimmering light green gemstone was used in jewelry as far back as the ancient Egyptians. At the time, peridot came from a small volcanic island in the Red Sea.  Though peridot has been discovered and mined in numerous locations throughout the world since then, modern Egyptians maintained a fondness for the gem and made peridot the national gem of Egypt.

After the Egyptians discovered the beautiful peridot gemstone, its admirers spread across the continent through trade and war bounty. The ancient Romans also loved peridot, along with the European crusaders who brought it back from their battles to use in decorating churches.  The gem even has references in the bible under its Hebrew name, pitdah.  Peridot was also a very popular jewelry gemstone in the baroque period, although it fell into obscurity for a while since many popular mines Peridot and diamond ring largewere dry by the twentieth century.

In the 1990s, however, a large Pakistan deposit of peridot was found and the captivating green peridot made its way back into the jewelry scene. The Pakistan peridot deposits contained very high quality stones, and are now considered one of the best sources of quality peridot.

Mystical Properties of Peridot

Since peridot has been mined for nearly 4,000 years, much lore and myth has attached itself to the gem.  Pirates in particular favored peridot since they thought that the gem, when set in gold, protected the wearer against evil, terrors and nightmares.  Peridot has been linked to many healing properties as well, and was used in creating healing cups for medicine.

Today peridot has many mystical connotations including friendship, fame, dignity and protection.  It is also said that wearing peridot can help turn a person’s dreams into reality, which, if true, can make a great case for why everyone should have a beautiful piece of peridot jewelry in their life.

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