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Peridot As A Jewelry Gemstone

Aug 18, 2007
This is a little-known gemstone in modern times but it has gained in popularity partly by its use in the American Southwest as part of Native American jewelry making. Peridot comes in one basic color with the intensity determined by the amount of iron in the stone. Brilliant green in color the stone thought to be discovered some thirty five hundred years ago in areas around the Red Sea. The stone was rediscovered in the early twentieth century in Egypt and has since been discovered across much of the world and demand has continued to grow. The hardness of these stones makes them a great choice for ring jewelry though the job of cutting these stones can be difficult given its crystalline structure.

History

Popular with the ancient Egyptians with a name derived from the Greek that means yellow stone. These stones can be found in a variety of spots around the world. Peridot is found very often in fields of debris left behind by volcanic activity, including the islands of Hawaii where the goddess of volcanoes, Pele, was said to shed tears of peridot. The mineral found in places Arizona and the American Southwest are thought to originate from meteors crashing into the ancient Earth. Other places where peridot can be found include China and parts of Southeast Asia, Africa, mountainous regions of south-central Asia like Pakistan and even regions of South America. The common thread seems to be presence of volcanic or meteoric activity. Long associated with ancient Egypt, Queen Cleopatra thought these stones were actually light green emeralds.

Birthstone Information
This unusual stone is used to represent the summer month of August and its bright color can represent the glow of a late-day summer sun. Astrological signs associated with this stone include Sagittarius, Libra, Virgo, Leo and Scorpio.
New Age Beliefs and Powers Through The Ages

Many people believe that this stone has the ability to calm the nerves and foster a feeling of love among bearers. The bearer may also experience an increase in patience and a general sense of vitality. Rumored to ward off nightmares the stone, like many crystals, was known to possess healing properties and was said to promote a healthy mental outlook. Some say that ancient users would grind up the stone and ingest it to ward off thirst. Still others believe that peridot can ease the pain of childbirth, prevent heart problems, reduce a fever and even slow down the process of aging.

Color

The color varies from green, olive green to yellow and yellow brown depending on the amount of iron. Other trace minerals present in the stone do not have an affect color.

Artificial Enhancement

There are no known forms of artificial enhancement used in the treatment of peridot stones.

General Scientific Information

The chemical name (MgFe)2SiO4 otherwise referred to as magnesium iron silicate

Hardness ranges from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale - the Mohs scale measures the hardness of metals, minerals, gemstones and crystals on a scale of 1 to 10. For example the hardness properties of most quartz crystals fall around 7 on the scale, as does steel and titanium. Diamond is the hardest known substance on the Mohs scale coming in at a hard 10. To most consumers hardness generally reflects the stones able to resist scratches and cracks.

Cleavage is weak but can improve when increased iron is present.

The birefringence is strong and ranges between 0.035 and 0.038.
The refraction ranges between 1.635 and 1.673.
The specific gravity ranges between 3.22 and 3.45,
The crystalline system is Orthorhombic
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer for the popular jewelry site: JewelrySalesandService.com. Provides information on jewelry, rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and watches. His website, www.JewelrySalesandService.com also has information on diamonds, birthstones, gemstones, pearls, gold, sterling silver, and platinum.
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