Peridot, The Other Green Gemstone Posted on 17 Jan 07:49
Peridot, the August birthstone, is a natural gemstone found in various places around the world. Peridot's hues range from a saturated vibrant green, to a yellowish lime green that appears to be "lit from within". Peridot comes to the surface of the earth in volcanoes and sometimes in meteorites.
Arizona is the leading commercial source of peridot, but the finest colors come from Myanmar and Pakistan. Peridot is one of the few untreated gemstones and has been used in jewelry for centuries. In fact, the famous Cleopatra emeralds are believed to have been peridot. Members of the Apache American Indian tribe mine most of the world's commercial peridot for the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, in the United States.
Iron is the mineral that causes the beautiful yellowish green colors. Actually, iron is a part of peridot's chemical makeup - it is a silicate of iron and magnesium. Peridot occurs in volcanic basalts and it occurs in irregular masses of crystals in the volcanic rocks. The miners will skilfully tap the rocks with a hammer to break them apart.
Peridot is mined by hand and like most colored gemstones is quite labor intensive.
Peridot is a softer gem than other colored stones like ruby, sapphire or topaz. It registers as 6.5 - 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Care must be taken to protect it from being scratched or the edges of the faceted stones from getting chipped. So take care when you store your peridot jewelry.
Also, peridot is sensitive to certain types of cleaning. Because it is sensitive to rapid temperature changes, steam cleaning is not recommended for cleaning peridot. and hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid can etch peridot and dull the polish. The best cleaning method is warm soapy water and a soft cloth to dry them after rinsing.
Good quality peridot are transparent and usually eye clean. One very cool thing about peridot are the inclusions that are sometimes found inside these gemstones. These inclusions are dark chromite crystals or reflective inclusions which are shaped like a lily pad and grow inside the peridot crystal.
Check out some of our peridot jewelry at pzmdesigns.com