Peridot

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Peridot-USGS.gif
Peridot from the San Carlos Apache reservation in Arizona.

Peridot (pronounced pear-a-doe) is the gem quality variety of forsterite olivine. It is bright yellow-green in color, and has a hardness of 6.5 on Mohs scale. The chemical composition of peridot is (Mg, Fe)2SiO4. Peridot is one of the few gemstones that come in only one color. The depth of green depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure, and varies from yellow-green to olive to brownish green. Peridot is also often referred to as "poor man's emerald". The name of the stone possibly derives from the French peritot, meaning unclear, due to the many inclusions and cloudiness of larger stones. Olivine is a very abundant mineral, but gem quality peridot is rather rare. Peridot crystals have been collected from iron-nickel meteorites [1] (http://mineral.galleries.com/minerals/gemstone/peridot/peridot.htm). Peridot is found in Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico, in the US, and in Australia, Brazil, China, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. The largest cut peridot is a 310 carat (62 g) specimen in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.. A special variety of peridot from Pakistan is known as "Cashmere" peridot, due to the large size of the rough stones found there. Cutters have successfully created faceted stones of over 100 carats (20 g) from the rough gems of this area.

It is the birthstone for the month of August. According to folklore, the peridot will bring its wearer success, peace, and good luck. Peridot has been found in Egyptian jewellery from the early second millennium BCE and was mined from the volcanic island of Zebirget, or St. Johns Island, in the Red Sea [2] (http://www.gemstone.org/gem-by-gem/english/peridot.html)[3] (http://www.emporia.edu/earthsci/amber/go340/peridot.htm). Native Hawaiians referred to peridot crystals as the tears of Pele, the Goddess-of-Fire [4] (http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/birthstones/pages/peridot.html).

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