What is Peridot?
The bright green color of August’s birthstone, peridot, is out of this world — literally. Found in meteorites that fell from the heavens, this unique, storied stone has an ancient, mythical history that stretches across cultures.
Peridot gemstones are formed under extreme conditions. Forged out of hardened lava carried from deep beneath the Earth’s mangle, as well as meteorites that entered our atmosphere from outer space, Peridot naturally represents strength.
It’s exotic color, which ranges from light lime to deep olive green, is often mistaken for emerald. We find peridot in far away lands like China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tanzania, Vietnam, but also close to home, in the United States. Mostly, places where the ruthless natural conditions could produce such incredible beauty. It is also amazingly found in some of the world’s most exotic locales like peridot Beach in Hawaii — where the sands actually shine and glow with luminous green peridot. Hawaiians thought of peridot as the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele.
Peridot Birthstone History
Peridot’s other-worldly qualities have made it desirable across cultures. The Egyptians revered this stone and used to mine it thousands of years ago — think, 340–279 BCE — on the island of Zabargad, now called Topazios. The island was infamous for its harsh conditions much like the relentless, natural conditions in which mother nature had to form the stone — earning the moniker “Island of Death” and “Snake Island.”
Because of its uniqueness and incredible color, the peridot birthstone has been a centerpiece in jewelry since seemingly the beginning of time. The Egyptians believed the peridot stone was most powerful when set in gold, and used it to ward off nightmares. The Romans and ancient Greeks were known for using the peridot green stone in their rings, pendants and other jewelry — which to them, was a symbol of nobility. The stone has also been found in ancient priests’ jewelry and chalices, as well as churches in medieval Europe, because it was revered for its divine qualities.
Peridot Birthstone Meaning
Peridot was so beloved by so many cultures, today, we’re not even sure where the name comes from. Some believe it comes from the Arabic word for gem, faridat. There’s also some suspicion that it comes from the word peridona, which in Greek means "giving plenty.” Nonetheless, there seems to be some consensus as to what Peridot symbolizes today — strength, opportunity and good fortune. For centuries, the Peridot stone has also been used to protect its owner, shielding them from evil spirits.
Personally, we love our peridot just like the Egyptians did — set in pure, shimmering and bold 24k gold. However, we also have this stone set in silver, which is a wonderfully cool contrast. For the loved one in your life born in August, though, this stone remains an incredible gift that speaks to their inner strength. Giving this stone as a symbol of good fortune also makes it a wonderful gift — a beautiful, timeless gesture that can be cherished for a lifetime.
Take the time to shop our incredible selection of peridot today, we have a feeling you’ll like what you unearth. Shop HERE.