August’s birthstone is the beautifully vibrant green peridot gemstone. A gemstone with a fascinating history. A symbol of strength and compassion, this beautiful green gemstone will bring peace to the wild hearts of Leos and Virgos.
Known for its ability to form under extreme conditions, peridot is often found in hardened lava, pushed from deep within the Earth’s mantle. This unique gemstone is even found in some meteorites.
Shop Our selection of peridot birthstone jewellery gifts– perfect for your little Leos or Virgos
What does the August birthstone peridot symbolise?
Peridot is a symbol of strength and compassion. Wearing peridot is said to bring the wearer good health, deep sleep, and peace to relationships by balancing emotions and calming the mind.
Due to its green colour – a colour often associated with money, some people believe that peridot symbolises prosperity and good fortune and is sometimes referred to as the ‘evening emerald’.
Although this beautiful gemstone is sometimes overshadowed by the famous emerald, we can’t help but fall in love with peridots, with their rich history and links to our solar system this beautiful gemstone is a firm favourite at Molly Brown London.
Where is peridot found?
The formation of peridot gemstones is one of strength and wonder. Formed under immense pressure this gemstone is found in volcanic rocks formed deep within the Earth’s mantle. Peridots are mined in Tanzania and the US. Peridot gemstones can be found on the beaches in Hawaii – one of the most famous examples of this is Peridot beach, where the sands shimmer a magical green.
Today’s peridots are most commonly mined in Arizona (US) where a huge volcanic eruption many thousands of years ago sent rivers of hot lava across the desert creating a valley of sparkling peridots.
This magical gemstone is also found in meteorites made up of nickel-iron and olivine. Of the thousands of meteorites that have hit the earth only a rare few have contained gem-quality peridot – making them amongst the rarest gemstones in the world.
Peridot in Folklore
In Hawaii, folklore peridot is believed to be formed from the tears of Pele, the volcano goddess of fire who controls the flow of lava. Also known as Pelehonuamea (“She who shapes the sacred land”), this goddess of fire and volcanoes has a passionate, unpredictable, and volatile temper which locals believe leads to tears of frustration. These tears then crystallised over thousands of years to form the vibrant green gemstones we call peridot.
The origin of the name peridot isn’t entirely certain, some believe it is derived from the Greek word peridona which means ‘to give plenty’ – which is why according to the lore, peridot is associated with prosperity and good fortune. Others believe that the name peridot comes from the Arabic word ‘faridat’ meaning gem.
Ancient Romans referred to peridots as ‘evening emeralds’ because peridot does not darken at night, this sparkly gemstone continues to glisten even in candlelight or under the moon.
Ten peridot gemstone facts
- Peridot is the gem given to celebrate a 15thwedding anniversary.
- In 2005, peridot was found in comet dust brought back from the Stardust robotic space probe. Stardust, NASA’s explorer spacecraft, returned to Earth in 2006 with mineral samples collected near the sun. They discovered gem-quality peridot, thought to be as old as our solar system, among other particles.
- Peridot gemstones are a variety of the mineral olivine found in peridotite rock from the earth’s upper mantle.
- Some peridot gemstones have been dated back 4.5 billion years – found in pallasite meteorites, remnants of our solar system’s birth.
- Peridot’s signature green colour comes from the composition of the mineral itself (rather than from trace impurities, like most gemstones). This is why peridot only comes in one colour, though shades may vary from yellowish green to olive to brownish green, depending on how much iron is present.
- Peridot is formed at the Earth’s mantle; this is incredibly rare as most gemstones are formed at the Earth’s crust. The only other gemstone to form on the mantle is the diamond.
- Just like diamonds, peridot gemstones are brought to the earth’s surface when a volcano erupts
- Records show that ancient Egyptians mined for peridot in the 3rd century on an island in the Red Sea; they even called it “the gem of the sun!” The peridot was one of Cleopatra’s favourite gemstones.
- Ancient Egyptian rulers called peridot ‘the gem of the sun’ because of its intense brightness. They believed it could not be mined during daylight because the brightness rendered it invisible. So the location of the peridots were discovered in the night and marked so miners could return by day to collect stones.
- A particularly unusual characteristic about the mineral olivine is that it’s highly susceptible to chemical weathering. Gemmologists believe that is why it cannot survive for long at the surface in wet climates. This is likely to be the reason why there are so few localities where it can be found. Peridot gemstone discoveries tend to be restricted to areas with arid or semi-arid climates.
Discover the perfect Molly Brown London peridot jewellery gift
Perfect for all those little Leos and Virgos our thoughtfully curated August birthstone collection is the perfect way to celebrate the special birthday of someone you love.
Our sparkling collection of peridot jewellery is sure to brighten someone’s day. With timeless designs, these keepsake peridot jewellery pieces are gifts to treasure.
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