Happy birthday to all of you fabulous August babies. Your birthstone is the appropriately summery peridot, a light green gemstone evocative of dappled summer foliage and citrusy limes.
Peridot is the gemstone variety of the mineral olivine. It gets its colour from iron, and the more iron is present, the deeper the green. It has an average hardness of 6.5 – 7 on the Mohs scale, making it sturdy enough for the wear and tear of jewellery.
Peridot develops crystals deep within the earth’s crust and is brought to the surface during volcanic activity. In Hawaii, peridot is known as Pele’s tears, named after the goddess of fire and volcanoes. It can also be found in meteorites, though these are extremely rare and not likely to be found in jewellery.
The first known use of peridot dates back to ancient Egypt, from gems mined on a volcanic island in the Red Sea. This was the only ancient source of peridot, and has now been exhausted.
These days, most peridot is mined in Arizona, Kashmir and China. It can also be found in Hawaii, as well as Myanmar, Australia, Norway, South Africa, and Brazil.
Peridot is used as a soothing stone and is reputed to protect against negative emotions.
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