(2011). Spinel is 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, so it is typically a durable gem for rings and other jewelry. Peridot crystals have been collected from some pallasite meteorites. Photo: Robert Weldon/GIA. The origin of the name peridot is uncertain. Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August and the 16 year wedding anniversary gemstone. August’s birthstone, the peridot, is a light green, ancient, cosmic birthstone that has been found in volcanic lava in Hawaii—and in meteorites that have fallen to Earth. Large crystals of forsterite, the variety most often used to cut peridot gems, are rare; as a result olivine is considered to be precious. Study of Chinese peridot gem samples determined the specific gravity hydro-statically to be 3.36. Peridot from the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona. A flat oval polished sardonyx tablet showing varying orange and white banding. Peridot Birthstone Meaning & History. Roman soldiers wore sardonyx rings with the image of Mars carved on them for protection in battle. Throughout history, peridot has often been confused with other gems such as topaz and emerald. Peridot should be stored with care to avoid scratching by gems with greater hardness. Random House Publishing Group. The Middle English Dictionary's entry on peridot includes several variations: peridod, peritot, pelidod and pilidod — other variants substitute y for the is seen here. You can see it in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Peridot is popular with some British royals. The birthstone of August has been highly valued in many ancient cultures. Peridot, spinel and sardonyx are the three birthstones for August. Red spinel, along with other red gems, was thought to be a remedy for all types of blood loss and inflammatory diseases. Again, warm soapy water applied with a soft-bristle brush is the safest option. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests an alteration of Anglo–Norman pedoretés (classical Latin pæderot-), a kind of opal, rather than the Arabic word faridat, meaning "gem". Also nicknamed as “evening emerald”, Peridot is considered to have the power to ward off evil spirits. Sri Lanka is a veritable Treasure Island of different gem species and varieties, including sapphire, ruby and garnet. Submitted by Barry M. Lamont on August 2, 2019 - 2:02pm, "Period was popular among the Pharaohs in Egypt and, even today, it is the national gem of Egypt. August’s birthstone, the peridot, is a light green, ancient, cosmic birthstone that has been found in volcanic lava in Hawaii—and in meteorites that have fallen to Earth. Not until the 18th century was spinel clearly separated from ruby on the basis of their chemical differences. Some of history’s most famous “rubies” have actually turned out to be this August birthstone. High heat can cause some colors of this August birthstone to fade. August Birthstone Jewelry. Photo: Robert E. Kane, Transparent peridots can be seen scattered throughout this pallasite meteorite. The approximately 170 ct Black Prince’s “ruby,” for example, was owned by a succession of Moorish and Spanish kings before Edward, Prince of Wales (also known as the Black Prince) received the stone in 1367 as payment for winning a battle on behalf of Peter of Castile. All rights reserved. Identification of Extraterrestrial Peridot by trace elements. The molecular structure of peridot consist of isomorphic olivine, silicate, magnesium and iron in an orthorhombic crystal system. Major sources include Tajikistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tanzania and Pakistan. In the 1700s, a meteorite that landed in Siberia contained many peridot crystals that were large enough to be used for jewelry.