Jewelry Guide - Gemstones
- Mohs hardness rating: 6.5-7.0
- Found in Australia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania, China, Burma, Arizona.
Peridot has a fascinating story. It was mined for over 3,500 years and was revered
in Egypt as "the gem of the sun," but it was forgotten as a gemstone in
the West until the beginning of the twentieth century. Peridot belongs to a family
of crystals known in mineralogy as olivine, so named for their olive-green
The gem, which can range in color from deep olive green to neon lime, was first
brought to Europe by the Crusaders in the Middle Ages and was popular in the baroque
period. Its peaceful green hues have been enduring popular among Native American
Peridot is found in rocks created by volcanoes. In Hawaiian legend, they are known
as the crystal tears of the goddess Pele. In Europe, peridot was used for religious
purposes, primarily as a talisman against the evil eye. Legendary powers include
its ability to improve eyesight and to repel terror, melancholy, and sorcery. In
Russia, there are some cut peridot stones on display that came out of a meteorite
that fell in eastern Siberia in 1749.