Peridot is one of those stones that we take for granted. It’s not expensive, it’s easily obtained and I have known August babies who think their birthstone is unattractive. “Why could’t I have been born in May or September?”, they whine. “All the other birthstones are prettier than mine! It’s not fair!” Much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth ensues followed by bitter resignation. Well, if you are born in August, wear your peridot proudly because it is a remarkable stone!
Peridot is one of only two stones that are created in the molten rock of the upper mantle, the other one being diamond. They are brought to the surface by earthquakes and volcanoes. They can also be extra-terrestrial in origin, found in pallasite meteorites which date back some 4.5 billion years. It has been found in comet dust, on the moon and on Mars. Bet you’re looking at those peridots a little differently now!
Believed by the ancients to be a symbol of the sun, peridot was used to drive away darkness and evil spirits. It cured cowardice, soothed anger and sharpened the wit. The ancient Egyptians mined it on the island of Zabargad in the Red Sea for over 3500 years and today it is still the National Gem of Egypt. It was also used in jewelry in Greece and Rome in the third and fourth centuries.
It is a stone of positivity, helping to alleviate guilt, fear, depression and obsessions. It is also a stone of abundance in all areas of our lives: love,health, happiness and wealth. Peridot corresponds to the solar plexus and heart chakras. When these two are activated together, we have the will to follow our hearts without fear while still remaining thoughtful of others. That’s a lot of stuff for one little stone!
Peridot has a hardness of 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale. It is mostly found in smaller pieces, but there is larger material coming out of Pakistan. Peridot only comes in green, although it can be many shades of green. A lot of material has inclusions, and some may have star or cat’s-eye effects. I like to put it with emerald for a look reminiscent of spring foliage or with aquamarine for a watery theme. It is also very beautiful on its own, especially set in silver. However, if you’re making an amulet to protect against the aforementioned darkness and evil spirits, you will want to set it in gold and either wear it around your neck or bound to you left arm!
So whether you’re born in August or not, a piece of peridot jewelry might just be the perfect positive spot in your day!