FAQ-Pawn Shops
FAQ-Modern Birthstones
Contact Us
Site Map

Bookmark and Share

August - Peridot

The Details:

Peridot, pronounced pair-uh-doe (French) - - from the Arabic word faridat meaning "gem--is the August birthstone which it shares with sardonyx. So those Virgo and Libra customers should take special note of Peridot's many possibilities. For example, suppose you are describing color alternatives to a customer. You might point out that emeralds are not the only green stones. The Egyptians used Peridot as a gem as early as 1500 B.C. It was considered the "gem of the sun" and was highly prized. Peridot is often called the "evening emerald." You might mention as well that this yellow-green gemstone is in the olivine family, so named for its olive color.

The most important deposits are in the Red Sea on the volcanic island of St. John where they have been mined for 3500 years. But these mines have been nationalized since 1958 and it appears that little or no mining is currently taking place. Most stones used today come from Burma ( which is the source of the largest recorded cut Peridot --319 carats-- now in the Smithsonian), and the U.S.

With the cessation of Peridot from the Red Sea deposit, those at San Carlos in Arizona have gained in importance. The San Carlos Apache Reservation is in Gila County, Arizona, and the main deposit of Peridot is known as Peridot Mesa. Exclusive rights to mining are held by various Apache families and it is not always easy to assign a specific stone to a particular deposit. It is interesting to note that the San Carlos Peridot, like some others, contains a trace of nickel which may play a part in its coloration. Pakistan: According to Robert Weldon, G.G., in the five years since Peridot was discovered in Pakistan, the market has become accustomed to the stupendous sizes and extraordinary colors from this source. But dwindling supplies and a tribal war over control of the mines raises uncertainties about future availability. The attraction of Pakistani Peridot is without question. Facet-grade crystals often yield double-digit carat weights in cut stones and a few weigh more than 2,000 carats. Crystal clarity is excellent for cutting. And the deep green 'accented by yellow or blue' stimulates demand. But the region where the Peridot is mined lies in extremely inhospitable, dangerous terrain 15,000 feet up in the Kashmir region of the Himalayas. The weather leaves the site accessible only for two or three months in summer, and the site is altogether off limits to foreigners. The long-term future is uncertain also. Clean gems of good color account for about only 2% of Pakistan's production, and high-quality material is being depleted. Lower supply could mean you'll pay more next year. High-grade Peridot from Pakistan already can fetch 20 times more than Peridot from other localities. Fine-quality Pakistani Peridot weighing under 5 carats is $60 per carat wholesale, for example. For gems larger than 20 carats, per-carat prices can rise as high as $300.

The olivine group has a series from fayalite at one end to forsterite at the other. Fayalite contains iron where forsterite contains magnesium. Stones composed of an excess of 15% iron tend to be "muddy" in appearance. Chromium spinel crystals cause the "peppering" effect which greatly decreases the value of the material. Peer into the depths of a Peridot and you'll almost always be rewarded with an interesting view of a microscopic lily-pad inclusion. It's a distinctive feature that helps to separate Peridot from natural and man-made glass simulants. It's called a lily-pad inclusion because of its resemblance to the aquatic plant. Gemologically, it's a disc-like stress fracture caused by crystals of another mineral in Peridot, such as Chromite, Spinel or Biotite.

When buying Peridot, be reminded that this stone is relatively soft (6.5 Moh) and should be spared rugged, regular wearing if mounted in rings. Peridot increases dramatically in prices as the size increases over 3 carats. Peridot is extremely sensitive to rapid temperature changes, such as dipping in cold solution after soldering. Finally, setters must remember Peridots tend to burst under great stress and they can easily lose their polish if they come in contact with commonly used hydrochloric or sulphuric acid. Nonetheless, this "gem of the sun" will give many years of wearing pleasure if cared for properly.

Peridot green is showing up again in blouses, shoes, handbags, watches and jewelry. A few years back, the shade was a big deal in fashion, thanks to Prada and other fashion houses. This time around you're less likely to see it in a dress or suit, but it makes for a great accent. Peridot also blends well with, surprise, all the neutrals American women continue to rely on for office and everyday wear. Oprah donned Peridot beads for a recent cover of her eponymous magazine, using them as an accent for the season's popular white shirt. Against her dark skin, the color looks terrific. Prada paired a silk shantung blouse in the color, which it calls 'fern,' with a neutral jacket. The touch of color added dash to a subdued look. Vogue featured a Bruno Frisoni Peridot green shoe with a black front accent in one of its recent issues. But it's the use of Peridot in watches and jewelry that jewelers can really celebrate. Now that the ladies who lunch have their pink and blue watches, AquaMarin, the Swiss watch maker, decided to launch a Peridot green strap, sometimes harmonized with Peridot green stones and aquamarine colored faces. It's one way to encourage your customers to don the fashionable shade. Of course, the best way is through jewelry featuring the gem itself.

Mohs hardness: 6.5 to 7.0

Copyright © 2008-2009 - LearnAboutPawnShops.com. All Rights Reserved.
All trademarks referred to on this site are property of the respective owners.
Hosted @ HostGator.com

|Welcome| |Articles| |FAQ-Pawn Shops| |FAQ-Modern Birthstones| |Contact Us| |Privacy| |Site Map|