Peridot is a Beautiful Gemstone With a Rich History

December 09 00:30 2020
Peridot is a Beautiful Gemstone With a Rich History

Peridot is a gemstone that has a fascinating history, from both natural and cultural standpoints. It is one of the oldest gemstones known to history, with records showing that it was mined as early as 1,500 B.C. The stone is particularly well known for its use in ancient Egypt, with many historians believing that the emeralds favored by Cleopatra were actually peridot gems.

The magnesium-rich stone was first used as a talisman for its longstanding mystical reputation in the ancient world. It was also once thought to keep anxiety at bay, making men more articulate, and creating more successful marriages and relationships. Excellent examples of this gemstone can be obtained at

Medicinal Qualities

The Egyptians long believed that peridot had medicinal qualities, most notably its ability to dissolve spells. To derive its full benefit, it was most often set in gold and worn as jewelry. It was also considered a talisman for protection against evil spirits, particularly if it was strung with the hair of a donkey and worn on the left arm.

As a medicinal cure, peridot was often ground into a powder and inhaled to cure asthma. Further, holding peridot under the tongue was thought to lessen the thirst of a person who was suffering from a fever. It was also used as a decoration on the breastplate of priests as described in the Book of Exodus, a stone representing each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

A Gem Above All Others

Peridot is unique above all other kinds of gem since they are formed by geologic activity deep in the Earth’s crust. By contrast, diamonds and peridot can only be found much deeper in an area of the Earth’s crust called the mantle. They form in an area of the earth called the magma, the top layer of the mantle, about 25 to 55 miles below the surface. An excellent example of peridot can be found in the Museum of Jewelry.

Bringing Peridot to the Surface

Fortunately, those who mine for peridot don’t have to go as deep as that to find the gems since they are forced closer to the surface by volcanic and tectonic activity. For many years, peridot was found primarily on Topazos Island, known today as St. John’s Island or Zabargad, located in the Egyptian Red Sea, about 35 miles off the Egyptian coastal city of Berenica. Peridot has been mined in that area for more than 3,500 years, although it was first discussed in Natural History by Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.) around the fourth century B.C. It is also thought to have been originally called topaz, but it was much later before another stone acquired that name and it was renamed Peridot.

Peridot mining ended in Zabargad about the time of World War II but, today, there are areas where major mining for the gem takes place. These areas are Burma, Pakistan, Vietnam, and China. The American states of Arizona and New Mexico are also prime locations where Peridot is mined. Coincidentally, traces of peridot have been found in dust from the moon as well as Mars.

The Museum of Jewelry has been in existence for more than half a century and has established a reputation for the quality of its collection from all over the world. For more information, check

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