If peridot were to have a flavor, I’m sure it would taste like apple Jolly Ranchers! Granted, I don’t eat candy, but it’s a distinct taste I remember from childhood. They were my favorite.
Peridot is unique to the gem world because they are one of the very few gemstones that occur naturally in an olive green color. Ranging in color from brownish-green to greenish-yellow, peridot is highly coveted for its range of colors. The different shades of green are determined by the varying levels of iron present in the stone. Further increasing the gem’s desirability is its transparency. Peridot can catch the light even in the dimmest surroundings and has thus been nicknamed “the evening emerald.”
Peridot was originally discovered on the island of Zabargad in the Red Sea. However, peridot production has ceased in this location. Today, peridot is most commonly found in Myanmar, Pakistan, Norway and the United States, particularly in Arizona. While most peridot is found in the deposits of lava rock, the very rarest form of this gemstone does indeed, come from the heavens. Peridot can also be found in meteorites, making it the only matter from outer space that can be used as a gemstone. Meteorites containing peridot, called pallasites, are iron-rich and the origins of the heavenly stones are completely unknown, adding to the mystery of this unique and vibrant gem.
Peridot has been used throughout history. It has been found in priests’ jewelry dating back to the second century BC. Later it was used to adorn medieval Europe’s chalices and churches. Mythical lore indicates that peridot was thought to offer protection to its owner, shielding the possessor from evil spirits and “terrors of the night.” It has also been important to the Apaches as a revenue source due to the high quantities available in Arizona.
Peridot has a hardness rating of 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, indicating it is not a very hard gemstone and can’t take a beating. Therefore, it is not recommended for rings that will be worn on a daily basis. Acids and long-term exposure to perspiration can also damage peridot. A steam or ultrasonic cleaner should never be used to clean peridot as it is vulnerable to thermal shock. Warm, soapy water is your best bet when cleaning your peridot. Proper care will ensure your peridot jewelry will continue to ward off evil spirits for generations to come!