The National Gem of Egypt

Sometimes called “evening emerald,” ancient papyri show records of Peridot, the August birthstone, being mined as early as 1500 BC.  The main source of peridot in ancient times was Topazo Island (now St John’s Island) in the Egyptian Red Sea. The stone was used in carved talismans for the Pharoah. Today, Peridot is still the national gem of Egypt.

Symbolism & Folklore

Peridot is associated with: the sun
Peridot is considered the stone of: strength, peace, good fortune, happiness, prosperity, dignity, growth, love
Peridot has been said to: ward off evil, heal liver problems and digestive issues, heal and regenerate tissue, strengthen metabolism, treat skin diseases and fevers, and even help in giving birth by strengthening contractions and reducing pain

Origins & Characteristics

Peridot (pronounced pear-uh-doe) has several possible derivations.  One is the French word “peritot,” meaning unclear – a reference to the stone’s translucent appearance perhaps. Another possibility is the Greek word “peridona,” meaning richness. However, most scholars believe that “peridot” is derived from the Arabic word “faridat,” which means gem.  Peridot belongs to the Forsterite-Fayalite mineral family, a part of the Olivine group with volcanic origins. The stone is “idiochromatic,” meaning that its color comes from the fundamental chemical composition of the stone, rather than from impurities present in the stone.   Because of this, peridot is one of the few stones that are found in only one color. Although olivine itself is abundant, peridot is rare. It is found in Egypt, Arkansas, and Arizona, among other places.