The idea of gemstones from space sounds exotic! Some peridot crystals have been found in rare pallasite meteorites that are 4.5 billion years old. Because these are so rare, it's unlikely you'll find them in mainstream jewelry. The photo above is a section from the Esquel meteorite, courtesy of Robert A. Haag; photo by GIA/Robert Weldon.
Peridot is made of olivine, which is also found in lava rocks. At Peridot Beach, Hawaii, the sands shimmer a luminous green from the washed up olivine from past volcano eruptions. Definitely on my bucket list!
Other fun facts:
- Peridot is not only the August birthstone, it's traditionally given for the 16th wedding anniversary.
- Arizona has the most productive peridot deposit in the world and is located on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. It accounts for 80 to 95% of the world’s peridot supply.
- The word “peridot” comes from the Arabic "faridat," meaning gem.
- Ancient Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun,” believing it protected its wearer from terrors of the night.
Apothecary shops kept the gemstone in powdered form to use as an antidote to insomnia, bleeding, nightmares, and madness.