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The ABC's of PERIDOT

Peridot Peridot, also known as olivine, is August's birthstone. It is found in varying shades of olive green, yellow-green, brownish-green, but the most valued color is a lively lime green. The yellower varieties are often referred to as chrysolite, but are chemically identical. Peridot is usually lighter in hue than emerald, and has a more velvety color rather than a brilliant one. On the mohs hardness scale peridot ranks 6.5 - 7.0.

The largest source of gem-quality peridot is belived to be in the mesas on one of the reservations of the Apache Natives in Arizona, but peridot is also mined in St. John's Island, Zebirget Island, Red Sea (Egypt), Norway, Eifel, Germany, Hawaii, Myanmar (Burma), and Italy. Peridots from Mogok, Burma, are reputed to the largest, although Pakistani gems are said to be the best.

Peridot is occasionally treated with colorless oil, wax, natural and synthetic unhardened resins into voids to improve appearance. Surface fractures are sometimes filled with a colorless hardened substance.

The largest known faceted peridot is on display at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Another, yellowish-green 192.75-carat stone which belonged to the czars is now a part of the Diamond Treasury in Moscow, Russia. A 146-carat step-cut peridot is in the Geological Museum in London. The American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Chicago Museum of Natural History have included peridot in their collections as part of mineral displays. Some European cathedrals have peridots in their interior architechture.

Peridot is an excellent decorative gem, often used as a side stone for more expensive center stones. Their relative affordability makes them popular among those who cannot afford emeralds or sapphires.

 

 

 

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