Peridot – The Gem of Sun and Summer

A&L peridot diamond earrings.


The height of summer. Warm sunshine. Long lazy days. Savoring the last of summer vacation. August! It’s fitting that its birthstone is Peridot with its warm, almost glowing, green color and lively sparkle. It is fascinating to explore Peridot’s celestially-related origins and history and how it’s used in jewelry today.

Peridots from our loose gem collection, clockwise from top: oval, trillion, heart, cushion, oval.










Peridot fun facts:

Peridot History –

  • Ancient Egyptians called Peridot the Gem of the Sun and it was a favorite of Queen Cleopatra who had Peridots mined on the snake-infested island of Zabargad in the Red Sea.
  • One of the world’s most significant collections of Peridots is in the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Cologne Cathedral, Germany. These stones were brought to Europe during the Crusades and are a testament to the gem’s enduring allure.



  • During most of history, until the advent of the modern science of gemology in the early 1900’s, Peridot was confused with other green stones such as emeralds. This was the case with the sarcophagus of the Shrine of  The Three Kings, pictured above. These Peridots were thought to be emeralds.

Peridot Origin –

  • Rarely, Peridots come to Earth from outer space via meteorites, remnants of the origin of the universe, though these are most often found in museums, not in jewelry.


  • Most Peridot comes from magma lifted from the depths of the Earth’s mantle by volcanic activity.


  • The mineral category of Peridot is olivine, all of which is green, but most is not gem quality. This is the Papakōlea Green Sand Beach on the island of Hawaii, created by olivine from nearby local volcanoes.


Peridot Characteristics & Care –

  • Peridot’s green color comes from trace amounts of iron and ranges from pale yellow-green to rich olive-green. The most prized Peridots exhibit a medium toned, highly saturated, bright lime-green color, resulting from the perfect balance of iron and other trace elements.


Gorgeous A&L peridot diamond pendant









  • Some have called Peridot the “evening emerald” because they thought it seemed to glow in twilight. This has not been substantiated scientifically, but what a warm, romantic mood this might create!


  • Like many gems, Peridot is doubly refractive, meaning it bends light in two directions instead of just one, causing double images of the facets as you look into the stone.


  • Peridot is 6.5 – 7 on the Mohs hardness scale (diamond is 10, ruby & sapphire 9) and is appropriate for most daily wear. The Mohs scale indicates how resistant a gem is to scratching. Thus, Peridot can be dulled over time by fine scratches from dust particles that can contain quartz (7 on the Mohs scale) which is harder than Peridot. So, it’s best to wash it with a soft brush, mild soap and water rather than wiping it with a cloth. Also, you should protect it from harsh chemicals and extreme temperatures. Like all jewelry, it should not be worn while gardening, wood working, doing heavy housework, working out, etc.

Peridots today –

  • The largest Peridot in the world is kept in the Smithsonian Institution, weighs 311.78 carats, and came from the aforementioned Zabargad Island.










  • Peridot is often used with other gems to add a bright pop of color to jewelry design.

A&L amethyst, peridot & diamond ring

Peridot with diamond, blue topaz, lemon quartz & green quartz.











  • It is relatively affordable and often stylishly set in sterling jewelry. This lovely modern design pendant holds a 8 x 5 mm pear-shaped Peridot.

A&L sterling Peridot pendant










Whether worn as a birthstone or simply for its beauty, this gem continues to inspire and captivate with its remarkable presence. So, if you’re looking for a bright gemstone that captures the spirit of summer, consider Peridot!

Check out Argo & Lehne Peridot jewelry, or create your own unique piece with A&L custom design.