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Peridot Overview

The constituent mineral of peridot is olivine and peridot is called the ‘extreme gemstone’ for the fact that it is the only gemstone which is found in molten rock of Earth's upper mantle, rather than the crust.

A peridot owes its color to the presence of iron in the mineral olivine. Its rich vibrant color can range from yellowish green to bright green, which is dependent on the levels of iron in the crystal.

Peridot scores 7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it fairly durable for everyday jewelry. Peridot has been used in jewelry for thousands of years and has proven to be more than suitable.

Peridot has a long and illustrious history that has made it a favorite gemstone for generations. It is one among the world's earliest gems thought to have been discovered in the Red Sea as early as 1500 BC.

Peridots were used to ornament sacred treasures such as the Shrine of the Three Kings by medieval Christians, who termed this gemstone the "jewel of the sun."

Peridot has been mistaken for emeralds in the past, much like red spinel has been mistaken for rubies. Many notable "emeralds" have been discovered to be peridots. Many historians and geologists believe that Cleopatra's famous emerald collection is entirely made up of peridot.

While in today's times peridot is mostly known as a birthstone for August, it has a rich and ancient history. This is one of the main reasons along with its rich, vibrant color, and excellent value, why peridot has maintained popularity throughout the years.

Peridot is an exceptional alternative for those who find the green of emeralds a bit dark. Peridot offers a wide spectrum of green colors, which are exceptionally bright.

Peridot maintains an excellent value in spite of being rare. It is formed in volcanic magma, anywhere between 20 and 50 miles deep beneath the Earth's crust. Since it is formed so deep underground, the only way for a peridot to surface is either through tectonic plate movement or a volcanic eruption.

Peridot can easily be found at a fraction of the price of its "twin" - the emerald, and it is quite affordable especially considering the rarity of gem-quality peridot. While peridot itself is a fairly common mineral, any gem-quality peridot is not easy to find except with reputed jewelers. It is undoubtedly the best choice for someone seeking to add a rare gemstone to one’s collection without worrying about the budget.

Peridot is the birthstone for the August born and a traditional gift for the 16th wedding anniversary.

Peridot Quality and Pricing Factors

The color, clarity, and transparency of a peridot are the three key characteristics that determine its quality. The price of a peridot, like that of any other gemstone, is directly proportional to its quality. The carat weight of a peridot is also an important element in determining its price These factors are described in detail hereunder which form the basis for a letter grade system (A-AAAA) generally used to grade overall quality of a peridot.


The color of a peridot is the most important quality criterion and it determines the price of the gemstone. The color should be well-distributed with a high saturation level and the stone must be transparent. The price of a peridot increases with the increase in color saturation to a point where it doesn’t become overtly dark or oversaturated. At that point its price drops significantly. A very light color peridot and extremely dark / opaque peridot will have almost the same price.


Clarity refers to the presence or absence of internal and external imperfections in a gemstone. Unlike diamonds, color gemstones do not have any universal clarity grading system. Generally, peridot is a much clearer gemstone when compared to other gemstones and as such clear peridots are easy to find with jewelers of repute. In the wholesale trade, we evaluate the clarity of a peridot in the following manner.

  1. Holding the gemstone face up 12 inches from the eye
  2. Tilting it in various directions to visually inspect for any visible inclusions
  3. Only imperfections viewable on the crown (top part of the gemstone) are inspected and not on the pavilion (back side)

Cut / Transparency

Transparency refers to the attribute of a gemstone to let the light pass through. The more light passes through, the more transparent the stone. Everyone loves transparent gems because the colors appear vivid. The only problem with higher transparency is that the flaws in the gemstone are more visible as compared to less transparent stone.

The rough of peridot is cut in a way to obtain the desired color saturation of the peridot since the price is primarily dependent on the color. Lighter material is cut deeper to allow the gem to hold more light and increase saturation, whereas darker material is cut shallower to allow more light to pass through the stone.

Cutting a gemstone requires a high degree of skill which is mastered with years of practice and patience.

Carat / Measurements

Carat (ct) is the primary unit to measure the weight of a gemstone. One carat equals one-fifth of a gram or one gram has five carats. The deep or the shallow cut of a peridot will have a bearing on its apparent size thereby making it important to consider other measurements viz. length and width which are expressed in millimeters. A 7x5mm Oval can weigh 0.80cts or 1.5cts, depending on its depth and cutting style.


Many countries in the world produce peridot. These are China, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and the United States. Though peridots from Pakistan and Myanmar tend to have higher quality, there is no premium on peridots depending upon origin.


In the gem industry at present, there is no known and accepted treatment or enhancement for peridot and as such all peridot gems must be labeled untreated and should be sold as such. Jewelers of repute do not endorse any treatment on peridot and therefore customers must avoid peridot treated in any manner.

Care Instructions

Peridot is a fairly hard gemstone and doesn’t require much care. But here are a few things that you can do to keep your peridot jewelry looking new.

  1. Avoid your jewelry getting in contact with make-up, chemicals such as bleach, moisturizers & abrasives. Take your jewelry off before going for a shower or a swim. Avoid hard impact activities with your jewelry on.
  2. Use a mixture of lukewarm water and mild soap to clean your gemstone with a gentle brush. Repeat the process and soak it for a longer time if still not clean. Rinse in water and wipe with a soft cloth afterwards.
  3. Store each type of jewelry separately because the harder ones may scratch the softer ones.
  4. Perform a weekly check on everyday jewelry such as rings or earrings to ensure that the center stone is tight in its place. Tap it near your ear and if you hear any rattling sound, then it’s time to get it tightened professionally.
  5. Do not use commercial jewelry cleaners or ultrasonic cleaners for your peridot jewelry.