Gemstones Peridot

Peridot: The poor man’s emerald


Peridot is usually pronounced as pair-uh-doe and it’s an array of olivine (not a certified mineral) that is consisted of two minerals known as fayalite and forsterite. Fayalite (Fe2Si04) is iron rich while forsterite (Mg2Sio4) is a manganese rich mineral. To show the exchange of magnesium and iron; olivine is chemically formulated as (Mg, Fe) 2Sio4. Though iron serves as a coloring agent for Peridot, yet in composition Peridot is often nearer to forsterite instead of fayalite. A peridot, which has less than 15% of iron and has some trace elements like nickel and chromium, is considered the best in color.

A large number of gemstones that have a mineral origin form in the crust of the earth. But peridot and diamond are two such elements as form deeper in the earth and this deeper region is known as mantle. Peridot crystals are found 20 to 55 miles deeper and they pop up on the surface due to tectonic or volcanic activity. Similarly, diamonds form around 100-150 miles below the surface where temperatures and pressures are extreme.

There are only few gemstones that come in one color and Peridot is one of them. The deep effects of green color depend on iron composition in crystal formation and it also fluctuates from yellow-green to olive and brownish-green. Peridot is also called poor man’s emerald. No doubt, olivine is abundantly found mineral but still gemy peridot is rare in fact.

Peridots are abundantly found in Burma, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, and the U.S. The finest quality of Peridot is found in Burma and Pakistan while the U.S is considered the largest producer of peridot in the world. A large part of American peridot comes from the deposits of Arizona. A locality known as Peridot Mesa, which is situated on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation east of Globe in Gila County, is considered the largest productive locality of peridot all around the globe. Almost 80 to 90 percent of peridot in the world is produced by San Carlos Reservation.

The largest cut peridot has been found as weighed around 310 carats and placed in Washington D.C. at Smithsonian. Similarly in the Diamond treasury Moscow there is a 192.75 carat peridot that belongs to czars. A 146 carat peridot is found in the geological Museum in the city of London. When it is small in sizes, it is considered relatively less expensive gemstone but its value considerably increases if the stone is over 5 carats. Peridot with 10-15 carats weight is rare and that’s why quite expensive. Peridot is always counted an untreated gem as there isn’t any known treatment that is used to enhance color or clarity of peridot. People born in the month of August must regard peridot as it’s birthstone for this month.

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