The word peridot comes from the Arabic word “faridat,” which means “gem” and it one of the most prized and oldest stones in the world. It is one of the only two gems to be formed by molten rock and most were brought to earth by volcanos. Some peridots also came to earth in meteorites, but this extraterrestrial peridot is extremely rare, and not likely to be seen in the jewelry market.
The birthstone of August, Peridot is one of the only gemstones to found in one single color; a vibrant and elegant olive green color. However, depending on the iron levels, the depth of green can vary from a yellow to olive to even a brownish green but is always the color green.
Here is Archduchess Isabella of Austria wearing her peridot tiara, 1820.
Five of the largest sublime yellow green stones ever polished.
Mined from the Ancient Egyptians on an Island on the Red Sea called Zabargad (now called St. Johns) Peridot was named the national gem of Egypt and is known to the locals as the "Gem of the Sun." It is named "Gem of the Sun" because islanders were forced to mine this gem day and night and during the night they were able to spot the green gemstone purely because of the stone’s bright beautiful glow.
Due to Peridots vibrant and deep green color, it was often confused with Emerald. Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection might have actually been peridots.
In addition to a fascinating history, this gemstone is also believed to have protective powers. According to legend, this stone drives away fears and nightmares while carrying the gift of 'inner radiance', sharpening the mind and opening it to new levels of awareness and growth. It is also very famously known to help one to recognize their future, purpose and destiny.
Pretty powerful stuff if you ask me!