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August's Gemstone of the Month: Peridot

3 min read

August's Gemstone of the Month: Peridot

The birthstone for August, peridot is a semi-precious gemstone best known for its vibrant lime glow. Today, we’re exploring the alchemy of the peridot stone, its role within the human realm, and the ways we’ve embraced it here at Lebrusan Studio.

Peridot crystal: The clever stuff

Traceable trillion-cut peridot, secured into some recycled silver studearrings

Peridot is a member of the silica family and is the rare gemstone variety of the mineral olivine, which forms deep inside the Earth’s upper mantle and is largely brought to the surface by volcanoes. In Ancient Hawaiian folklore, peridot was once thought to be the tears of Pele, the volcano goddess of fire who controls the flow of lava.

In fact, peridot one of only two known gemstones that are not formed in the Earth’s crust, but much deeper. It’s this major journey from the depths of the mantle to the Earth’s surface that makes peridot so rare at ground-level; the conditions it must endure to reach its final destination are extreme.

Miners usually find peridot as crystals inside rocks left behind by these very lava flows. Every once in a while, it’s also discovered in the form of miracle crystals, lining veins or pockets in solidified molten rock. Most of the world’s peridot supply comes from the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, but there are sources across the planet, from Egypt to South Africa, Myanmar to Pakistan.

In the rarest of cases,peridot has even arrived from outer space,travelling in pallasite meteorites that have fallen to Planet Earth. These meteorites are remnants of our solar system’s birth, making peridot of this nature at least 4.5 billion years old. As recently as 2005, peridot was found in comet dust brought back from space by NASA’s Stardust robotic spacecraft.

Peridot’s chemical composition includes iron and magnesium, the iron being the cause of its signature green-brown colour range. Peridot is one of very few gemstones to only occur in one colour, though its hue spans from yellowish-green to olive to brownish-green, depending on the volume of iron present.


The human relationship with peridot stones

Our hand-craftedAmulets of Harmony, lovingly set with powerful peridot birthstones

Most scholars agree that the word ‘peridot’ derives from the Arabic ‘faridat’ (gem), but some believe that it is in fact rooted in the Greek ‘peridona’ (giving plenty). This is perhaps why, according to ancient lore, peridot is largely associated with prosperity and good fortune. For thousands of years, peridot beads and talismans have been worn to promote love, happiness, and wealth, its effects believed to be intensified when set in gold.

Peridot has also been thought to protect its wearer from ‘terrors of the night’ and evil spirits, with evidence suggesting that it was often threaded onto donkey hair and worn on the left arm as a bracelet that could ward off negativity.

Peridot is historically associated with light, known by the Ancient Egyptians as the ‘gem of the sun,’ a correlation perhaps grounded in the knowledge that peridot arrived from the sky in meteorites. Later, in the early 1500s, German occult writer Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa claimed that if you held peridot to the sun, a golden star would shine from it to heal respiratory ailments. Apothecary shops kept the gemstone in powdered form as an antidote to insomnia, bleeding, madness, and nightmares.

To this day, green gemstones like peridot are believed to activate the Heart Chakra, promoting emotional wellbeing by regulating what is embraced or resisted, promoting balance, optimism and spiritual growth.

Lebrusan Studio’s use of the peridot gemstone

Rita’s bespoke ‘family tree’ necklace, set with a beautiful green peridot, amongst other fair-traded birthstones

Peridot tends to score a 6.5 – 7 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which means it’s not quite resilient enough for long-term day-to-day wear in a jewel like an engagement ring. However, it’s certainly robust enough to be enjoyed in a pendant, pair of earrings or a playful stacking ring.

Hand-crafted by our Spanish filigree artisan Lorenzo, our limited edition Amulets of Harmony combine beloved amuletic symbols with fair-traded, traceable birthstones for the ultimate sense of gratification; an opportunity to champion traditional craftsmanship and welcome the powerful energy of Mother Nature’s gifts.

We’d also be delighted to explore the possibility of incorporating responsibly sourced peridot into a unique bespoke commission, as we did for Rita, whose family tree pendant holds the birthstones of those most important to her.


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Love, Arabel & Team


Ruby McGonigle
Ruby McGonigle

Ruby McGonigle is a copywriter and digital marketing professional with over five years of jewellery industry experience. After graduating with a BA in Linguistics, she combined her passions for written word and all things sparkly by joining the Lebrusan Studio team as in-house wordsmith and content creator. Among bi-monthly blog posts, notable examples of Ruby's work include a think-piece on the ‘natural diamonds vs. lab-grown diamonds’ debate, a probe into why traceable and third party certified ASM gold is so important, and an investigation of why platinum is no longer more expensive than gold.