Welcome to our Gemstone of the Month blog series. Each month we’ll present to you a new gemstone, spoiling you with sparkly little nuggets of information on everything from chemical compositions to folk histories and the ethical, conflict-free backgrounds of the beautiful stones in our jewellery.
We kick things off with peridot, the birthstone for August. Peridot is a semi-precious gemstone best known for its distinctive yellowish-green hue, scoring a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Peridot is a member of the silica family and is the gem variety of the mineral olivine. Its chemical composition includes iron and magnesium, and iron is the cause of its unique green-brown colour range.
Gem miners usually find peridot as crystals inside rounded rocks in lava flows in the US, China and Vietnam. Every once in a blue moon, peridot is also found as miracle crystals lining veins or pockets in solidified molten rock. The latter has been stumbled upon in places such as Finland, Pakistan and Myanmar. Geologists believe that both types of deposits are a result of the sea floor spreading when the earth’s crust splits, pushing up to the surface rocks from its mantle.
Whilst most peridot is mined from rocks, some has 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 this type of peridot truly ancient at approximately 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 is historically associated with light, known by the Ancient Egyptians as the “gem of the sun”. Many believed that it protected its owner from “terrors of the night”, especially set in gold. Others strung the gems onto donkey hair and tied them around their left arms as bracelets in order to ward off evil spirits.
Green stones such as peridot are known for being connected to the Heart chakra, and are used to balance and stimulate.
Lebrusan Studio’s Amulets of Harmonycollection features well-known and beloved good luck charms, including the four-leaf clover, the evil eye and the Hand of Fatima. Each of these amulets is believed to bring protection and luck to its wearer. Each piece is composed of 100% recycled silver in a traditional Filigree technique, plated with white rhodium and set with a natural Fairtrade gemstone such as peridot. Alongside the amulets, the collection also includes a selection of collectible stacking rings which can also be set with sparkling Fairtrade peridot, delivering a memorable and eye-catching flash of zesty green.
With its high double refraction and intense hues of lime and gold, peridot scores high in the appearance stakes. But it’s not only kind on the eye - when bought in an ethical Lebrusan Studio piece, our responsibly-sourced peridot is kind on the conscience and on the planet, too. All our beautiful Fairtraded gemstones are mined using best practice principles, with environmental protection, fair labour conditions and community benefit of the utmost importance. Our suppliers ensure a fully transparent and certified supply chain, allowing us to trace each and every peridot right back to its source. At Lebrusan Studio, traceability is key.
For your very own own unique chunk of ethical green goodness, check out how you can create your own bespoke peridot heirloom from our delicate teardrop currently looking for a home.