Peridot, the wonderful green gem we all know and love, has been treasured all the way back to the ancient times. It was first mined by Ancient Egyptians on an island located in the Red Sea, which is now called St. John Island. Ancient Egyptians cherished this gemstone so much, they kept the island a secret for as long as they could. They knew they had something special when it came to Peridot. Over 3000 years ago, it was believed that this stone was invisible in sunlight. Early minors were convinced that Peridot absorbed the sun rays during the day and release them at night, believing that this gem could glow in the dark. They referred to it as an 'evening Emerald'. For these reasons, miners would wait until nighttime to look for them.
Peridot is one of the few gemstones that is found in only one color. It is an idiochromatic gem, meaning that instead of getting its color from other impurities, it gets its natural color from the basic chemical structure within itself. Peridot is a Silicate material which contains both Iron and Magnesium, the amounts vary slightly from gem to gem, causing a variety of shades. The intensity of the green depends on the amount of iron in the chemical structure, the more iron, the deeper the green. Darker Peridots tend to be more valuable than lighter greens. Today, the most desired color is a deep olive color with a yellowish tint.
Peridot in its basic form is called Olivine, which often occurs on volcanic rocks. Peridot forms in extreme heat, just like diamonds. Most gemstones are formed in the Earth's crust, Peridot on the other hand, is found much deeper in the Mantel region. This fascinating gemstone has been found on Meteorites, Mars and even the Moon! Today, Peridot is found in Myanmar, Pakistan, & the Himalayas. It has also been found in Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and North Carolina.
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