What is Peridot
Olivine has a Mohs hardness of 6.5 to 7 with brittle structure, it is a kind of Nesosilicate with magnesium and iron elements. Olivine is a common mineral on earth, there are even records about discovering Olivine in meteorites, however, it weathers quickly that not many Olivines have nice enough quality for making jewelries. Differ from other gems, Olivine has only one color which is green, and based on the quantity of iron element it contains, the color varies from yellow-green to green-brown. Since the color of Olivine that contains more magnesium element is better than that contains more iron elements, people use Forsterite, a kind of Olivine that contains more magnesium, to make beautiful jewelries. People use a special word: Peridot, to indicate the Olivine that has the quality to be a gemstone.
History and Legend of Peridot
- Egyptians were mining Peridot on Topazios island located on Red Sea, which is known as St. John's Island now, but there were lots of poisonous snakes on the island that caused the miners a big problem from working. Finally a powerful Pharaoh appeared and drove all the snakes to the sea so miners could dug out lots of Peridots. At that time, Peridot was thought to be Topaz by mistake and was then defined to be different kinds of gems and gave it the name Olivine and Peridot. Today, Egyptian view Peridot as their country stone, and St. John's Island still produce Peridot.
- People in Hawaii view Peridot as the tears of their volcano goddess, Pele. The reason may because they often find small peridots like tears in the rocks around volcanos.
- In legends, people who wear jewelries with gold inlaid with Peridot will never have nightmares or feel fear.
Application of Peridot
Forsterite has a high melting point, therefore, people not merely view it as a beautiful gem but also use it as a kind of fireproof material, some raw material of fireproof bricks is Forsterite. In addition, low electric conductivity is another property of Forsterite that has been praised for. Many electronic companies in Western countries use Forsterite on circuit board making process.
Origin of Peridot
Brazil, Egypt and Myanmar are main origins of Peridot. The largest Peridot today was found in St. John's Island and is exhibit in Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, America.