Legend has it that Peridot was Cleopatra’s favourite gemstone, and can
be found in Egyptian
jewellery from the early 2nd millennium B.C.
The stones used at that time came from a deposit on a small volcanic
island in the Red Sea,
some 45 miles off the Egyptian coast at Aswan.
Peridot is treasured in Hawaii
as the goddess Pele's tears and the ancient Romans adored its
radiant green, because it does not change in artificial light.
By the justified sinner via Flickr.com
Peridot is also found in Europe
in medieval, European churches, where it adorns many a treasure,
including the shrines in Cologne Cathedral.
Peridot is always green,
however that green can vary from yellow-green to olive to
brownish-green, the most valuable being dark, velvety-green which
shoots yellow light from its depths.
There is always an oil-like
sheen to the cut stone.
Extra-terrestrial Peridot crystals have been found in meteorites.
One such meteorite was offered for auction at Bonhams (British auction
house) in 2008 with a requested price of $3 million.
Peridot is also found embedded in lava.
Peridot yields in Mogok, Myanmar, Pakistan, Minas Gerais,
Brazil, Eifel, Germany, Chihuahua, Mexico, Ethiopia, Australia,
America, and Hawaii.
Peridot is the gem quality of a mineral called Olivine which itself
is composed of two minerals-fayolite and fosterite and natural crystals
are three unequal axes at right angles to each other (Orthorhombic).