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August Birthstone

August's birthstone, peridot, is a relatively inexpensive, beautiful gem with a pedigree dating back as far as early Egyptians. Among its accolades, peridot can count being a favorite among royals and clergy, used to adorn everything from a queen's crown to a knight's sword. Peridot jewels were actually among Cleopatra's beloved treasures, though she believed them to be emeralds, as gems were then classified solely by color. Prized for its all natural, unenhanced range of colors, peridot is the gem variety of olivine and exhibits colors ranging from golden lime greens to rich grass greens.

Peridot Polished
Peridot Classification
Common Name Peridot
Species Olivine
Peridot Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent
Refractive Index 1.654-1.690
Birefringence 0.035-0.038
Optic Character Biaxial
Optic Sign Positive or Negative
Polariscope Reaction Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert
LWUV: Inert
Pleochroism Dichroic, unobservable or weak, varying shades of body color
Peridot Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 6.5-7
Streak White
Specific Gravity 3.270-3.380 Range:0.04/-0.07 Typical:3.340
Toughness Varies
Inclusions Peridot is a type II clarity stone. Peridot might contain black octahedral chromite crystals. Stones might have liquid and gas inclusions that sometimes cause stress cracks that have a disk-like or "lily pad" appearance. Stones occasionally have mica flakes that give the stone a brownish hue. Stones from Pakistan often contain black ludwigite inclusions that have a hair or rod-like appearance.
Luster Vitreous
Stability Fair
Fracture Conchoidal
Cleavage Good, in two directions
Peridot Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name magnesium iron silicate
Chemical Formula (Mg,Fe)2SiO4
Crystal System Orthorhombic
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Peridot Colors

  • Green Peridot Green
  • Yellow Peridot Yellow

Alternate Names

Chrysolite, Hawaiite

Countries of Origin

Tanzania, United Republic Of; Myanmar; Afghanistan; Viet Nam; Egypt; Madagascar; Thailand; Mongolia; Mozambique; Pakistan; Korea (the Republic of); Unknown; Mali; China; Russian Federation (the); Brazil; Chile; Nepal; Colombia; United States of America (the); Sri Lanka; Kenya; India; Norway; Namibia; Mexico; Ethiopia; Indonesia


The August birthstone, peridot is sometimes called the "Evening Emerald". We believe that is misleading and does a disservice to this verdant stone. Although it's been mistaken for emerald, peridot is not an emerald (beryl); it's an olivine. Peridot's natural color - a luminous green with a touch of brilliant yellow - makes it very desirable. To add to its appeal, it's found in a wide variety of shades from the intense to the pastel. Peridot gets its color from iron. Peridot is found in lava, deep in the earth's mantle and occasionally, in meteorites that have fallen to earth. This affordable stone has a distinguished history. Peridots were among Cleopatra's treasures, although at that time they were mistaken for emeralds.


Avoid sudden temperature changes, harsh chemicals, and ultrasonic cleaners.

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More About Peridot

The ancient Greeks believed peridot bestowed regal grace upon its wearer. Certainly, many a king and queen have worn this remarkable green stone in crown jewels. The ancient Egyptians called it the "gem of the sun." In Hawaiian folklore, Peridot is said to symbolize the tears of Pele, goddess of volcanoes and fire. Gaze into a beautiful peridot... it's like seeing eternal spring. When you own peridot, you have your very own piece of endless springtime.

Peridot Gemstone

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Showcasing 200 gemstones in over 1,000 pages and accompanied by more than 2,000 photos, The Sisk Gemology Reference is a must-have in every collector’s library. Each comprehensive, three-volume set features state-of-the-art photography, detailed illustrations, and scientifically precise descriptions to create an entrancing experience for gemstone amateurs and afficionados alike.

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.