Peridot, also known as the "extreme gem" by the GIA itself, is an apropos birthstone for anyone born under the intense August sun. One of the oldest gemstones, it comes from the volcanic island of Zabargad (currently St. John) off the eastern coast of Egypt and was discovered around 1500 B.C. This gem forms in the hot magma deep beneath the Earth's mantle and only surfaces during volcanic activity. When Hawaii's Kilauea volcano was erupting for over a month during this past summer, people found the olivine crystals "raining" from the sky. Much like a Leo, the peridot is literally born of fire and made present by eruption. The “true topaz” of the Bible, peridot is now found mostly in Egypt, Myanmar, Norway, and even right here in Arizona and New Mexico along the Navajo reservation.
Watch how peridot is forged in volcanic fire:
©Gemological Institute of America
The serenely olive-colored gemstone is a common go-to in terms of crystal healing, as it associated with the Anahata – or heart – chakra. Along with the emerald, the peridot aids in restoring balance to our 4th chakra, fostering security, prosperity, and abundance - as well as unconditional love, joy, and physical health - in all matters of the heart and lungs, particularly during hardships such as divorce. Such close ties to the heart make the “Hawaiian diamond” a perfect alternative engagement ring gemstone! Additionally, peridot’s extraterrestrial origins in pallasite meteorites likely explain the ancient civilizations’ obsessions with August’s transformative gemstone, as they considered it a gift from the sun to protect them in (and from) darkness.
Wear And (Peridon't!) Tear:
Peridot jewelry will also splash your wardrobe with a charming amount color: these gems receive their light green color from the amount of ferrous iron within the gem and may also have a more intense vibrancy to them depending on the amount of chromium they possess. With a Mohs hardness of 6.5 - 7, they demand extra caution and care, as they will chip easily if hit against any hard surface. These gems also have sensitivity to acid and should only be worn directly against the skin occasionally. In most cases, it is recommended that you avoid cleaning peridots using ultrasonic or steam-cleaning technology due to the extreme, sudden changes in temperature; instead, use warm, soapy water.