Peridot is the gemstone variety of the mineral olivine and a popular stone for jewelry, due to its beautiful olive-green color. Non gemstone varieties of olivine have been found in reddish or brownish shades as well, but the name “peridot” has come to be associated with only the gemstone grade olive-green specimens. The more yellowish the stone, the lesser it’s perceived value. It is of good hardness, with a score of 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale, which is similar to that of quartz. It is the traditional birthstone for the month of August.
Peridot or more specifically, olivine, is found in many locations throughout the world, but gem-quality specimens are quite rare. The main mining deposits of peridot today are located Southwestern USA, Minas Gerais (Brazil), Queensland (Australia), China, Egypt, Norway, Myanmar, and the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. A rather curious aspect of peridot – it has also been found in meteorites.
In history, peridot has always been highly prized for its beautiful yellow green color. The early Egyptians believed peridot to contain an inner light of the sun which protected against “night terrors”. It was often mistaken for emerald or other green gemstones throughout history, and today, experts believe Cleopatra’s emeralds were probably peridot. It’s recorded that around 300 BC, the Egyptians mined peridot from the island of Topazios in the Red Sea (now known as St John’s Island), after the pharaoh drove away the snakes that lived there.
As you might notice, the color of peridot itself is really soothing and warm, lending a great healing quality to this gemstone. It can be used to enhance and stimulate both the heart and solar plexus chakras, imparting insight into the inner causes of problems in one’s life, and helping one make the adjustments in order to improve.
Peridot has a defensive quality, and can provide for a protective shield around one’s aura, repelling negative energy from affecting one’s being. It is also able to improve the cycles of one’s life such as sleep cycles, emotional cycles, hormonal cycles, and intellectual cycles – in a similar fashion to moonstone.
For improving the overall health of the physical body, peridot is an excellent stone, and works well to strengthen the organs associated with the heart and solar plexus chakras, such as the heart, lungs, liver, digestive tract, and spleen. For the stomach in particular, peridot can help in providing some relief from stomach ulcers. It has been used in disorders of the vision, such as nearsightedness and astigmatism.
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