'Peridot' comes from the ancient Greek which
translates roughly as "to give richness". Some controversy about this gemstone
exists today – if only in the pronunciation of the word "peridot". The first is
almost French-like in its inflection: 'pare – ee – doh'. The second is
more English sounding and somewhat more respectful of the final consonant: 'perry
– dot'. Either way, the peridot remains, as the ancient Egyptians referred to
it,' the gem of the sun'.
Specifically, the peridot is a variety of the
mineral 'olivine'. In Biblical times, as noted in Exodus, a variety of the
peridot known as chrysolite was said to be the stone which represented Simeon,
the second son of Jacob, on the Hoshen – or breast plate of Aaron.
Ranging in color from a yellow-green to
chartreuse, the most popular shade of the peridot is a vivid lime green with a
slightly gold cast – the gold color being due to traces of iron. Considering
that olivine is the source mineral, it's ironic that the ideal peridot should
have no 'olive' tones at all.
Peridot Jewelry Origins
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