Tuesday, July 31, 2012

August Birthstone is Peridot


With August being here I thought I would talk about the August Birthstone which is Peridot.

Peridot is a beautiful pea green stone that sometimes gets confused with my May birthstone of Emerald.

Peridot is a very old gem stone that was even found to be in ancient Egyptian and roman jewelry. They called Peridot the “Gem of the sun” Cleopatra was known to wear emerald jewelry and now it is said that many of those emeralds were in fact peridot.

Peridot stones from Egyptian era came from a mine on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea. This mine has been exhausted for some time now. In 1994, an exciting new deposit of peridot was discovered in Pakistan, and these stones are among the finest ever seen. The new mine is located 15,000 feet above sea level in the Nanga Parbat region in the far west of the Himalayan Mountains in the Pakistani part of Kashmir. Beautiful large crystals of peridot were found, some that cut magnificent large gemstones. One stone was more than 300 carats! You can also find Peridot mined in Arizona, Mexico, Oregon, Norway, Russia and Sri Lanka.

Peridot is a relatively soft stone, rating a 6.5 to 7 on the hardness scale, making it a little softer than amethyst or emerald. Peridot should be spared rugged wearing if mounted in rings. The stone is also highly sensitive to rapid temperature changes.

How to clean your Peridot jewelry: Do not us an ultrasonic cleaner for your Peridot jewelry. Mix warm (barely above room temp) water with mild liquid dishwashing soap in a small dish place your jewelry and let it set for a few minutes. You can use a soft tooth brush to get those hard to reach spots but be very gentle. Rinse them thoroughly in clean warm (barely above room temp) water than dry it off with a soft cloth. Then stand back and look at them shine.

To keep your peridot jewelry looking beautiful for years to come you will need to protect them. Do not wear them every day especially while doing household chores. Wrap them in tissue or a soft cloth when kept in your jewelry box so that they do not get scratched from other jewelry.

Throughout August I will be posting Peridot and Peridot colored jewelry I create. Please enjoy.