Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August. It is also the stone given to celebrate the sixteenth year of marriage. Peridots are clear with a distinct oily luster and their colour is often described as yellow-green, green with a golden tone, olive or bottle green, deep chartreuse, or just an excellent light green. The stone is one of a number of gems that aren't routinely treated and therefore the richness of its colour is often exceptional and completely natural.
Peridot isn't solely formed here on earth, but has also arrived to Earth from outer space! Many different gems have been found in meteorites, but peridot is the only gem that has been found in large enough sizes to create jewellery from.
In 1749, a meteor landed in a desolate area of Siberia. It had been found to contain several pieces of peridot crystals large enough to be set into jewellery. Nowadays most of the peridot mined comes from China, Pakistan and Arizona. Two of the best peridot collections in the world can be found at the Field Museum in Chicago, and also the Museum of Natural History in New York.
Here is a selection of some of the best peridot jewellery at Grays:
|1950s Flower basket brooch. 18ct gold set with sapphire, amethyst, peridot, aquamarine and diamond. Available from The Antique Jewellery Company|
|Citrine Art Deco 18k Yellow Gold Ring with Aquamarine and Peridot, available from Leila in the Mews|
|1930s Peridot Dress Ring, available from Westminster Group|
|Edwardian Peridot Diamond Ring, available from Sylvia Williams|
|Victorian Peridot & Ruby Bracelet, available from Alfred Toro|