Peridot is a lovely green gemstone. This special olive green has made it an ideal gemstone for claddagh rings. For hundreds of years a small island in the red sea has been mined for the the gemstone Peridot. From the port of Ras Banas in Egypt, small boats are still used to cross the thirty miles of shark infested water to reach the island. The beaches near the deposits are green with very small gemstones. This island is called Zabargad which is Arabic for olivine, the gemstone Peridot.
The most important quality of Peridot is the olive to lime green color. This fantastic green color has made this gemstone a popular choice in many of my pieces of celtic jewelry and claddagh rings. This characteristic color is caused by the presence of Iron. Most Peridot is made up of about 90% forsterite and 10% fayalite. The gemstone has good qualities with good durability and brilliance. The Egyptians fashioned peridot beads from around 1580 - 1350 BC.
In the third and fourth centuries in Greece and Rome the peridot gemstone was used for intaglios rings and pendants.
During the middle ages this gemstone was brought back to Europe by the crusaders and some of theses examples have been preserved in European cathedrals. During the Ottoman Empire Turkish sultans amassed the largest collection.
In the Topkapi museum in Istanbul you can see a gold throne encrusted with 955 peridot cabochons.
During the nineteenth century the peridot became popular in both Europe and the United States.
From the beginning of its history peridot was considered a symbol of the sun. Early Greek manuscripts describe peridot as bestowing royal dignity on its wearer.
The greener the color the higher the value. A tinge of brown lowers the price and flaws make the stone undesirable.
I am always careful when selecting this gemstone for my claddagh rings and it holds a place in many of my designs.
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