Originating around 1500 BC, peridot was a significant gemstone in ancient Egyptian and has a story that fascinates historians. The latter often confuse it with Cleopatra’s famous emerald jewellery. Originally falsely named topaz it was only much later that the topaz we know of today found its identity. For Egyptians, peridot or ‘sun stone’ as they called it, has always belonged to the mystical world and its fascinating lustre is often associated with light. Its illumination helps it to be found and marked by miners during the night who then extract the stone the following day. Appreciated in Greek jewellery and owned primarily by Ottoman Sultans, this stone was also preciously guarded by Pharaoh’s soldiers, swiftly executing those who try to steal it.
Primarily discovered in antiquity on the island of Topazos in the middle of the Red Sea (today called Zabargad or St. John’s island) bears a special history that is told in the natural history book of Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD). It was reportedly first found in the 4th century BC. Zabargad island mysteriously disappeared from explorers’ maps for several decades and was rediscovered in 1905. The first in-depth search for peridot stone then began for the first time in more than 3500 years.
Appreciated by many cultures, peridot represents the tears of the goddess Pelé for Hawaiians and is described in the Bible as one to the twelve gemstones of Aaron’s breastplate which represent the twelve tribes of Israel. It was also used for the foundation of the Walls of Jerusalem. Additionally, the stone finds its place in the decoration of churches at the end of the Crusades such as the large peridot that adorns the shrine of the three Kings in Cologne Cathedral.
The Second World War saw the end of Peridot stone’s extraction on Zabargad Island giving way to five primary deposits: Myanmar, Pakistan, Arizona, and New Mexico in the United States, China and Vietnam.
Beyond eight carats, peridot stone is detained by collectors or museums. This is why the finest assortments of peridots are on display in American museums in New York and Chicago. The Smithsonian Institute in Washington also stands out for its precious mineral valued at 310 carats.
Its etymology is unclear though assumptions suggest that its name either comes from the Arabic ‘faridat’ to refer to the gemstone and pearl or it is rooted in the Latin word ‘paederos’, itself derived from Greek and referring to an amethyst or opal. Pliny the Elder described it as a green and transparent stone, with captivating beauty worthy of its beautiful name. Peridot is an exceptional cluster of magnesium, iron and silica, creating a jewel of stunning green that is due to its high nickel or chromium content.
Their beauty and rarity allow these idiochromatic stones to adorn many jewels, enriching them with a fabulous range of colours: from light olive to its most intense variety.
Mentally, peridot stone improves self-confidence, reducing stress and giving way to mental fortitude by removing past guilt. The energy contained in this beautiful jewel makes it an important stone for spirituality. It is attributed mystical powers of reducing sadness and various ailments, but it also brings good fortune and bliss to the possessor.
Protecting from nightmares, warding off evil and curses, mitigating excess body heat or throat disorders, it is also responsible for marital and relational success and a plethora of other beliefs for which it is associated. For its virtues to work, the jewel is worn on the wrist, held under the tongue to activate its chemical virtues or placed on gold. It offers foresight and purity to its wearer by reaching extrasensory points such as the 3rd eye. It can also help you to overcome low-moral or excessive fear. Wearing peridot vanquishes resentment, nervousness and jealousy. It dispels evils and darkness of the heart, giving way to beauty and purity thanks to its green brilliance.
Peridot beautifies the skin by reaching the heart and solar plexus chakras (where vital energy is concentrated) and removing toxins. As a result, the body regains vitality and tonicity. Gently pressed on a sore stomach, it regulates the liver, intestines and the gallbladder and eliminates problems related to poor blood circulation.
When dissolved in water, peridot helps with skin disorders. It also eliminates fat when used for massages, and helps us to accept our bodies as they are. Used by women during stages of childbirth, this gem increases contractions to make them more effective and alleviate the resulting pain. It also brings a boost of energy and ensures optimal health.
It works on the heart, on blood circulation and improves sleep. It is also a useful aid in the case of inflammation. More broadly, it reduces the pain from insect bites and various skin problems. By facilitating smooth digestion, it ensures you will be able to enjoy your day. Alternatively, olivine is a more accessible gemstone as it is cheaper and has the same advantages as peridot stone.
Peridot is a beauty stone which may be surprising given its history and origin. Found on the island of Zabargad, on the Egyptian side of the Red Sea, this gem is characterised by inclusions of a wide range of colours from yellow green to darker shades. To purify it, simply immerse peridot in salty distilled water and expose it to the sun on a quartz cluster. The mineral will then recharge its energy so it can work on the body and mind effectively.
Indeed, peridot is reputed to have many physical and psychological benefits. By alleviating heartache and excessive thinking of the user, it promotes self-esteem and optimal health for a long, happy life. This gem will never leave you after you’ve enjoyed it’s beneficial effects on the often neglected body and mind. Its history deserves to be heard and shared to sustain its mystical value.