by Suzanne Sachs • 5 min read
THE BASICS --
Peridot is the August birthstone, but whether you were born or in August or not, a eridot makes a striking and exciting engagement ring. Peridot’s rich green is enticing, geologically, it’s an extreme stone, and it full of romantic and historic symbolism. This guide describes just some of the reasons that a peridot ring is the perfect choice.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW--
What is Peridot?
Peridot is a gemstone-quality variation of the mineral olivine. The presence of iron and magnesium contribute to its captivating yellow-green hue. For a sunny green gem, it’s hard to beat the yellow-green tones of peridot, the traditional birthstone of August and 16th wedding anniversary.
Benefits of a Peridot Ring
• Beautiful and Elegant
Peridot is always green, but the shade and tone of the green depend on how much iron is present in the stone. Whatever your favorite shade of earthy green is, from light yellow-green to olive to a rich forest green, you'll be able to find a vintage peridot ring in that color.
• Extreme Gemstone
Most peridot comes from lava, and some, rarer, peridot comes from meteorites. Geologically, this makes a vintage peridot engagement ring an exciting choice. Peridot is one of the few stones that occurs in the Earth's mantle rather than the crust. The crust is the outermost layer, with the mantle underneath the crust, so peridots come from deeper within the Earth than most gems. The only other gemstone to come from the Earth's mantle is the diamond. Typically, peridot comes to the surface during a volcanic eruption or an earthquake.
• Cleopatra’s Famous Emeralds Were Likely Peridots
Cleopatra’s “emerald” mines were one of Egypt's most valued treasures. Her collection of jewelry was famous throughout the ancient world. When the Roman Empire finally conquered Egypt, Cleopatra’s jewelry collection, including her fabulous “emeralds,” were one of the very first things that the Romans seized. This was not only because of their monetary value but because of their legendary status. However, based on descriptions of the mines, and other historical details, it seems likely that her emeralds were in fact peridots. This will give your vintage peridot engagement ring some additional historic glamour. Additionally, for centuries, people thought that the gorgeous and huge 200 carat stones on the Shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany's Cologne Cathedral were emeralds. Instead, these stunning stones are peridot.
• Happiness and Prosperity
Peridot is associated with the Sun, which connects it symbolically to life and happiness. In addition, the rich green color of peridot is both mysterious and tranquil. Peridot is also supposed to provide protection from evil spirits and from ghosts and other creatures of the night, perhaps because of this association with the Sun.
In Hawaiian lore, peridots are believed to be gifts from the goddess Pele. They are one of the few gemstones naturally found in Hawaii. Peridot also displays what's called double refraction. This means that when you look at a facet in a peridot, you see two lines instead of one. This makes a peridot engagement ring especially meaningful for its romantic symbolism of seeing two in one.
Despite their glamour and fascinating origin, peridots are surprisingly affordable, even in larger sizes. This makes peridot a practical as well as a romantic choice for an engagement ring. Peridot is also a fairly sturdy stone, so you can wear it every day. However, exposure to acid can damage the color, so avoid using acids for cleaning while wearing your peridot engagement ring and wash it if it's exposed to any kind of acid, including lemon juice or wine.
Beautiful, with an extreme history, and fascinating lore, a peridot engagement ring is a romantic and surprisingly affordable choice. Find the peridot engagement ring of your dreams today!