Besides having a happy casual color, olivine is one of the most abundant minerals on earth and is the predominant rock in the upper layer of the earth’s mantle. Entire beaches in Hawaii are colored green from millions of volcanic peridot crystals that make up the sand. Even though most olivine isn’t suitable for faceting into gemstones, good quality material is still common enough to make peridot one of the nicest, most affordable natural gemstones around.
The sunny green gemstone made the ancient Egyptians so happy that they defended their mines on the viper-infested island of Zabargad by immediately sacking all trespassers (and they eventually sacked all of the snakes). The Crusaders later occupied the island and were so enchanted with the supposed emeralds found there that they carried large quantities back to Europe to decorate cathedrals and shrines. Many fine peridot gemstones from those times and those mines have survived and can be seen in museums and religious sites today.
Even though this cheerful stone feels like an earthly summer, it’s also found in meteorites, comets, on Mars, and the moon. In fact, extraterrestrial gemmy peridot may be common enough to outweigh all of the material here on earth, and peridot is the only gemstone from outer space that’s available for your personal adornment. Even if you choose an earthly specimen, you could find yourself thinking happy green summer thoughts all year round.
You can find more peridot jewelry by EtsyMetal members here.
-article written by Mary Anne Karren