The birthstone of August has a delicate springtime-green colour that is unique in the gem world, and its chemistry ensures that this gemstone only occurs in this particular hue, without the current enhancement techniques used by man to beautify gemstones.
Originally mined only on an obscure island off the coast of Egypt, peridot can also be found in Arizona, on a small Indian reservation. This is most fortunate because in early days, the mining was extremely dangerous as the island was snake infested. To make matters worse, peridot was generally unearthed at night only when its colour made it easily seen against the surrounding rock material. Undoubtedly, this contributed to its rarity and corresponding expense!
Considered a powerful amulet against evil, the gem itself is vulnerable to hard blows and excessive scratching. Peridot should be given a little extra care although it can be worn every day.
* image courtesy the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA)