A long time ago, when Pharaohs still ruled Egypt, there was a tiny island in the Red Sea that was home to the most beautiful gemstones in the world. These gems were so prized by Egypt’s rulers that they set guards upon the island – none may arrive there or leave again without official approval. Any who dared trespass were put to death. The island’s inhabitants were put to work mining, both day and night, for legend says these precious stones were so radiant you didn’t need sunlight to find them. The island was called Topazo Island then; today we call it St. John’s. And the gemstones in question are the lovely yellow-green stone we know as peridot.
Peridot is August’s birthstone. It’s also the traditional gift for the 16th wedding anniversary. Peridot ranges in color from a very yellow-green to an almost olive shade. It’s a hard stone that wears well, and looks stunning set in yellow or white gold.
The peridot mines on St. John’s Island were lost to mankind for many generations, before they were rediscovered in the early 1900’s. In the interval, peridot deposits were discovered in many places around the world, including Australia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Vietnam. There are significant pockets of peridot in the United States, most notably in Arizona and Hawaii. In Hawaii, peridot is sometimes referred to as Pele’s Tears, as peridot are found deep in volcanic soil. Hebei Peridot, which is known for its very bright lime green hue, comes from China.
Wearing peridot is said to give strength and determination. Legend also has it that wearing peridot is a good way to prevent nightmares. Those who have tested this theory by falling asleep with peridot jewelry on have reported easy slumber, but that’s not a scientific study, and as Orange County’s favorite jewelry store, The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest team would recommend not wearing your jewelry to bed!
Shopping for an August birthday gift? We have some nice pieces of peridot jewelry in stock, including some really lovely earrings that have great life and brilliance. Many pieces are one of a kind, so make sure to get your shopping done early to avoid disappointment!