Peridot, a very old stone, is one of many gems that nowadays experience new glory. Researchers found Egyptian jewellery ornamented with peridot dating back to the 2 millennium BC. Peridot was a significant stone in ancient Egypt. Some historians even believe that the famous Cleopatra's emeralds were actually peridot. The oldest document on this stone dates from 1500 BC.
Interestingly, peridot like diamonds are formed in the Earth's mantle, and not in its crust like most precious stones. It is formed in magma in the upper mantle, at a depth of 20 to 55 miles and comes to the surface due to tectonic movement and volcanic activity of Earth.
In ancient times, the main site of peridot was Topazos, an island that is now known as the island of St. John or Zabargad. As Pliny the Elder records in his book, Natural History, the island was discovered during the 4th century AD. Peridot was initially considered the same as topaz, and only later was topaz given its own name, one that has remained unchanging. Peridot sites on the island Zabargad were exploited for nearly 4,000 years. Unfortunately, over a few centuries the location of this site was lost, but found again in 1905. On the eve of the Second World War peridot resources on this island were completely exhausted. Today, among the richest sites of this stone are in Arizona, New Mexico, Burma, Pakistan, Vietnam, and China.
Peridot, in the old days, was often used as a talisman, and has long been considered a mystical stone. It was believed to protect against anxiety and to facilitate the achievement of successful relationships and marriages. People in ancient times often wore peridot stone on the left shoulder or had it attached to the mane of a donkey to serve as protection from evil spirits (for themselves and the donkey). Also, it was believed that when held under the tongue, peridot could reduce thirst for people suffering of fever. This stone was used in the treatment of asthma as well. The book of Exodus mentions the peridot as one of the 12 stones that adorned the breastplate of high priests. Every stone represented one of 12 genera of Israel.
Peridot from Arizona was used in the jewellery of Native Americans and often has a yellowish or golden shade.
New resurrection of this charming stone happened at the end of last century, when it became a huge sensation in the exhibitions of precious and semi-precious stones. The reason for this is that in Pakistan, in a rather inaccessible ravine, at 4000m depth, rich deposits of peridot crystals were found, displaying unusually long crystal formations. Now, this whole Pakistan area is provided by Peridot excavation industry, mostly in the regios of Kaghan Valley, Sapat village and near by. Thus, the green stone was revived amongst lovers of jewellery and precious stones, as well as those who were engaged in their studies, presentations, or sales.
Peridot is difficult to craft. This stone is cut according to its crystal shapes and the artist must be extremely carefully because it can easily break. It is usually faceted and can be both circular and oval shapes, antique cut or octahedron. Sometimes the stone contains more inclusions and then processed en cabochon in order to revive the gentle glow of inclusion.
Thanks to its lovely shades of green, Peridot is used for a whole series of jewellery in the world of fashion, rediscovering its love of green colours. Rich deposits of this mineral from Pakistan and Afghanistan have enabled the huge offer in large markets. So peridot in its raw form has become affordable to a diverse range of customers who share a love of precious and semi-precious stones. Large and transparent stones of intense colours, of course, are still very rare and expensive. In particular, it should be noted that special quality peridot comes from Pakistan, and is sold as 'Kashmir peridots' with similar attractiveness and value as the famous sapphires from Kashmir. The creative design of the peridot and its beautiful rich green colour can enchant all lovers of jewellery, especially those who are attracted to, or are the inspiration of true beauty.
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