Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Pleased as Peridot

A sizzling summer stone, the birthstone for August is none other than peridot! These delightful gems are best known for their “olive complexion,” which can be attributed to the fact that they all come from the mineral ‘olivine!’ Peridots are also known to be one of the only gemstones that appear in only one color…in this case, a bright green (though shades can range from brownish-green to the much more common yellow-green.) The most valuable shade is a rich, ‘freshly-mown grass’ shade of green, appropriate for their summery birthstone month!

Eve Alfille’s “Water Nymphs” bracelet: sterling silver, peridot & freshwater pearls. Photo credit: Matt Arden.

The peridot comes from a couple of hot sources, ranging all the way from lava erupting from the bed of the sea, to burning meteorites that have crashed into the Earth from space! Unfortunately, not many celestial peridots make the ‘cut’ for use in jewelry.

Throughout history, these gems have always been a favorite for those with an eye for gems. Unfortunately for Cleopatra, the Cologne Cathedral, and a few others, many of the famous “emerald” collections of antiquity were actually probably peridots as well! The stone has also been associated with the sun since ancient times, continuing the gem’s association with heavenly bodies!

Famous peridot tiara of the Austrian Archduchess Isabelle

The Egyptians, who referred to the peridot as “the gem of the sun” preferred to capture their wild peridot specimens on an island in the Red Sea that has gone by the names Topazios, St. John’s Island, and Zabargad, and legend has it that all of the snakes were driven from it by the Pharoh at the time…possibly a previous incarnation of St. Patrick!

Make sure that you don’t forget to get your fill of the “other” sun stone this summer! We’d be more than happy to help you find your perfect match right here at Eve’s, but hurry…you’ve only got one month to celebrate this beautiful birthstone…waiting too long would be a big peri-don’t!

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