Peridot: August Birthstone Mysteries Revealed
Peridot is the gemstone that stands out among the rest not only for its fiercely bright green color but also for the many mysteries that surround it. One of the questions that I am asked most frequently about Peridot is, how is it pronounced? Here are a few things I discovered about the August Birthstone.
What is Peridot?
Peridot is a yellowish-green transparent variety of a mineral called Olivine, which belongs to the forsterite-fayalite mineral series. It is typically found in igneous or volcanic rock. Peridot is an idiochromatic gem and because of that, it is one of the few gemstones available that can be found only in one color. For more permutations on Olivine and minerals, I highly recommend visiting www.geology.com.
Where Does Peridot Come From?
Historically, peridot was mined by the ancient Egyptians in 1500 BC on the volcanic island of Zabangad on the Red Sea. It is still found there, but larger sources are found in Pakistan, Myanmar, China, Tanzania, and the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona.
How Is Peridot Pronounced?
There doesn't seem to be consensus on the word derivation of peridot. Some sources say that that is Old French "peritot" which means unclear, but cite origin unknown. Other sources point to the Arabic word "faridat" which means gem. My guess is the Old French is based on the Arabic word "faridat". Nevertheless, the preferred pronunciation is "Peri-DOE".
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