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Peridot (olivine): description, properties, and photo

Peridot (olivine)

Peridot is a gem variety of the olivine mineral. The meaning of the word “peridot” may have originally come from the arabic “faridat” – a gem. The name “olivine” was given from the latin “olive” – ​​an olive whose color resembles the color of this mineral. In nature that mineral is usually found in the form of grains, less often in the form of crystals.

Peridot (olivine)

Peridot description and characteristic of the color: olive, yellowish-green, pistachio, golden. The color “dark green Chartreuse” is considered to be the most beautiful color – it is similar to the color of the Chartreuse liqueur of the same name, the hue of which is due to the infusion of 130 herbs included in its composition. It is necessary to take into account the property when, with different types of lighting, a yellow tint in a stone can manifest itself to a different degree. Yellow tint in the color is not valuable. The rough mineral is found in the form of grains or crystals. Faceted samples weighing more than 10 carats with good clarity and color can already be classified as rare. Olivine is mined in Burma (Myanmar), the USA, Pakistan, China and in other countries.


Deposits of gem grade peridot are located in various parts of the world. At jewelry mass market they typically use small samples from a deposit in Hubei Province (China). They are characterized by a strong yellowish tint. Higher quality is characteristic of crystals being mined in a field in northwestern Pakistan; in Myanmar (Burma), in the Mogok region; and in the USA, in the states of New Mexico and Arizona. They are known in Sri Lanka. On the spanish Tenerife island the mineral is sold to tourists in the form of collection samples, as well as beads and in the cabochon forms.

Peridot mineral




Chemical formula:

(Mg, Fe) SiO4

Crystal Systems:


Mohs scale hardness:


Optical character:



imperfect in one direction


3.34 (+0.14; -0.07) g / cm3



Refractive index:

1.654 - 1.690 (± 0.020)






yellowish green, brownish green

Interesting facts

  • Olivines were also found at great depths, in the rocks of the upper mantle of the Earth.
  • Peridots adorn the golden salary of the famous icon of Andrei Rublev “Trinity”, located in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.
  • Peridots were also found in rare iron-stone meteorites, pallasites, whose age exceeds the age of the Earth - 4.5 billion years.
Peridot mineral


Peridots have been known since ancient times. One of the most famous representatives of the gem is the legendary Emerald of Nero, which is stored in the Vatican. The properties of the stone were little studied, and peridots then did not distinguish from more expensive emeralds. The source of peridots then served as a deposit on the island of Zeberget in the Red Sea, which was developed 3,500 years BC. Peridot was used to decorate the salaries of icons in Europe during the Middle Ages. A special interest in this stone broke out during the Baroque period. Then it was very popular in Paris in the 60s of the 19th century.


The properties of peridot are such that various treatment methods have virtually no effect on the appearance of these stones. In very rare cases, they can be soaked with wax or oiled.

Peridot (olivine)


large green peridot with saturated color

Photo of large green peridot with saturated color, high-quality cut and excellent clarity (17.12 carats)

gem quality rough peridot

Photo: gem quality rough peridot.

the color of peridot

On the photo: the color of peridot in a large samples lot (origin - Pakistan)

peridot stone from Pakistan

Photo of peridot stone - a unique large sample from Pakistan.

green peridot Burma

Photo of large saturated green peridot (50+ carats). Origin - Burma

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