Peridot is the August birthstone. The stone is also known as Chrysolite. It is a variety of the mineral Olivine, which is Magnesium Iron Silicate. Peridots are found in nature only in one color which is characteristic of the stone. The color is yellowish green or golden green, and is caused by the presence of Iron 2.The hardness of the stone is 6.5 to 7.0 on the Mohr's Scale, which is equivalent to a medium hardness. Peridot forms orthorhombic crystals with two refractive indices and a fairly high birefringence, giving rise to double images when viewing through the crystal. The facet junctions and inclusions are strongly doubled when viewing the stone through its table.
Peridot is an ancient gemstone known to the Egyptians as far back as 2,000 years B.C. Most of the peridots at that time came from a volcanic island in the red sea, known as St. John's Island. Peridots were also known to the ancient Romans and was quite popular during the medieval period in Europe. After this period the stone had remained forgotten for a very long time, until interest in the stone was rekindled again in the 1990's.This was after a large and rich deposit of good quality peridots was discovered in Pakistan, in a mountainous terrain about,4,000 meters above sea level. The area was covered with snow during the winter period, and mining of the gemstones were possible only during summer time These peridots are sold as Kashmir peridots and are of very high quality with fine clear crystals and a rich green color.
Peridots are also found in Afghanistan, Myanmar (Burma), China, Australia, Africa, Brazil, and Arizona and New Mexico in the U.S.A. Peridots are usually smaller in size falling within the range of 5 to 15 carats, but larger peridots of around 50 carats have been found in Burma and in Pakistan peridots of more than 100 carats have been reported.
Peridot has been used in ancient times as a magic and healing stone and is believed to protect one from nightmares and grant power and influence to the wearer.
The word "Onyx" is of Greek origin, meaning nail or claws. It was believed that the gemstone onyx was created from the finger nails of the Greek Goddess Venus. Thus these gemstones were very popular
during the time of the Ancient Greeks and the Romans.
Onyx is a Chalcedony Quartz found in different colors in various parts of the world. The common colors in which onyx are found are white, dark brown, reddish brown and black. Usually two colors are combined together in the stone, such as black and white, or reddish brown and white.
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