Peridot is said to host magical powers and healing properties to protect against nightmares and to bring the wearer power, influence, and a wonderful year. Peridot is a gemstone that forms deep inside the Earth and brought to the surface by volcanoes. In Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes. Today, most of the peridot supply comes from Arizona as well as China, Myanmar, and Pakistan.
Looking at the popularity and profusion of peridot as August’ Birthstone it’s hard to believe that for almost 2,000 years the original source of this lovely summer gem was lost in the mists of history.
In fact, the ancient Egyptians mined peridot on the Red Sea Island called Topazios, or Zabargad. Legend has it that the island was infested with snakes, making mining unpleasant until an enterprising pharaoh drove them into the sea.of Zabargad. Today it is called the Isle of Saint John, which was literally lost in banks of fog off the coast of Egypt until the early 1900s, and makes the yellowish green peridot from the island so rare as to become almost legendary. The Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun.” Some believed that it protected its owner from “terrors of the night,” especially when it was set in gold. Others strung the gems on donkey hair and tied them around their left arms to ward off evil spirits.
Medieval alchemists used peridot in amulets to protect the wearer from demons, but by Renaissance times, peridot had become a love stone, worn to attract romance.
Eastern mystics recommended peridot to stimulate tissue regeneration. More common uses for peridot were to attract wealth and prosperity, or to ward off stress.
In this century, peridot has become the August Birthstone, the 15th anniversary gem, and the zodiac stone for Leo. It has also been alleged to encourage a positive emotional outlook on life, to prevent fear or guilt, and to help develop patience.
The good news for peridot lovers is that new American sources for peridot in gorgeous clear yellowish green colors have made peridot both more available and lovelier than ever. Peridot takes a great polish, and it’s easy to match colors in the smaller stones for bracelets, necklace and earrings.