Peridot is a gem-quality olivine, and its name is thought to have been derived from the Arabic word ‘faridat’ meaning gem. Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color: an olive-green. The intensity and tint of the green, however, depends on the percentage of iron that is contained in the crystal structure, so the color of individual peridot gems can vary from yellow, to olive, to brownish-green.
Peridot sometimes also occurs in lava flows and even in meteorites. It is sometimes mistaken for emeralds and other green gems. Peridot olivine is the birthstone for the month of August. In ancient times, peridot stones were used in talismans, with the ancient Egyptians revering it as ‘Gem of the Sun’. Traditionally it is thought to have properties beneficial to the digestive system (liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen), as well as for warding off negative or depressive thoughts.