The History and Symbolism of Peridot: A Gemstone for August
Peridot is a variety of olivine. It is part of the orthorhombic crystal system and has a vitreous luster. Peridot is rich in magnesium and has an iron content that gives the gem its green coloring. The shades of Peridot range from yellow-green to olive green and dark green. The meaning of Peridot is purpose and focus.
The peridot has become the gem most often associated with those born in the final full month of summer, but sardonyx was the traditional birthstone for August. Even more recently, spinel was been added to the list of August birthstones.
Peridot was considered to be a gem of spring, a symbol of the sun worn for luck and success. [Kunz, 326][Mella, 95][Simmons, 298] It was assigned to the planet Jupiter, and today is the traditional gift given on the occasion of a 16th wedding anniversary. [www.gemselect.com][Hall, 45][www.peridot.com]
If you were to enter a room and hear others talking about a vibrant green stone, you would be forgiven for believing that they were speaking about the emerald. Peridot, after all, is also commonly called the "Poor Man's Emerald" or the "Evening Emerald". However, these names prove a great injustice to the peridot stone.
Peridot has its own unique qualities that make it stand out from other green gemstones. While it does have similar properties to the emerald, they are not interchangeable. With its own special properties and spiritual meanings, peridot deserves its own name and identity.