Peridot is the gemstone variety of the mineral called olivine.

Peridot is one of the few gemstones to come in only one color: green. However, depending on its iron content, peridot’s green color may range from a light yellow green to a brownish golden green.


Peridot’s Many, Many Names

Peridot was the most misunderstood gemstone in history. Not only did peridot have many names, but it was also confused with many other gemstones.

Persian Zeberget

Peridot was mined in Persia for over 2,000 years, and an ancient source of peridot was on an island in the Red Sea called the Isle of St. John, which was originally called Zeberget. Thus, the ancient Persians named peridot zeberget, for its place of origin.

Arabic Faridat

Some believe, however, that peridot may derive its name from the Arabic word faridat, meaning "gem".

Greek Chrysolite

Peridot is also called chrysolite, from the Greek for "gold stone.”

French Peritot

Adding to the confusion, many ancient people called peridot "topaz." Medieval Crusaders brought peridot to Europe, where it was known as topaz until the 18th century when the French began referring to the stone as peritot.

Egyptian Emerald

Peridot was mined in Egypt for over 3,500 years, and the “emeralds” worn by Cleopatra were actually peridot.

Yellow Citrine

The Persian name for yellow citrine was zeberget Hindi or “Indian peridot.”

Mining Peridot Today

Today, Arizona's San Carlos Indian Reservation is the world's most commercially important producer.


Gem of the Sun

Having always been associated with light, ancient Egyptians called peridot the "gem of the sun".

Protection from Evil

Believed to ward off night terrors, ancient Persians strung the gem on donkey hair and tied it around the left arm for protection from evil spirits.

Emerald of the Evening

The Romans called peridot the "emerald of the evening", since, unlike many gemstones, its color does not change, even in artificial light.

An Aid to Miners

Peridot is also said to emit a soft humming sound and glow in proximity to buried treasure. Miners have been known to search for peridot at nighttime, when the stone may glow under the moonlight. 


Birthstone, modern: August
Birthstone, pre-1900: September
Birthstone, pre-1900, Arabic: September
Birthstone, pre-1900, Italian: September
Birthstone, pre-1900, Jewish: September
Birthstone, pre-1900, Russian: September

Season: Spring and autumn

Wedding anniversary, traditional: 16th

Angel: Verchiel

Star: Tortoise 8º of Capricorn

Planet: Mercury and Venus

Zodiac: Libra

See also

citrine, emerald and topaz

faceted peridot beads

natural peridot in situ

faceted peridot

four emerald cut peridots

tumbled peridot pebbles

faceted peridot

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