Published June 2015 • Updated July 2022 • Read Time: 8 minutes
Peridot is the gemmy version of Olivine. It is a tiny crystal that rarely grow more than a few carats in size, often the size of grain of sand. The best examples are a cheerful lime green, the color due to the presence of magnesium replacing iron on an atomic level. Peridot is found in many igneous rocks, but only a few locations have large enough crystals to be worth mining. One such localities is in Arizona, on the Apache Tribe Reservation, where the crystals are mined by hand. Peridot has a playful and rambunctious energy. It encourage us to stay young-at-heart and to be on the lookout for all the good luck that is coming our way.
Peridot is one for great stones of abundance helping us to recognize, honor and embrace abundance in our own lives. This can include material wealth, but also spiritual wealth. It is a stone that helps to break down barriers within us, barriers which prevent us from reaching our full potential. With Peridot’s aid, we become happier, healthier, and increasingly wise. Peridot can also help us to attune with other realms, such as Fairy, and to become better attuned to the animal and plant kingdoms.
Solar Plexus and Heart
5, 6, and 7
Leo, Virgo, Scorpio and Sagittarius
Emotional Healing Properties
Peridot is a joyful stone which reminds us that our inner child needs to play and receive. Many of us are good at giving our love and time away freely, but struggle to receive. Peridot teaches us that we are meant to receive as well! It reminds us that we are worthy of receiving and should be showered with gifts from the universe. When we accept this idea, it changes the way we look at the world and interact with it. Our actions, in turn, dramatically change how the world responds to us. When we live like we deserve to be happy, we end up very happy indeed!
Mental Healing Properties
Peridot helps us explore new ideas and be more social. It helps to attract and keep friends and colleagues who can help us move forward on our life path. Peridot encourages us to be gracious, open-minded and open-hearted, and willing to try something new. It is particularly helpful for scientists who are feeling “stuck” and need to see things from a different angle. Peridot’s playful energy makes it easier to collaborate with others, and helps to keep egos in check.
Physical Healing Properties
Peridot is most commonly used by metaphysical healers to treat depression and anxiety. It is also believed to be a helpful tonic, when used in elixirs, to help strengthen and heal the body in general, and the heart and blood in particular. It has been used to relieve ulcers and stomach pain, and to ease the pain of childbirth. It is also said to be helpful for treating chemical addictions.
Peridot is the gem variety of Olivine. While common Olivine is widespread, appearing as a major component in the Earth’s crust, Peridot, by contrast, is a semi-precious stone found mainly in Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Myanmar, Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, and the United States.
Mining and Treatments
Common Olivine is found in many types of igneous rocks and as such is mined at its primary location worldwide. Peridots are occasionally found as secondary gemstones.
All Peridots on the market may be considered fully natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, and polishing. They are one of the few precious or semi-precious gemstones that this is true of. Most Peridots are tiny, with very few large specimens ever discovered.
Peridot is the gem variety of Olivine, which is a nesosilicate mineral. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a silicon atom in the center and oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals. Kynite belongs to the nesosilicates group, in which the Silicate tetrahedra are not directly attached to each other.
Olivine is one of the major components in the Earth’s crust, and has been found on both lunar rocks and meteorites. It is likely one of the most abundant minerals in the solar system! Olivine is created when liquid magma from a volcanic explosion cools down and transforms into igneous rock. During this cooling down period, silica acid bubbles shift from being a gas/liquid into a solid compound. The bubble becomes a hollow space in the igneous rock and the silica acid becomes various silicate minerals. Because Olivine has a low silicate content, it is typically one of the first minerals to crystallize in igneous rocks. Most Olivine is opaque, but especially fine pieces may be transparent or translucent. If the piece is green or lime green, it is called Peridot. If the piece is yellow or yellow-green, it may be called Chrysolite.
Peridot’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment. Try it in combination with Obsidian
Green, yellow, brown
Tabular, massive, granular
Hardness – Mohs Scale
History of Peridot
Peridot has one of the oldest and most detailed historical traditions of any healing stone. It is included in virtually every known lapidary, texts which describe gemstones and their powers. Some of the most ancient traditions concerning Peridot date back to the very dawn of human civilization and probably originated long before that! Peridot’s name most likely comes from the Arabic word faridat or “gem.” However it may come from the Greek word peridona which means to “give plenty”
Over the centuries, Peridot has been called by a variety of names, including: Olivine, Chrysolite, Evening Emerald, Forsterite, and Peridotite – which has understandably caused some confusion over the years. From a modern scientific perspective, Forsterite is the most accurate name. Olivine is essentially green Forsterite, and Peridot is the gemmy version. Peridotite is a stone that is olivine-rich and may contain tiny Peridots smaller than a grain of sand. Chrysolite is an older name sometimes found in ancient lapidaries. It seems to referred to a variety of light green stones including Peridot and Prehnite. By contrast, a name like Evening Emerald is a purely commercial name that was used to try to sell more Peridot. It was used in the 20th century, but has since fallen out of favor. For the purpose of most collectors and those interested in crystal healing, the name Peridot is the most useful.
Peridot was mentioned by Pliny the Elder (CE 23-79), a Roman author, naturalist and philosopher, in his lapidary, The Natural History of Precious Gemstones. He uses the name “Chrysolite” as well as “Topazius” and references an island in the Red Sea where it is commonly found. This island, Zagbargad (known in the English-speaking world as St. John’s Island) has been produced beautiful Peridots for at least 2500 years! Zagbargad was called “Topazos” during the Roman Era. Centuries earlier, Zagbargad, was called “Serpent Island.” However, the very oldest reference to the island and its beautiful gemstones dates back to 1500 BCE. Ancient papyri records document mining on the island, the stones destined for the Pharaoh’s treasury. According to legend, the inhabitants of the island would wander by night, looking for a radiant glow in the darkness. Once the glow was spotted, the place would be marked and mined the next day for the precious mineral. Peridots are still found on the island to this day and are the main source for Egyptian Peridots.
Zabargad Island, Egypt
During the Crusades, Egyptian Peridots were brought to Europe. Most of them were mistakenly called “Emeralds” and given to the Catholic Church. It is believed that many of the so-called Emeralds in the Church’s inventory are in fact dark green Peridots! Throughout the medieval period, lapidaries described Peridot/Chrysolite’s many powers. According to the Lapidairy of Chevalier Jean de Mandeville, “…[Peridot] chases away bad thought and spirits. This stone is good for those who dabble in necromancy…. The man who wears it is never suspected of evil doings, and it greatly helps him enter anywhere he wants to go, because he will be rendered gracious and friendly.” Today, Peridot is also considered a very playful and happy stone. One more likely to bring a youthful sparkle to the eye and a taste for innocent mischief than to be used for necromancy!
While Peridot is properly a green or lime green stone, on rare occasions yellow Peridot may turn up on the market. These sunny gems are more properly called Forsterite. But they are more likely to sell if they are marketed under the name Golden Peridot or Yellow Peridot. Similar to how Prasiolite is often marketed as Green Amethyst. While all Peridots are said to attract financial prosperity, the golden ones are said to particularly valuable for manifesting great wealth.
Julie Abouzelof is the owner of Moonrise Crystals and an advocate for responsibly sourced gems and minerals. Her first career was in education teaching history, geology and anthropology, as well as working with special-needs students. She is now a heart-centered entrepreneur who encourages mindfulness and positive action to heal ourselves and the world. Julie lives in Hawaii with her lover and a little parrot named Darwin.