Peridot is an ancient and yet currently very popular gemstone. It is so old that it can be found even in Egyptian jewellery from the early second millennium BC. The stones used in those days came from an occurrence on a little volcanic island in the Red Sea, about 70 km off the Egyptian coast, off Assuan, which was rediscovered only around 1900 and has been completely exploited since. Peridot, however, is also a very modern stone, for only a few years ago Peridot occurrences were discovered in the Cashmere region, and the stones from there show a unique beauty of colour and transparency, so that the image of the stone, which was somewhat dulled over the ages, has received an efficient polishing.
Peridot is one of the few gemstones which exist only in one colour. Finest traces of iron account for the deep green colour with a slight golden hue. Chemically Peridot is just an iron-magnesium-silicate, and the intensity of colour depends on the amount of iron contained. The colour as such can come in any variation from yellow-green and olive to brownish green. Peridot is not especially hard it only achieves about 6.5 to 7 on the Moh's scale and yet it is easy to care for and quite robust.
The most beautiful stones come from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. Peridot as gemstone does also exist in Myanmar, China, the USA, Africa and Australia. Stones from East Burma, today's Myanmar, show a vivid green with fine silky inclusions. Peridot from the American state of Arizona, where it is quite popular in Native Indian jewellery, often shows a yellowish to golden brown shade.