August – Favorite Treasure of the Pirates & August Birthstone

A part of the olivine family, peridot ranks between a 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness and is known for its sparkling lime green brilliance.  Peridot (pear-a-doe) is known as the birthstone for the month of August as well as the anniversary gift stone for a 16th wedding anniversary.

But there’s more to the verdant beauty than birthdays and celebration.  In the early days, pirates wore this gem to ward off all evil and enemies as peridot is thought to bring the wearer luck, good health, success and peace.  While pirates may not have desired the effect of the latter, they could certainly use any talisman promising success and health.

Cleopatra was another fan of the lime green gemstone.  She’s often been associated with emeralds, however it is now believed that due to early mistaken identity between the two stones, that she predominantly wore peridot.

In early days of trading, Peridot was mistook for Emerald. This caused trouble for the gem early on, but once it established its own reputation as the “evening emerald,” traders were no longer scared of being caught with it.

This gem saving reputation comes from the ability of Peridot to flash even in the smallest of light. Thus, the evening emerald is a perfect gem to wear out to the opera with that little black dress.

Oddly, until recent times, a vast majority of Peridot mining occurred in Gila County Arizona on an Apache Indian reservation. Unfortunately, this US based Peridot is not as well regarded as Burmese, Pakistani or Egyptian Peridot. However, very little mining is going on in these regions at this time. In its best form, Peridot can fetch as much as $300 per carat in larger sizes of 5 carats or more. 

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