What are Peridot gemstones, and why are they sought after for investing?
Peridot is a brightly colored, yellow-green gemstone is prized since the Ancient Egyptians. The gem is naturally formed in lava flows from around the world and is composed of the mineral olivine. This gem's rare and valuable forms are also found inside meteorites.
Peridot Chemical Makeup and Origin
Olivine is rich in magnesium and iron, contributing to the stone's bright color. Peridot is found primarily in China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Egypt, and the USA. The gem is relatively complex and scores a seven on the Mohs hardness scale. Additionally, it cuts between 1.65-1.69 on the refractive scale.
Moreover, Peridot is a beautiful stone that works wonderfully in various jewelry, such as peridot rings and peridot necklaces. It is also the gem that traditionally represents the 15th wedding anniversary, making it an excellent gift for a special celebration. The gemstone also represents light and is often called the extreme gem due to its unique means of formation. Most gemstones are formed in the earth's crust, but Peridot is formed much deeper in the mantle region.
Peridot crystals form in magma from the upper mantle and are brought to the surface by a tectonic or volcanic activity where they are found in extrusive igneous rocks. Historically the volcanic island Zabargad (St. John) in the Red Sea was the location of the most important deposit. It was exploited for 3500 years before being abandoned for many centuries; later, it was rediscovered around 1900 and has been heavily used. Today, the most important deposits are in Pakistan (in the Kashmir region and the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region).
Beautiful material is also found in upper Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam. Other deposits are found in Australia (Queensland), Brazil (Minas Gerais), China, Kenya, Mexico, Norway (north of Bergen), South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and the United States (Arizona and Hawaii). Peridot is one of the few gemstones that comes in a single color. The depth of green depends on its level of iron content. Peridot's color can vary from yellow-green and olive to brownish green and looks best under natural daylight. Its vivid green color does not change under artificial light. The best-colored peridot has an iron percentage of less than 15% and typically includes some trace elements of nickel and chromium, contributing to its color. An intense green-colored Peridot is considered the most desirable and valuable.
Varieties of Peridot Gemstones
There are several varieties of Peridot, each with its striking look and value. Below is a description of the most prominent types of Peridot:
As suggested by the name, these varieties are found in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). The stone is known for its availability in large-carat cuts.
Green peridot is the generic name for most types of the gem. However, it is sometimes confused with emeralds due to its vibrant green hue. When it comes to Peridot versus emerald, remember that this gem differs in composition, looks, and price. Emerald is a darker color green and is also a rarer stone.
The Hebei variety hails from a province in China of the same name. This variety has a distinctive chartreuse color with intense yellow undertones, which helps differentiate it from other gemstones. The Olivine Mine Provides Peridot in Hebei, China
Mined in the Changbai province of China, this variety is considered the most valuable and of the finest quality. The gem is brightly colored green and is a beautiful addition to many jewelry pieces.
Vietnam is one of the significant sources of Peridot worldwide, and gems from here are a prevalent choice. Vietnamese Peridot was discovered in the 1990s and has risen to prominence in the market as the region produces Peridot in various shades of green.
What Affects Peridot Pricing?
Peridot stones are known for their bright, vibrant, green hue, and their color grade plays a significant role in the gem's value. Unlike some gems, such as diamonds, the number of inclusions is not the main factor in the color grade. Instead, the richness of the color garnered by its hue, saturation, and tone is more important. Generally, the more saturated the color, the more valued the gem will be, as saturated color means inclusions are less visible. Therefore, Peridot with a brownish tint is considered low quality and less desirable.
As with any gemstone, a crucial determining aspect of peridot value is the carat/size of the gem. The gem's color is at its best in stones 10 carats or more, increasing the value of larger stones.
Gemstones are cut in many different styles depending on the type of jewelry used. Peridot cuts include round, cushion, oval, princess, emerald, and pear. The two most popular styles are round and emerald, which work well with the stone's delicate crystal structure. In terms of ring styles, the most popular styles of peridot rings are solitaire, halo, and three-stone, all of which can be purchased easily.
Peridot Gemstone Shapes
Production & Mining
Natural Peridot -vs.- Natural Treated Peridot
A significant factor in determining the worth and value of this yellowish-green gem is how it is produced and mined. Natural varieties are the rarest, most expensive, and high-quality genuine Peridot can be challenging to find. Therefore, many gemstones are heat treated, which is a 100% natural way to improve the color and clarity of the stone. Heat-treated Peridot is still considered authentic and often results in a higher quality, more beautiful result.
With clarity, many naturally mined gems are heat treated to attain the most stunning result. However, some peridot gems are lab created. The result is a stone that is visibly identical to its natural counterpart, with the only difference being the origin of the stone. Gemstones made in labs are also chemically the same, often resulting in better color and saturation.
The color grade and cut determine the price of Peridot, the stone's carat, and whether the gem is produced or mined. Therefore, when purchasing Peridot, you must consider your budget and the look you aim to achieve.
What color is Peridot?
Peridot is bright yellow-green. However, gemstones are available in other hues ranging from pure green and brownish-green to olive with yellow undertones. The best quality peridots display an olive-green hue without yellow or brown undertones.
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How much is Peridot worth?
Natural Peridot costs between $50-$80 per average 1 carat, though some higher quality stones are significantly more expensive. The finest quality, top color Peridots larger than 1-carat range steeper in price at $400-$450 per carat. Lab-created peridots are more affordable and can cost up to 40% less.
Does Peridot make for a good engagement ring?
Yes, Peridot is a unique and beautiful choice for an engagement ring. However, we recommend setting it in gold to bring out the intensity of the color.