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Peridot: Everything you need to know

Peridot, a gorgeous olive green in colour, is the birthstone for August. An ancient and fascinating gem stone, it dates back to the time of Pharos in Egypt. Peridot is available in a spectrum of green, olive and yellow colours, with the grass-green shade being the most valuable

Find out more about the history of peridot, and everything you need to know about this mesmerising gem stone below!


History of peridot

Peridot was once thought to defend against anxiety, and help make relationships and marriages more successful. It has a long standing mystical reputation around it, and is truly fascinating in terms of culture and history.

Peridot is known to be one of the oldest gemstones, with some ancient records dating it back to as early as 1500 B.C. It was originally found in ancient Egypt, with some historians believing Cleopatra’s emeralds were in fact peridot. The main source of the gem stone was Topazos Island (St. John’s Island) which sits in the Egyptian Red Sea, and it had been mined from this island for over 3,500 years. After World War 2, mining ended on this small island and there are now major sources of peridot all over the world.

Where is peridot from?

Peridot is formed deep within the mantle of the earth and are brought to the surface by volcanic activity. In ancient times, peridot was mainly found in Egypt, but the major sources of the stone are now in Pakistan, Burma, Afghanistan, China, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Arizona. Hawaii has also been known for producing large peridot, however the majority of what is said to be ‘Hawaiian peridot’ is in fact not authentic from Hawaii.

Peridot has also been found in very small quantities in meteorites. It is certainly out of this world!

Famous peridot

The ‘Green Goddess’ peridot is a well-known pear shaped peridot weighing 154 carats. It was sourced from St John’s Island in Egypt, the original source of peridot. The captivating olive coloured gem was set in a pendant by jewellery designer Lester Lampert in 2008, and now sits in the Grainger Hall of Gems at The Field Museum in Chicago.

Due to the often similarity in colour, peridot has been mistaken for emerald in the past. Many believe that Cleopatra’s emerald collection was in fact peridot, and considering that the peridot originates from Egypt, this could very well be true. It is a similar story with the Three Holy Kings Shrine in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral which is decorated in 200 carats of peridot, thought to be emeralds for centuries.

Peridot has also featured in many royal jewels, including the famous peridot tiara of the Austrian Archduchess Isabelle d’Autriche.

Peridot value

Prized as gem stones for thousands of years, the value of peridot vastly varies. Prices of peridot can range from around £20 to £400 per carat, depending on the quality and size of the gem stone. The value can also be dependent on the mining location of the stone, with peridot from Burma, Arizona, and Pakistan often higher in value.

Peridot buying tips

Follow the below tips when buying peridot to make sure you are getting the best value possible.

  • Colour: A rich grass green colour of peridot is the most valuable.
  • Carats: As with all gemstones, the higher the carat, the higher the value. Peridot carat price ranges from £20 to £400 per carat.
  • Clarity: The best peridot quality will have a good clean clarity to it. Any visible inclusions or marks on the gem stone will lower the value.
  • Cuts & shapes: Peridot comes in many shapes and cuts, so go for the shape you personally prefer! You can find it a variety of cuts, from round to oval and triangle to pear.
  • Budget: If you are on a budget when shopping for a peridot, you will still be able to find a stunning yellow-green stone under 10 carats for a reasonable price. If you have a larger budget, opt for the grass-green coloured peridot as these are the highest value. If you’re looking to purchase high-end quality peridot, make sure the stone has a good level of clarity.

McGowans Peridot

Our experienced and friendly team will always help to guide you through the buying process of any gemstone, and will ensure you find the best piece for your taste and budget. You can visit us in store in Glasgow or Aberdeen to discover our range of affordable and beautiful peridot jewellery. We have finance options available too.

We sell a range of stunning peridot jewellery. Browse a few of our favourites online, or discover our full selection of peridot and other gem stones in stores.


Our online items only represent a small selection of our stock. Please pop in to any of our stores to see the full collection.


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