Our peridot supplies hail from the close to depleted most sought-out Burmese mines making our supply one of the rarest in the world.
Our ancient ancestors valued gems for their function, colour, medicinal properties and finally for their form and visual beauty. Before the advent of modern gemmology, in order to better understand, distinguish and appreciate the properties of various gemstones certain terms and references were employed by lapidaries and miners. Gem merchants traversing the ancient silk routes often used related terminology to market gemstones of varying character. One such term for the Peridot, used by the Romans, was ‘the emerald of the evening’. Romanticism aside, it’s a simple way of explaining how beautifully Peridots hold their colour in the dim evening light, emanating from an oil-lamp or a candle. The warm glow of the fire transformed the fresh-green hue of a Peridot into a deep emerald-like colour by night.
Its difficult to identify the starting point in the historical time-line of Peridots. Many refer to the earliest known source as being Egypt as there is mining evidence from 1500 BC. As suggested by historians, the Egyptians referred to Peridots as the ‘gems of the sun’. What is unclear is whether the green gem valued and mined during the time of queen Cleopatra was emerald or peridot. Given the exotic connection, depending on your preference, arguments can be made to support both gem groups.
Similarly, peridots and emeralds are both associated with the planet Mercury in Indian Astrology, demonstrating how ancient cultures understood how minerals created certain colours and how they benefitted our physiology. The similarity between the colour of a gemstone and profitable spices and fruits further contributed to a gem’s appeal as a good-luck charm. In the case of Peridot’s, their similarity to the green shade of Olives, made them popular and important talismans for merchants in the Mediterranean region.
There are a few things related to this citrus-green gem that experts do agree on, such as the origin of its name. Rarely treated, many believe, the word ‘Peridot’ hails from the Arabic “faridat,” which means “gem.” According to the GIA, “Most peridot formed deep inside the earth and was delivered to the surface by volcanoes. Some also came to earth in meteorites, but this extra-terrestrial peridot is extremely rare, and not likely to be seen in a retail jewelry store.”
Rated 6.5 on MOH’s hardness scale, Peridots are preferred for earrings, necklaces, and pendants. While Peridots are sourced from many regions around the world, such as China, Tanzania, Vietnam, Hawaii, the fine untreated collection offered by KV Gems is primarily from Mogok, Burma (Myanmar). “Peridots from Burma offer our customers a blend of history, intrinsic beauty, exoticism, and the most important ingredient, rarity. Additionally, Burmese peridots are said to have the best color and tone as they have have this fine silk like feel”- Joseph Belmont
One of the senior cutters at KV Gems, explains the factors they have to keep in mind, “As peridots are a softer material compared to sapphires/spinel, they are more prone to scratches and cracks. In inexperienced hands, there is chance the stone may crack with fluctuations in temperature. It is one of the challenging stones to recut so I have to be extra careful of where the inclusions are as well.”
Maria Belmont, (insert title)_ KV Gems, explains, “It is due to these complications that we only acquire loupe-clean gems with no cracks or inclusions, which makes it easier.