August Birthstone:The Peridot
The most unusual olive green gem is that which comes from meteorites called pallasites. Moldavite is found in the Czech Republic and believed to have arrived from space in a meteor about 14.8 million years ago. Because this stone contains crystals of olivine and has a similar color it is often confused with peridot. Some of these extraterrestrial gems are very beautiful though and have been faceted and set into jewelry.
Peridot gems were probably used in the fabled Breastplates of the Jewish High Priest and historical legend says that peridot was the favorite gemstone of Cleopatra, although at the time they were called emeralds.
Peridot has been confused with emeralds although peridot, being a more yellow or olive color, is a completely different shade of green than an emerald. Other green gemstones that may be confused with peridot are apatite, green garnets and moldavite.
Peridot is considered a tonic for the whole body and protects the wearer from negativity. It is associated with stress reduction and relaxation. Egyptians used peridot to clean and heal the heart. Powdered peridot has been used to cure asthma and a peridot placed under the tongue of someone in the grip of a fever is said to lessen his or her thirst. One legend says that drinking from a peridot goblet will increase the potency of medicines. Further research indicates that ancient Indo-Iranians, and Vedic and Persian cultures may have used cups carved from Peridot for their ritual drink of Soma.