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Forsterite (variety: Peridot)

Peridot was originally called topazion after the island of Topazios (now Zabargad), an important source of the gem since ancient times. Eventually, the gem came to be named topaz. During the eighteenth century, for reasons that are not clear, the name topaz was re-assigned to the stone we call topaz today, and the name peridot was adopted for the stone represented here. Peridot is most prized when it is dark green without yellow or brown undertones. In early times, peridot was associated with the sun and was believed to possess medicinal powers. Peridot was used during the Crusades to adorn religious objects. It became popular in jewelry during the late 1800's. Five continents are represented in this array of peridot gems: the peridot in the necklace is from Arizona; the other peridots are from Egypt, Burma, Pakistan, Antarctica, and Norway.

Image Number: 95-40474
Catalog Number: see acquisition info
Weight: 3.07-311.78 carats
G3705, G3389, G8964, G7832, G10060, G1925, G9919, G9982, G9712
Locality: San Carlos Indian Reservation , Arizona


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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits