Peridot's are known for their yellowish green to greenish yellow color. Evocative of warm grass on a summer day or perky kelly green sundresses, it is the perfect birthstone for August.
Centuries ago, peridot was confused with emeralds due to their rich green color. It's even thought that Cleopatra's vast emerald collection was actually a collection of peridots. Ancient Romans called peridots evening emeralds because their color didn't fade with lamplight; instead, they continued to glow into the night. Peridots are colored by iron, which is in it's chemical composition (unlike other gemstones where iron is a trace element).
Most peridot's on the market today are supplied from San Carlos, Arizona with fine quality, large sized peridot coming from Myanmar. However, there are other sources including Vietnam, Mexico, Australia, Ethiopia, Norway, and Sri Lanka.
Shopping for Peridot
Peridot is a softer stone (6.5-7 on the Mohs scale), so it's best if its set in jewelry that is exposed to more potential damage. For example, rings and bracelets are exposed to much more daily wear and tear than other pieces of jewelry. I would personally advise for a peridot pendant, necklace or pair of earrings. If you're set on a peridot ring, you should beware that it is a softer stone and should be treated with more care than a diamond or even ruby.
Caring for your Peridot
Peridot is sensitive to both temperature and chemicals, so they should not be steamed or put into an ultrasonic like how many other stones are cleaned. It's best to clean them with warm water and mild detergent or soap. I use a soft bristled toothbrush with Dawn dish soap to brush away any dirt or grime and to cut grease and oils that can build up on the surface. I would not soak overnight or leave in any jewelry cleaner as strong chemicals can damage the surface of the stone.