1. Peridot is Gemstone-Quality Olivine
Peridot is essentially gemstone-quality olivine, a type of chrysolite which is like diamonds in that it is formed deep within the upper mantle and brought to the surface via volcanic activity or tectonic plate shifts. Peridot occurs between 20 and 55 miles beneath the earth’s surface, while diamond is formed deeper, at depths between 100 and 150 miles into the mantle. Because it is formed at high pressure, peridot is a sturdy stone, ranking between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale. Gemstone quality peridot is sometimes found in meteorites, but most of it comes from Burma, Arizona, Norway, Hawaii, and islands in the Red Sea.
2. Color and Clarity are the Main Peridot Value Factors
Poor-quality peridot is abundant, and typically has a brownish, olive, or extremely pale green hue with multiple inclusions. The best peridot is eye clean with a crisp, light green color; the shade of green typically varies somewhat depending on source, with Pakistani peridot displaying an apple-green shade, Arizona peridot displaying slightly golden to lime hues, and Burmese peridot, which is often considered most desirable, displaying a vibrant green hue and a unique silky sheen.
3. There Are Many Valuable Cuts for Peridot
Cut is important in determining the value of peridot, and because of its crystal structure, it can be challenging to cut perfectly. Well-cut stones in round, antique, emerald, and oval shapes are highly desirable, as are large cabochons.
4. Carat Weight Also Affects Peridot Value
Carat weight can be of importance too; smaller loose stones between one and four carats may only command about $40 per carat, while larger ones over four carats typically command between $100 to $150 per carat. Prices increase dramatically with size, particularly if the stone is of excellent clarity and color. Peridot jewelry made with precious metal is of course much more valuable than loose peridot.
5. It's Not Easy to Tell the Difference Between Treated and Natural Peridot
Peridot is often treated to improve color. Only a trained gemologist will be able to tell whether heat treatment has occurred and whether that treatment has affected the stone’s value.
6. Peridot Can Be Found in Many Types of Jewelry
Top quality peridot is not terribly rare, and is used in all kinds of modern jewelry – designers love it for its sparkle and people enjoy wearing it with lightweight spring and summer fashions. It is possible to find exceptional examples of peridot in antique and vintage items too; necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets, rings, and charms are very popular as are cufflinks and shirt studs. If you happen to have vintage peridot jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Company, Bulgari, or other top designers, it is likely to fetch a handsome price at auction.
7. Age of Item and Quality of Setting Affect Peridot Jewelry Price
Vintage and antique pieces containing peridot are often of great value, as are some quality mixed stone pieces. Value increases dramatically when the stones are showcased in precious metal settings, including yellow, white, or rose gold; platinum and other precious metals are also used in setting fine peridot gemstones.
8. Peridot's History Dates Back to the Ancient Egypt
While some gemstones are relatively new to humankind, peridot has been mined since about 1500 BCE. Historians believe Cleopatra may have enjoyed wearing jewelry made with peridot, particularly since the primary source of the gem during ancient times was Topazos Island, which is now known as St. John’s Island or Zabargad, and which is located in the Red Sea, about 35 miles off the Egyptian port of Berenica. Astonishingly, mining for peridot occurred here throughout history, only ending around the time of the Second World War. Ancients viewed this gorgeous stone as a talisman for dissolving enchantments, warding off anxiety, and promoting romantic success.
Peridot remains Egypt’s national gem, and is quite popular with other cultures as well. During the middle ages, Europeans enjoyed jewelry and decorative items studded with gems including peridot, and they were frequently used to embellish sacred objects and shrines. One of the largest, most famous pieces of peridot adorns the shrine of the Three Holy Kings at Germany’s Cologne Cathedral; for centuries, it was believed to be an emerald, but gemologists proved it to be peridot. Some other large, fine pieces of peridot are on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Chicago’s Field Museum, and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. The peridot on display at the Smithsonian is a stunning 310 carats – massive, particularly when you stop to consider that any peridot over 8 carats is exceptionally rare and is considered to be a museum or collector’s piece.
9. Peridot Crystal Can Be Found in Space
Peridot was recently found in comet dust brought back from space by the Stardust robotic probe in 2005. Peridot crystals are often found in meteorites, making it an extraterrestrial gemstone.
10. There are Many Reasons to Sell Peridot
Why sell peridot? There are many reasons, and the following top the list:
- You can transform unwanted or unused jewelry and gemstones into cash
- It’s not difficult to find peridot and peridot jewelry buyers
- The market for peridot is strong, particularly where exceptional pieces are concerned
Excellent examples of peridot and peridot jewelry often fetch thousands of dollars, and a few of the nicest pieces have recently sold for well over $10,000. If you’d like to sell peridot or peridot jewelry, you’ll most likely find yourself pleased at the worthy offers you receive.