For years, the traditional source of Peridot was the island of Zabargad, off the, Egyptian Coast in the Red Sea. This material is now primarily exhausted and rarely available However, the world’s largest deposit is located in the San Carlos Apache reserve, in Arizona; other deposits are located in China and Pakistan with the finest peridot coming from Burma. Burma and Pakistan produce the finest peridot often in larger size gems. Arizona peridot produces fine quality but top color material without inclusions over 4 carats is rare and valuable. Burmese peridot (also known as Kashmir Peridot) is known for the glowing velvety appearance of finer gems. It almost glows even in lower light, very similar to the very finest Zabargad material.
This large Burmese peridot even glows in lower light (photo indoors, light from window over 10 feet away on bright overcast day) Estate Burma Peridot ring courtesy of Chateau Peridot.
The history of Peridot
Its delicate aspect has made Peridot a very well-loved gemstone with a rich history and fascinating mythology. In the past, Peridot was believed to aid in friendship, free the mind of envious thoughts and make its wearer more eloquent. In his mythological compendium, Liber De Lapidibus, Marbodius of Rennes (1035-1123) wrote that if Peridot were to be used as a protection from the wiles of evil spirits, the stone had to be pierced and strung on the hair of an ass and then attached to the left arm. Mentioned in several places in the Bible by its ancient name Chrystolite, Peridot was also a popular gemstone with pirates for its ability to chase away evil spirits and fear of the dark.
Fine Burmese Peridot, Lime Green, courtesy of Chateau Peridot
Properties of Peridot
Peridot’s colors encompass various tones of green, although the most desired stones present a rich, pure grassy green. If the stone is small in size, it may be eye clean, but as a Type II gemstone, Peridot often shows inclusions visible to the naked eye. However, the material we buy at Chateau Peridot is always eye clean at VS to VVS and sometimes flawless. The only acceptable inclusions are those which do not detract from the beauty of the gem and help establish origin like the Burmese feather inclusion and Pakistans lily pad inclusion.
This large, Neon Burmese Peridot has a single feather inclusion which is only found in peridot from Burma hence the inclusion actually raises the value by establishing origin. The inclusion only lowers value if unattractive in the gem. Photo courtesy of Chateau Peridot.
Varieties of Peridot
Some of the most attractive Peridots are extracted in the Suppatt region of the Himalayas, in northwest Pakistan. The famed Kashmir Peridot displays more beautiful color, larger sizes and greater purity. Unfortunately, supply is very limited due to harsh winters that limit extraction between the months between June and September. Many years no peridot can be mined at all.
Burmese peridot are quite arguably the most beautiful in the world, especially for evening wear due to the glowing quality of the gem even in the low light of night clubs and the theater. Political turmoil has at times made exporting from Burma illegal. Probably the most expensive and top quality investment peridot.