12.20.2009

The Secret Life of Peridot

silver bunny rabbit charm jewelry pendantAwakening, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry):
peridot, plum freshwater pearl, and silver bunny rabbit charm

In chapter five of Jewels: A Secret History, Victoria Finlay explores peridot -- a perky, green stone known for centuries as "the evening emerald." Conjuring up that image put a whole new spin on one of my favorite gemstones!

Apparently, peridot -- a bright, volcanic crystal -- is best viewed at dusk rather then during the bright light of day. Life in the Northwest is currently overcast, so I'm looking forward to a lovely spring or summer evening when I can take a strand of peridots outside and see "the evening emerald" for myself.

One of the biggest surprises I learned from Finlay's Jewels: A Secret History, is that ninety percent of all known peridots are found within the San Carlos Nation, Apache land located in southeastern Arizona. Finlay travels to the San Carlos Nation and learns a little bit about Apache history as well as how minimal mining of this cheerful stone is a conscious remembrance to protect sacred land.

Secretly guarded by Egyptians on the "Island of Serpents," found by NASA on the planet Mars, or falling to earth in the form of a meteorite, this happy, green stone is hard to resist for its color speaks to me of fresh, spring fields and tart Granny Smith apples. Peridot pairs so well with other gemstones and adds that bit of zest to your designs that say, "hey, look at me!"

To explore more of Victoria Finlay's travels around the world looking for gemstone stories, visit my blog series The Secret Life of Gems.

4 comments:

  1. I like the color combo... also stacking the peridot definitely gives a unique look...never knew the bg on that gem..

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  2. Hi Beth! I just finished the chapter on Amber. What a fascinating read this book is. I thank you kindly for recommending it. Now I am excited to work with these jewels and tell a new story for them. I am excited that Peridot is in the book. That is my birthstone and I never cared for it as a child. But the real deal is so much prettier than any invented version of the stone. I will read that chapter with interest.
    Enjoy the day!
    Erin

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  3. Love the romantic name, the "evening emerald". Stumbled across the International Colored Gem Association site and wanted to share it - many gem descriptions in a very easy to read format. Here's the one on peridot: http://www.gemstone.org/gem-by-gem/english/peridot.html As always, thanks, Beth for a great blog.

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  4. Thanks Chrissy, for liking the stacked look!

    Erin, wow, when I look at your photo I imagine you must look stunning in peridot. Isn't it intriguing that birthstones seem to match the person? I too was lukewarm about my birthstone garnet growing up, but now I love it dearly. Glad you are enjoying the book!

    Catherine, that you so much for this gem link. I promptly bookmarked it because you are so spot on that it is easy to digest. I'm sure it will be adding to the richness of my jewelry over the next year :) Thank you!

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