Nicknamed "stone of gold" or "gem of the sun" by the ancient Egyptians because of its golden reflections, the Peridot is one of the rare stones to be declined in One dominant color: green. Going from pure green through lemon-green or olive-green, it can be more or less tinged with yellow or brown.
The peridot has long been confused with topaz or emerald, and the peridot is now appropriately appreciated as an affordable and untreated green gem. Philippe Tournaire likes to integrate it to his original creations, the green of the peridot being so naturally sparkling!
Assigned to the month of August, peridot is a silicate composed of iron and magnesium. Its hardness oscillates between 6.5 and 7, thus approaching quartz. It forms in basalts, volcanic rocks rich in iron and magnesium. Its crystalline structure is similar to prisms with vertical streaks..
This gem has a peculiarity of optical character: with the naked eye, one can often distinguish a splitting of the edges of the inner facets, especially in large stones. This characteristic sign constitutes a real means of identifying the peridot, as well as the zircon or calcite, stones that make it possible to observe the same phenomenon, due to the way in which the ray of light penetrates into their crystal.
The peridot is often devoid of inclusions or shows again very distinctive elements: inclusions in the form of water lilies, more present in the peridots of commercial quality rather than jewelers. Also, many peridots of fine quality include tiny crystals of chromite forming small black dots, invisible to the naked eye and doing nothing to shade the beauty of the gem.
Its green is recognizable among the others: the emerald is green "garden", the tsavorite is sometimes slightly tinged with blue or yellow, while the peridot is more like a green called "green meadow" Gilded, slightly brown or simply, a pure green clear but bright without any shade. The more iron the peridot contains, the more intense is its golden-green color. This gem is also called "chrysolite", a term used to refer to stones of similar color, or "olivine" because of its tendency to be olive green, sometimes oily. Nevertheless, the color of the peridot is fascinating because of its golden reflections and its ability to dazzle us ... This gem is married very well with a tourmaline,, a sapphire, a ruby, a diamond, in color harmonies that Philippe Tournaire managed to compose through his creations.
The Gem of the Sun knew the same fate as the spinel: for decades these two stones remained in the shade! Just as the "ruby" of Timur weighing 361 carats was actually a spinel, the 200 carats of peridots adorning the sumptuous tomb of the Three Kings located in the cathedral of Cologne were taken for emeralds for centuries…
Like the amethyst, this gem has for decades been associated with the Christian religion and is mentioned in sacred manuscripts, because of the beliefs it has aroused. Many representatives of the church have considered it a symbol of purity and morality.
In antiquity, it appeared to the renewal of Mother Nature in spring, because of its radiant green. Thus we see that the peridot is loaded with history and that as a gem of the sun, it deserves ample to be brought to light! Etymologically, the term "peridot" comes from the Arabic "faridat", meaning precious stone. It is ancient Egypt, the cradle of the peridot, which gave it the title of gem of the sun, because of the glittering reflections that emanated from the stone facing the sun of the desert. Historically speaking, the volcanic island of Zebirget, situated in the Red Sea east of Aswan, is the most important deposit of peridot for 3,500 years. These mines are now abandoned.
The main sources of peridots are now Myanmar and Pakistan, reputed to provide remarkable quality gems. Then comes Arizona. It is in the San Carlos Reserve in Arizona that the Apaches - Indian tribes of North America - exploit a considerable amount of peridots. It is also found in Vietnam, Mexico, Australia, Ethiopia, Norway ... Native to various countries of the world, first usurped of its identity then recognized to its true value, the peridot has its place among the most beautiful jewelry creations. Surrounded by diamonds in a Marguerite pendant, the center stone of an Ionic necklace or sublimated on a Villeroy ring…So many creations signed by Tournaire, which give full meaning to the name "Gem of the Sun"!