Green is not always the most popular color in the gem world. It generally takes a 5th or 6th runner-up position behind preferred jewel tones of red, pink, purple, and all shades of blue. And while emerald green is a more recognized and coveted hue—most likely because it is synonymous with, well, an emerald—peridot has long been a proverbial wallflower.
Sure, peridot has status being among the 12 original birthstones, but even this author, whose own birthday is in August and loves all things gem, was quite blasé growing up having such a questionable color while all her little friends had pretty princess-y ones.
When describing peridot of the past, one could easily fall into the dreaded adverb trap. This gem is TOO pale and this one is TOO drab. Then there are all the unflattering variations of green: chartreuse, that dodgy no man’s land half way between yellow and green, or olive..the yellowish-green hue like unripe olives, both unflattering and unappetizing. Yuck. Kermit the Frog was on to something when he said it wasn't easy being green.
But thanks in part to finds in Pakistan and changing trends in color gemstone jewelry, peridot is finally and deservedly enjoying the limelight…pun intended. These are not the “meh” gems of days past. Today’s peridot is gloriously luminous, light-filled, and oh-so lively. Designers have embraced its vibrance and boldness, green-lighting a fearless go-big-or-go-home aesthetic for larger styles that embrace its generous size availability. Since yellow gold has once again returned to center stage, peridot is an excellent gem to complement its warm luster.
Whether it is fashion or fine jewelry, peridot makes the audacious statement: I have finally arrived! It features prominently in the Suna collection, three are pictured here. And P.S., this author has happily embraced it.
Jewelry historians believe that some of Cleopatra’s adored “emeralds” were actually peridots from Egyptian mines. Even today, peridot is sometimes called “evening emerald.”
Outta sight! Peridot can be extraterrestrial, found in meteorites that have fallen to earth.
Forged in the earth’s fiery mantle, peridot it is called the “tears of Pele,” the Hawaiian volcano goddess. The mineral olivine, of which peridot is the gem variety, is found all over Hawaii, but such a large quantity is present on one of Hawaii’s beaches that the sand is actually green.
Danielle Barber, Suna Bros