Mesa Verde Peridot®
Color: Lime to grass green
Gem Family: Peridot is the gem form of the mineral olivine.
Source: Peridot is extracted by Apache miners from the summit and sides of Peridot Mesa in the San Carlos Reservation. The gem material is embedded in a basalt flow from 10 to 100 feet thick, which must be broken up with sledgehammers or dynamite to free the gems. This tends to shatter the crystals so that only small sized gems can be cut.
Clarity: Transparent with good clarity. Arizona peridot may have black inclusions that look like pepper. Peridot from Burma may have a soft hazy texture.
Size Range: 0.5 carat to 3 carats. Larger sizes are mined in Pakistan and Burma.
Shapes Available: Ovals, trillions, cushions, rounds, barions and emerald brilliant cuts are available.
Enhancement: Peridot is not treated: the color is natural, exactly as it is found in the earth.
Lore & History: Peridot is the extreme gem, found in the rocks created by volcanoes and even in meteors that fall to earth. A few samples of extraterrestrial peridot have even been faceted into gems. Although peridot is treasured in Hawaii as the goddess Pele's tears, almost all of the peridot sold in Hawaii today is from Arizona. But peridot is produced by Hawaii's volcanoes: the island of Oahu has beaches made out of olivine grains but unfortunately they are much too small to cut into gems.
Toughness & Hardness: The hardness of peridot is 6.5 on the Mohs scale, and it is quite tough.
Care & Cleaning: Peridot is durable but, like diamond, it has a tendency to cleave, or part, along a plane when hit with a sharp blow in one specific direction. Try not to expose your peridot to impact. Store peridot jewelry with care to avoid scratches. Clean with a mild dish soap: use a toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect.
Price Range: $15 to $90 per carat
Special Characteristics: Because the iron which creates its color is an integral part of its structure, peridot is found only in green, ranging from a summery light yellowish green to a 7-up bottle green