Browse all objects from the National Gem Collection currently viewable online. Sort by mineral, collection, country, or setting.
Hover over color tiles above to learn what this object tells us about the history of the Earth
|G1925||Forsterite (var. Peridot) (Olivine family)||United States||8.90 ct||More info »|
|G3398||Forsterite (var. Peridot) (Olivine family)||Egypt||311.80 ct||More info »|
|G3705||Forsterite (var. Peridot) (Olivine family)||Burma||286.6 ct||More info »|
|G7832||Forsterite (var. Peridot) (Olivine family)||Unknown Locality||103.25 ct||More info »|
|G8964||Forsterite (var. Peridot) (Olivine family)||Unknown Locality||122.66 ct||More info »|
|G9712||Forsterite (var. Peridot) (Olivine family)||Antarctica||3.07 ct||More info »|
|G9982||Forsterite (var. Peridot) (Olivine family)||Norway||4.10 ct||More info »|
|G10060||Forsterite (var. Peridot) (Olivine family)||Pakistan||18.13 ct||More info »|
About this object
Peridot was originally called topazion after the island of Topazios (now Zabargad), an important source of the gem since ancient times. Eventually, the gem came to be named topaz. During the eighteenth century, for reasons that are not clear, the name topaz was re-assigned to the stone we call topaz today, and the name peridot was adopted for the stone represented here. Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral forsterite and is most prized when it is a medium-dark green without yellow or brown undertones. In early times, peridot was associated with the sun and was believed to possess medicinal powers. Peridot was used during the Crusades to adorn religious objects. It became popular in jewelry during the late 1800’s. Five continents are represented in this array of peridot gems: the peridot in the necklace is from Arizona; the other peridots are from Egypt, Burma, Pakistan, Antarctica, and Norway.
denotes specimens currently on exhibit
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