Peridot & Olivine

Peridot is a bright green gemstone, primarily used for jewellery. It is usually cut into cabochons or sold faceted – intended for use in jewellery making.

It is a gem quality type of Olivine which is generally a darker green, translucent or opaque, and sometimes has more inclusions. Pieces on the original host rock are quite popular with collectors, too.

While there is a distinction between Peridot and Olivine, we keep them both in this category as in certain circles the names are interchangeable.

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Appearance, Uses and History

Olivine is a gorgeous green mineral – Peridot is the gemstone quality variant of Olivine.

Olivine has some interesting properties which give it a number of industrial uses. It has good heat resistance, so in some cases it is used for sand casting, or in blast furnaces.

One of its most interesting potential uses is in the potential removal of atmospheric CO2, as it weathers completely within a few years.

Peridot, however, is gemstone quality – it is used as a jewellery stone – often cut en cabochon or as faceted stones.


Locales

Australia, Brazil, China,  Egypt, Mexico, Myanmar, Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and the USA. Also occurs somewhere in space!


Mineralogy

Chemistry
Gem quality Olivine, (Mg, Fe)2SiO4
Colours and Variations
Various shades of green.
Streak
Luster
Vitreous
Fracture
Conchoidal
Crystal habit
Occurs in volcanic nodules, orthorhombic crystals, granular masses, grains on matrix. Even occurs as rounded sand grains in volcanic areas. Even occurs as crystals in pallasite meteorites!
Mohs hardness
6.5 – 7.0
Specific Gravity
3.2 – 4.3
Easiest testing method
Common Treatments

Photos of Peridot and Olivine

Chryzolit (perydot, oliwin) - Kohestan, Pakistan. 01
Peridot olivine on basalt
Péridot (Pakistan) 3

Basalt with Olivine (23999338641)
Green sand close up
WLA hmns Peridot and Diamond Jewelry

Ring med peridot-olivin - Livrustkammaren - 97894
Olivine sand from Hawaii Island
Gemperidot

Hazards and Warnings

Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.

When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.


Translations

Arabic:

  • الزبرجد

Hindi:

  • ओलीवाइन
  • पेरिडॉट
  • जबरज़द

Portuguese:

  • olivina
  • peridoto

Bengali:

  • অলিভিন
  • পেরিডট

Indonesian:

Punjabi:

  • ਓਲੀਵੀਨ
  • ਪੈਰੀਡੋਟ

English:

  • peridot
  • olivine

Italian:

  • peridoto
  • olivina

Russian:

  • оливин
  • перидот

French:

  • péridot

Japanese:

  • オリビン
  • ペリドット

Spanish:

  • peridoto
  • olivino

German:

  • olivin

Korean:

  • 올리 빈
  • 페리도트

Thai:

  • ฟันม้าโอลิ
  • เพอริดอทโอลิวีน

Gujurati:

  • ઓલિવિન
  • પેરીડોટ

Mandarin and Traditional Chinese:

  • 橄榄石
  • 橄欖石

Urdu:

  • پیریڈوٹ
  • اولیوائن

Further Reading / External Links