Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Birthstone: August

Don't be mistaken; this isn't a repeat of May's birthstone, the emerald. These green beauties are Peridots which represent the month of August.

Although the two can be very similar in color, as some peridots carry a darker hue, most tend to give off a more olive tone, or a bright yellowish green. It has been said that articles of Cleopatra's most treasured pieces thought to be made of emerald were actually peridots. Go fig.

These gems have a tendency to sparkle even in dim settings which lead sailors thousands of years ago to discover them one moonlit night on the Island of Serpents. As they landed, they were drawn to what appeared to be "glowing" crystals in the sand. Natives of Hawaii, where they are also found, believed that they were the tears of the Goddess Pele when they would find them shimmering in the black sands of volcanoes.

Peridot Mesa, Arizona is said to be the most productive locality for peridot in the world accounting for around 80 percent of lesser quality stones. Another continental US source is in New Mexico. However, some of the rarest and finest quality are found in deposits in Burma because of their color and superior clarity. Over in Russia, peridots were produced out of a meteorite that fell in 1749 in east Siberia. They are also found in Pakistan, Myanmar, Australia, Brazil and Mexico.

Peridots are great for small trinkets and everyday wear although you don't see much of them on the red carpet . Actress Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) did rock a pair at a press conference in Tokyo that were nice, but understated.

Cute look, but in this case less is less. ~vK

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