The elegant and timeless peridot is the birthstone for August and is said to represent prosperity and good fortune. However, it is also known as a Love gemstone and is the traditional gift for a 16th wedding anniversary!

Similar in colour to a traditional emerald, the two were often confused in medieval times, but the semi-precious olive-green peridot was discovered in 1500BC. In the Middle Ages, the peridot was brought back from the Crusades and was used to decorate church robes and other artefacts. It rose in popularity in jewellery during the 1800s. The Victorians and Edwardians loved it, especially after King Edward VII stated that it was his favourite gemstone!

Also known as the ‘Evening Emerald”, the peridot glows under natural and artificial light which makes it an enchanting stone for use in jewellery.

The beautiful drop pendant you can see is a perfect example of original Edwardian jewellery. The two round-cut vibrant green peridots are softened with seed pearls and pale pink tourmaline accents creating a wreath design all in a warm yellow gold.

The Edwardians favoured intricate and delicate designs and you will see pearls and diamonds incorporated into necklaces, pendants, earrings, brooches and rings with stones like peridot, rubies and amethyst. Platinum became the more favoured metal, taking over from yellow gold, due to the Edwardians preference for all things ‘white’.

Peridot is quite soft so if you have jewellery set with this beautiful stone, take special care to check that the settings are sound and any claws are complete. It can wear easily and can lose its polish, so regular assessment of the settings and gentle cleaning is highly recommended.

Originally published in the Purbeck Gazette 24th July 2023