History of Peridot

Peridot is the birthstone for August.  The gemstone is one of only a few gemstones that occur in only one color, an olive green.

St. Albans Abbey

The intensity and tint of the green, depends on the amount of iron contained in the crystal structure.

Because of its green tint, peridot is often mistaken for emerald.

The first known mention of the gemstone in English dates back to 1705.  A translation was made that year from the St. Albans Abbey, which kept it’s records in Latin. 

The record stated that in 1245, Bishop John bequeathed various items including peridot to the Abbey.

The Middle English Dictionary provides several spellings for the gem, including periodt, peritot, pelidod, and pilidod. 

Assigning a gemstone to each birth month originated in 18th Century Poland.  The current list of gemstones has not changed since 1912.

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