Gemstones and Jewelry


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Peridot Gemstone Guide:  Peridot Information & How To Buy Peridot Jewelry

What is a Peridot / What are Peridot Gemstones?14k Gold Peridot Earrings with Leverbacks

Peridot (pronounced either pair-eh-doe or pair-eh-dot - either way is acceptable according to is a variety of olivine, and is considered a semiprecious gemstone.  Unlike many other gemstones such as topaz and sapphire, peridot comes in only one color - pale to medium green with yellow-green or brownish-green tones sometimes.

Peridot is the 'modern' birthstone for the month of August, as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers back in 1912, and rates a 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, behind such well-known gemstones as diamond (10), ruby and sapphire (9), topaz-all varieties (8), aquamarine  and emerald (7.5-8), tourmaline (7-7.5) and amethyst (7).

Peridot is also a Type II clarity gemstone, using the colored gemstone clarity scale as adopted by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which means it is a gemstone that is usually included to some degree.  The term included means the gemstone usually has some degree of inclusions - interior fissures or cracks that are characteristic to the gem and which could, if present in great number or in great degree, affect a gemstone's durability and clarity.

Peridot Clarity and Buying Peridot Jewelry

Although the Gemological Institute of America assigns Type 1, Type II and Type III clarity definitions for colored gemstones - broad categories under which the most popular colored gemstones are grouped - there is no industry-wide clarity scale for judging colored gemstones as there is with diamonds.  

JeGem Sterling Silver Peridot Bracelet

Consequently, jewelry dealers more often than not establish their own guidelines for judging the clarity of colored gemstones, which is usually patterned after the GIA's and include ratings similar to diamond clarity grading such as VVS (very, very slightly included), VS (very slightly included), SI1 (slightly included-1), and so forth.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that a gemstone's natural characteristics are taken into account when a clarity grade is assigned.

For example, topaz is a Type I gemstone with very good natural clarity.  A noticeably included topaz may have a clarity rating of SI1.  A similarly sized and similarly included emerald, on the other hand, may be given a rating of VVS, because emerald is a Type III gemstone (nearly always included) and the inclusions that may earn topaz a lower rating may earn emerald an exceptional rating.

When buying peridot jewelry, ask about the gemstone's clarity rating and the clarity scale used to rate the gemstone.  14K Genuine Peridot and Diamond Ring

When buying online, this information is usually available on the product page or via a link on the product page.  Terms such as 'clean' or 'eye clean' are used sometimes to mean that the gemstone in question is free of inclusions visible to the naked eye, or that inclusions are only visible under 10x magnification.  

Again, the standards by which individual jewelry dealers grade colored gemstone clarity can vary, so be sure to acquaint yourself with the standards by which your dealer measures colored gemstone clarity.   You will then be able to make an informed decision and ensure that the peridot jewelry you purchase is of the quality you desire, at a price fair to both you and the dealer.

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