This month is the August gemstone peridot, how to tell if colors are natural, and what's new. Scroll down, or click one of the links below.
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Peridot & the gemstone for August
Ruby - July's Birthstone
Pearl & Peridot Necklace
Peridot & the cooling gemstone for August
Peridot has been mined as a gemstone for thousands of years, said to be the favorite gem of Cleopatra, and mentioned in the Bible. In ancient Egypt it was mined at night because legend tells that peridot was hard to see during the day, yet easily visible by lamplight. The Greeks and Romans called peridot "topazion" and "topazius" - the later named topaz, to end the confusion between the two. Peridot has also been confused with emerald and many jewelers refer to it as "evening emerald". Peridot was later used to decorate medieval churches, carried back to Europe by the Crusaders, like the huge stones of more than 200 carats in size at Cologne Cathedral.
The gemstone is actually known under three names: Peridot, Chrysolith (derived from the Greek word "goldstone") and Olivin, because Peridot is the gemstone variety of the Olivin mineral. In the gemstone trade it is generally called Peridot, a name derived from the Greek "peridona", meaning something like "giving plenty.
Peridot is recommended for insomnia, digestive problems and to stimulate the mind. Some say peridot has the power to drive away evil spirits, intensified when the stone is set in gold. And it's also said to strengthen the power of any medicine drunk from peridot goblets. Peridot is for people with the star sign of Leo.
Color enhancement has existed for thousands of years. In ancient times it was common to submerge turquoise in animal or vegetable oil. This formed a luster that lasted a long time, but with oil stains appearing when worn. Today some stabilized turquoise is "color shot" or "color stabilized". Color stabilized infers that it is the natural color which is "stabilized." This is untrue, as color has been added. However, this is not so bad, as jewelry making is art and color enhancement improves the appearance.
Dyeing is one of the oldest enhancements. Ancient Romans knew how to dye agates, and today it is common practice to dye jade, pearls, and porous stones like chalcedony and opaque quartz. Natural chalcedony comes only in pale periwinkle gray. Blue topaz and garnet beads are dyed to make them appear more vibrant. Dyeing makes your beads look much more interesting and has few drawbacks. It's so common, that even if a seller tells you the beads aren't dyed, they properly are! The dye usually won't come off, but it's still best to rinse some stones before using them just in case. Color will fade if left in the sunlight too long & either dyed or natural stone. Some pearls are exposed to sunlight to bleach them a brilliant white. And almost all red coral these days, is white coral dyed red.
Heat-treatment is another technique that has been used for thousands of years. Carnelians are often heat treated to intensify the bright orange color, and most citrines sold today are actually heat-treated amethyst. Although you won't see much of these stones in bead form, sapphires and rubies in most fine jewelry today are heat-treated as well. Finally, irradiation is a more recently discovered way to alter colors of gemstone - commonly used to intensify blue topaz, and to create smoky quartz out of ice quartz. Like most things: the more you pay, the more natural the stone will be.
Agate Dragon Beads
Yellow Agate Teardrops
Long Red Carnelian Teardrops
Puff Oval Onyx
Large Amber Teardrops
Labradorite Puff Ovals
8mm Lilac Labradorite
Natural 6mm Agate
Large Fire Agate Barrels
Square Jasper Frames
Taiwan Jade Frames
Pink Agate Pillows
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Special $10 Offer!
Sample our beads with US$10 off, just key in "peridot" at the checkout (without the inverted commas) and click "Redeem Coupon".
Offer valid until 3rd August only - so act now! Only for use in our store at the checkout and not valid with any other offers.
To go to our MrBead store click http://www.mrbead.com
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