Peridot gemstone beads are known by many names, including bastard emerald, chrysolite, evening emerald, hawaiite, night emerald, and peridote. These pretty green semiprecious beads are cut from an olivine variety composed of magnesium iron silicate. Peridot splits and bends the rays of light passing through it, giving it a velvety appearance and rich glow. Pronounced PEAR-ih-doh (or PEAR-ih-dot), its yellow-green color is mainly dependent on the amount of ferrous iron present.
Throughout time, peridot has been confused with many other gemstones, including emerald. In fact, many "emeralds" in royal treasures have turned out to be peridots! Other green gemstones confused with peridot are apatite (which is much softer), green garnets and moldavites (which have no double refraction), green tourmaline and green sinhalite (both of which are strongly pleochroic), and green zircon (which is significantly heavier).
The traditional birthstone of August, peridot has been mined for over 4,000 years, and is mentioned in the Bible under the Hebrew name pitdah. It is said to have been Cleopatra's favorite gemstone. Avoid exposing peridot beads to acids, quick temperature changes, scratches, sharp blows, or home ultrasonic cleaners. Peridot is associated with the heart chakra. Many believe it to slow aging and help speech, as well as increase patience, confidence, and assertiveness. Read more about Peridot in our gemstone index.