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Peridot The peridot is a very old gemstone, and one which has become very popular again today. It is so ancient that it can be found in Egyptian jewelry from the early 2nd millennium B.C. It has an olive or bottle green color due to the presence of iron, and an oily luster. It has high birefringence, so the doubling of the back facets can easily be seen in large peridots when viewed from front. The peridot is one of the few gemstones which come in one colour only. The rich, green colour with the slight tinge of gold is caused by very fine traces of iron. From a chemical point of view, peridot is an iron magnesium silicate. The intensity of the colour depends on the amount of iron actually present. The colour itself can vary over all shades of yellowish green and olive, and even to a brownish green. Peridot is not particularly hard - only 6.5 to 7 on the Moh's scale - but it is easy to look after and fairly robust. Peridot cat's eyes and star peridot are particularly rare and precious. Good quality peridots are rare. Peridot is found on St. Johnís island in Egypt, China, Burma, Brazil Hawaii and Arizona. The crusaders brought Peridot to Europe in the Middle ages, transporting stones from St. Johnís island in the Red Sea, where it has been mined for over 3,500 years.

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