Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems

August: Peridot



Peridot is the yellow-green gem variety of the mineral forsterite, a type of olivine. It is often found in darker volcanic rocks and can be found as glassy green inclusions in the basalts of Hawaii. The “topaz” of the Bible was actually peridot, probably from the ancient deposit on St. John’s Island in the Red Sea. Today, most peridot comes from Myanmar (Burma). Arizona produces fine gemstones, usually less than 1 carat in weight.

Forsterite variety Peridot, Egypt
Photo by Harold and Erica Van Pelt


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