AskDefine | Define peridot

Dictionary Definition

peridot n : a pale green variety of chrysolite; used as a gemstone

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A clear, pale green form of olivine, used as a gem.

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Peridot (pronunciation: /ˈpɛrɪˌdɒt/, /ˈpɛrɪˌdoʊ/ (British English), /ˈpɛərɪˌdɑt/, /ˈpɛərɪˌdɑʊ/ (US English)) is the gem quality variety of forsteritic olivine. The chemical composition of peridot is (Mg, Fe)2SiO4, with Mg in greater quantities than Fe. The name of the gemstone is believed to come from either the Arabic word faridat, meaning "gem", or from a Greek word meaning "gold stone". Peridot is one of the few gemstones that comes in only one color. The depth of green depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure, and varies from yellow-green to olive to brownish green. Olivine is a very abundant mineral, but gem quality peridot is rather rare. Peridot crystals have been collected from some Pallasite meteorites. Peridot olivine is the birthstone for August.


Olivine, of which peridot is a type, is a common mineral in mafic and ultramafic rocks, and it is often found in lavas and in peridotite xenoliths of the mantle, which lavas carry to the surface; but gem quality peridot only occurs in a fraction of these settings. Peridot olivine is mined in North Carolina, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico, in the US; and in Australia, Brazil, China, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. High quality peridot olivine is mined in the eastern lava fields of Saudi Arabia. The largest cut peridot olivine is a 310 carat (62 g) specimen in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C..

External links

peridot in Spanish: Peridoto
peridot in Persian: زبرجد
peridot in Finnish: Peridootti
peridot in French: Péridot
peridot in Hebrew: פרידוט
peridot in Dutch: Olivijn
peridot in Polish: Perydot
peridot in Russian: Хризолит
peridot in Simple English: Peridot
peridot in Turkish: Peridot
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