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Peridot (Olivine) Rough (untumbled) 2-5 mm Arizona (San Carlos Reservation) 1 lb bag

SKU: 12466
Price: $8.99


Rough natural untumbled peridot or olivine is a magnesium, iron silicate colored by trace amounts of iron. It varies in color from light yellowish green to deep green to brown. Although occurring in many places around the world, few have produced significant amounts of gem material. Since ancient times peridot came from St. Johns Island in the Red Sea and the alluvial gravels of Myanmar. Recently, beautiful gem peridot crystals from Afghanistan have appeared on the world market. In this century the bulk of gem peridot has been mined from Peridot Mesa near San Carlos, Arizona (See Above). This deposit is on the Apache Indian Reservation and is mined by freelance tribal miners. Peridot Mesa is comprised of a huge basalt flow containing fractured masses of olivine. As much as 20 percent of the volume of the flow consists of shattered peridot. Primarily by use of hand tools, tribal miners break the basalt/olivine rock and screen out the larger fragments of gem material. Most of these fragments are rather small and are tumblepolished and used as beads. The larger gemmy fragments can be cut into beautiful stones, but fine San Carlos gems larger than five carats are uncommon. Peridot is the accepted birthstone for August. Peridot should be a lively lime green, without a brownish or olive cast. Peridot is the child of volcanic action. Tiny peridot crystals are sometimes combed from the black sands of Hawaii. Legend - Peridots were favored by pirates, considered powerful amulets against all evil, and when set in gold, were said to protect the wearer from the terrors of the night. They had medicinal uses, too. If fashioned into a chalice, from which medicines were drunk, they intensified the effects of the drug.


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