Olive the info you need to know about
Image from P. Price
Image from JR Jewelers
by Philip Price [email protected]
ES 567 Gemstones of the World
Table of Contents Essential facts about olivine Chemical Characteristics History and folklore Olivine as a gem stone Sources of Olivine Image from Lavinsky, 2010
Essential Facts About Olivine Olivine is… a mineral named after a green olive due to its color. an abundant mineral subsurface in our planet because
it is a major component of igneous rock. a gemstone known as peridot (pear-uh-doe). 6.5 on the hardness scale with a conchoidal fracture, clear streak, and vitreous luster Friedman, 1997-2012
Chemical Characteristics Olivine has… a chemical formula of (Fe, Mg)SiO4. a series of minerals and generic formula, M2SiO4
where M= Ca, Fe, Mn, Ni, and/or Mg. is a silicate with primary end members fosterite (Mg2SiO4 ) and fayalite (Fe2SiO4). a basaltic rock host and first mineral to crystallize out of the mafic-rich magma. Schumann, 2009
Chemical Characteristics Olivine is a nesosilicate with an
orthorhombic crystal structure. It is found in vesicular basalt
Image from The Wiccan Gecko, 2012 (above); image from Alden, 2009 (right).
Images from Wikimedia Commons, 2004
History &Folklore Historically peridot was… mined on Zagbargad, St. John’s island, in the Red Sea over 3,500 years ago according to Greek historian Pliny the Elder (below, left) in his book Naturalis Historia (Natural History) in AD 70. Historically mined in Pakistan, Burma, Brazil, US-AZ & Hawaii known as evening emerald and historians suggest Cleopatra wore peridot instead of emeralds Found in eastern Siberia, 1749, in a meteorite fall. Information from USGS/NPS Geology in the Parks, 2002 Essence-of-mineral-makeup, 2008-2012 AllAboutGemstones.com, 2012 Glimmerdream, 2003-2012
Zagbargad, Egypt; image from Allaboutgemstones, n.d.
History &Folklore Peridot folklore states that… For centuries, dating back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, Olivine has been regarded as a stone of the sun… stone of lightness and beauty. Olivine dispels nightmares and evil spirits if the gem is set in gold. Powers do not work to protect against evil spirits unless tied to the tail of a donkey and worn around the left arm Olivine is the birthstone of August & assigned to planet Saturn.
Image from Emily’s Gems, n.d.
Information from Gem Select, 2005-2012 Schumann, 2009 JJKent, Inc, 2004
Olivine as Gemstone • Found as both faceted and tumbled gems, cut in step, oval, brilliant, rose • Predominately found in small crystals but 319 ct from Zabargad, Egypt is
housed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum • Peridot is a idiochromatic gem which means it gets its color from the Fe or Mg in its fundamental chemical makeup and not from inclusions • Characteristic inclusion is the lily pad Images from GIA a & b, 2002-2012
Olivine as Gemstone Treatments are not used to enhance the quality of the gem Price per carat for Peridot can range greatly depending on the depth of color,
cut, and clarity.
Images from: GIA c, 2002-2012 HealingCrystals.com, 2012 Etsy.com, 2012
Information from: Gem Select, 2005-2012 Schumann, 2009
Sources of Olivine Historically famous Red Sea island but today, number one in abundance is
Arizona, which produces between 80-90% of the world’s peridot. Famous in high quality peridot is both Burma (Myanmar) and Pakistan Found in Wyoming (The Gem Hunter, 2012), New Mexico and Hawaii in the US, and also China, Norway, Brazil, Australia, Kenya, Mexico, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Tanzania & for a map see mindat.org (Ralph, J., 2011) Image from <>
References & Links Amethyst Galleries, 1995-2012. The mineral olivine. Retrieved from
http://www.galleries.com/Olivine Arizona Skies Meteorites, 2003-2012. Pallasides and mesosiderites. Retrieved from http://www.arizonaskiesmeteorites.com/AZ_Skies _Links/Stony_Irons/index.html Arizona-Peridot.com , 2008-2011. Arizona peridot. Retrieved from http://www.arizona-peridot.com/Loose_Peridot/ Alden, A., 2009. Olivine phenocrysts in basalt: Hawaii. Geology About.com. Retrieved from http://geology.about.com/od/more_igrocks/ig/phenocrysts/ phenocryst-olivine.htm
References& Links AllAboutGemstones.com, 2012. Gemstones: Peridot. Retrieved from
http://www.allaboutgemstones.com/gemstones_peridot.html Anne97432, 2008. Olivine. Wikipedia Commons. Retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Olivine.jpg Barthelmy, D., 1997-2010. Forsterite mineral data. Mineralogy Database. Retrieved from http://webmineral.com/data/Forsterite.shtml Emily’s Gems, n.d. Peridot chips. Retrieved from http://crystalcure.com/peridot-gem.html Essence-of,-mineral-makeup. 2008-2012. Peridot-(Olivine, Chrysolite. Retrieved from http://www.essence-of-mineral-makeup.com/peridot.html
References & Links Etsy.com, 2012. Rose cut peridot ring. Retrieved from
http://www.etsy.com/listing/104771642/rose-cut-peridot-ring-18k-gold-and Friedman, H., 1997-2012. The olivine mineral series. The Mineral & Gemstone Kingdom. Retrieved from http://www.minerals.net/mineral/olivine.aspx Gem Select, 2005-2012. Peridot. Retrieved from www.gemselect.com/geminfo/peridot/peridot-info.php GIA a 2002-2012. Lily pad inclusion. Retrieved from http://www.gia.edu/image_resources/educational/lilypad-inclusion-inperidot.jpg
References & Links GIA b 2002-2012. Oval cut peridot. Retrieved from
http://www.gia.edu/image_resources/educational/peridot.jpgGIA c 2002-2012. Peridot ring. Retrieved from http://www.gia.edu/research-resources/library/featuredgemstones/peridot/index.html Glimmerdream, 2003-2012. Peridot: Emerald of the crusaders. Retrieved from http://glimmerdream.com/gemjourneys/peridot/history HealingCrystals.com, 2012. Tumbled peridot chip necklace. Retrieved from http://www.healingcrystals.com/Crystal_Necklaces__Peridot_Tumbled_Chips_Necklace.html
References & Links JJKent, Inc., 2004. The history and folklore surrounding chrysolites.
Retrieved from http://www.jjkent.com/articles/history-folklore-chrysolites.htm J. R. Jewelry, 2004-2010. August birthstone: Peridot. Retrieved from http://www.jrjewelersblog.com/ Lavinsky, R. 2010. Forsterite-Olivine. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Forsterite-Olivine-4jg58b.jpg Nelson, S. A., 2012. Magma and igneous rocks. EENS 1110 Physical Geology lecture, Tuland University. Retrieved from http://www.tulane.edu/~sanelson/eens1110/igneous.htm Ralph, J., 2011. Olivine source map. Mindat.org. Retrieved from http://www.mindat.org/min-2983.html
References & Links Schumann, W., 2009. Gemstones of the world. NY: Sterling Publishing
Company. The Gem Hunter, 2012. Peridot gemtones & geology and TheLeucite Hills, Wyoming (2011). Peridot Blog. Retrieved from http://peridot1.blogspot.com/ and http://leucitehills.blogspot.com/ The Brazilian Connection, n.d., Peridot. Retrieved from http://www.thebrazilianconnection.com/miscperidot.html The Wiccan Gecko , 2012. Peridot and the Goddess Pele: Peridot green sands of Hawaii. Earthegy Blog. Retrieved from http://blog.earthegy.com/wpcontent/uploads/2012/01/greenbeach.jpg
References & Links USGS/NPS, 2002. Olivine-peridotite – harzburgite and dunite.
Retrieved from http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/LivingWith/VolcanicPast/Notes/olivine.html Weller, R., 2011. Peridot photos. Cochise College. Conchise County, Arizona. Retrieved from http://skywalker.cochise.edu/wellerr/mingem/gemtp/peridot/peridotL.htm Wikimedia Commons, 2004. Atomic structure of olivine. Retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Atomic_structure_of_olivine_1.png Tivol, T. ,2012. Peridot: August birthstone . Tom Tivol Fine Jewelry. Retrieved from http://www.tomtivoljewels.com/peridot-august-birthstone/ Tivol, T. ,2012. Peridot: August birthstone . Tom Tivol Fine Jewelry. Retrieved from http://www.tomtivoljewels.com/peridot-august-birthstone/