The name Peridot comes from the Arabic word "faridat," meaning gem. Ancient Egyptians called them the "gem of the sun," because of their dazzling brilliance when seen in the desert sun. It was believed that the Peridot glowed with light even as darkness fell, which is why miners were said to have scouted for these gems during the night, marking their location, and returning in the light of day to retrieve them. Perhaps this legendary mining method is the reason that the Peridot is sometimes called "evening emerald."
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Peridot is predominantly green in color due to the presence of mineral Olivine and iron. Within that color, though, they cover all the different shades ranging from a spring reminiscent light yellowish green to a much sought after deep velvety green. The golden yellow peridot is called Chrysolite, Olive green gemstones are called Olivine peridots and those that have a bottle green color are simply referred to as Peridot. Early mining for this gem was done on Saint John's Island near Egypt around 1500 BC. The green crystal was considered protective against evil and when set in gold, especially helpful against night terrors. It was ground to powder and used as a remedy for asthma and as a cure for thirst brought on by fever. Gem quality Peridot is found and mined in the United States (Arizona and Hawaii), Brazil, South Africa, St. John's island in Egypt, Norway, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Australia.