Peridot

Shopping for peridot is a lot more complicated than one might think. First, you need to know that color, clarity, cut, size and origin effect the value of the gem you are buying. The finest peridot comes from Burma, Pakistan and Arizona and each have unique attributes.

 

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High quality neon-green Burmese peridot has a slight, silty quality that makes it appear to glow even in lower light situations. Courtesy of Chateau Peridot

If you want vivid, deep green peridot your best bet is from Burma and Pakistan. Though Arizona material may be deep green it is very hard to find high quality gems over 3 carats with out clarity issues and a lot of Arizona peridot has more of an olive green color. Ivid deep greens are very rare. That being said, many people want peridot from Arizona and will pay a lot for stones over 5 carats that are deep green, have good clarity and a nice cut. Made (or found) in the USA is still quite attractive to many buyers.

 

Lets start with,  Pakistani peridot. In order to even access the mining sites you must climb high into the treacherous, Himalayan Mountains if the weather even permits a climb on the year you chose. Some years, the weather prevents any mining but when the gems are found they can be of incredible size and clarity; sometimes even exceeding 100 carats in a cut gem.

 

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Pakistani peridot cut by Ben Koh. Courtesy of Chateau Peridot.

Pakistani peridot is known for its size, excellent clarity and intense leaf to parrot green color. It is often cut by the miners into a, “mine-cut,” which is a rough preliminary cut that shows the clarity and color and must be recut by a more skilled gem cutter after it is sold. The price of the gem has been climbing and for larger stones expect to be paying up to 1000.00 a carat. Even wholesaler’s are having problems finding the gem at reasonable pricing which makes the retail price of peridot climb yet higher. Demand for this gem is growing by leaps and bounds each year since the discovery of this material becomes more popular with people who like vibrant green gems and are not willing to pay the sometimes astronomical price for large emeralds.

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Again, a closer look at this fantastic Burmese peridot set in this euro-style ring is a fine example of the very high quality gems coming out of Burma. A lot of this material is from old rough and gems of large size and the prized neon-green coloration is getting harder and harder to obtain and the Burmese gems ability to almost luminesce in even low light situations makes it highly desirable. Burmese material can be leaf, parrot or grass green but the sleepier silty material is the color and clarity that does the magic tricks in very low light. This is the type material that Cleopatra prized and referred to as her, “evening emeralds,” and many peridot thought to have been owned by her were once thought to be emeralds. The mine where Cleopatra’s peridot came from played out long ago but this Burmese material has all the qualities of her gems and is therefore prized by many jewelers who know their clients will be wearing their jewelry in nightclubs and restaurants and want a gem that does not go dark in that situation.

Arizona peridot of fine color though very hard to find is worth its weight in gold (often more,) and fine green stones of 3 carats or larger are prized for jewelry and by collectors as well. This material is often found in 1 carat or below in fine gem quality and while some people like the olivine color that is most often found in the Arizona gems people still prefer bright green gems of good clarity.  So, when the gems are found they are difficult to obtain or very expensive easily getting to or near the 1000.00 a carat range. If you are fortunate enough to find material over 3 carats and having all the qualities of the aforementioned peridot’s then it would most likely be a wise investment. And the gems from Arizona (of top quality,) can rival their cousins in Pakistan and Burma.

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Very, high quality, 5 carat, Arizona peridot. Courtesy of Chateau Peridot

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