As you know, Mystic Self offers a wide range of beautiful and unique gemstones including the mesmerizing olive-green peridot. From necklaces to bracelets to earrings and more, we believe that these gorgeous gems are as glamorous as they are timeless. What you might not know, however, is how exactly gemstones are formed. Most gemstones spend a lot of time beneath the earth before they are excavated and cut into the lovely shapes that can be adorned and worn as jewelry.
While the specific process for gemstone formation isn’t uniform, it can be broken into four key stages and today we’ll be looking at how exactly peridot is created. In truth, gemstones make for more than just great jewelry, they’re a little bit of the earth's history and in most cases they’re much older than even the human race.
Peridot is a really interesting stone because it is the only other gemstone - along with the diamond - to be formed beneath the earth’s crust. Plus, it’s even been found on meteors that hit the earth some 14 million years ago. As gemstones go, peridot seems like an interesting place to start when it comes to the gem formation process and general history, so, without further ado - let’s find out more!
Four different journeys
As I touched upon before, different gemstones form in different ways. Typically, these varying techniques can be separated out into the following four processes:
Igneous - minerals that are formed very deep below the earth’s surface after molten rock cools and solidifies.
Hydrothermal - gemstones that are formed when water, rich with minerals, cools and solidifies into pretty patterns, shapes and colours.
Metamorphic - in this process, gemstones are formed (literally ‘morphed’) due to intense amounts of heat and pressure below the earth’s surface.
Sedimentary - some of you may remember this word from geography class, this process refers to gems that are created through water depositing sediments and it produces stones such as opal.
The Igneous Process - The History of Peridot!
Today we’re going to focus on how the igneous gemstone, peridot, is cooked up by mother earth, as well as its history more broadly. Below the surface of the earth is the molten layer known as the ‘mantle’. This fiery hot area is where the beautiful, glistening peridot gem is created.
Seeing as the mantle is below the earth’s crust, scientists and geologists only have a limited understanding of how things operate in this layer. What we do know, however, is that the peridot gems that humans have found and mined once existed 20-50 miles beneath the earth’s surface. (Remember that the next time you’re looking for a ‘deep’ and meaningful gift since peridot is literally from deep within the earth!).
I know what you’re thinking: if the rocks are formed so far down, how have we managed to find them? Well, in the case of peridot, it seems that these gemstones were brought closer to the surface thanks to explosive eruptions. Pair that with the slow but steady erosion of surface rock and humans have been able to get their hands on this shiny green gem.
This process of formation can take a looooong time, and I don’t mean long like waiting for a bus in the rain; I mean long like more time than humans have even been on earth. Peridot is hardly a new fashion statement either. It is one of the oldest gemstones in the world and was even popular back in ancient times. In fact, the use of peridot as jewelry dates back to the Ancient Egyptians when it was worn by the mighty Pharaohs (how’s that for a timeless fashion statement?).
While most of the peridot we have today was formed in the earth’s mantle, some exclusive samples of this gemstone have been found in meteors that crash-landed to earth millions of years ago. One meteorite found in Siberia in 1749 contained large crystals of green peridot. While this discovery is exceptionally cool, these samples of the green gem are rarely used in jewelry as scientists tend to want to keep it for themselves (which, considering they are believed to be a whopping 4.5 billion years old, is understandable).
A classic gemstone
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the history and formation of peridot! Next time you’re looking for a unique bit of jewelry that really makes a statement, why not seek out this beautiful green gemstone. Not only is it one of only two precious rocks formed beneath the earth’s crust, it has historically been fit for kings (well, Pharaohs). Luckily for you, we have lots and lots of peridot jewelry for you to browse, buy and style. Check some out today!