Ah, Peridot, that beautiful green August Birthstone! There were other P-gem candidates, but of course I had to pick my birthstone, this time around. Peridot's lucious olive to lime-green color range is caused by iron. Major sources of this magnesium iron silicate are Pakistan, Brazil, Australia, and the US. I have no idea why I was so jealous of those who were born in April and had a diamond for a birthstone. Peridot is definitely the underdog here, with diamonds being the 'Queen of the Gems' -- but after all these years I'm proud to call this stone my own. It's said that Peridots are little green nuggets of positive power, bringing an inner sense of warmth and well being. It is lustrous, whatever its shade, and its beauty is the result of extreme conditions, being formed deep within the earth under great heat and pressure. It is often found in the rocks created by volcanoes and even meteors. In Hawaii, Peridot is treasured as the goddes Pele's tears; there are even beaches made up of tiny grains of peridot in Oahu. Much of new Peridot finds today come from Arizona; it is often hand-mined by Native Americans on the San Carlos Reservation. As recently as 1994, however, a new deposit of Peridot was found in Pakistan, in the far west of the Hamalaya Mountains. In ancient Rome, this special stone was called the 'evening emerald', since its glow could still be seen in lamplight. Peridot has even been used during the Middle Ages, especially for decoration of medieval churches. Large peridots still adorn the shrine of the three magi at the Cologne Cathedral. It's difficult to choose from all the stunning creations made of Peridot, but I finally selected this sample from Fineheart jewelry on Etsy.com. After we're finished with the A - Z's of Beading and Beadwork, we'll do a blog series on all the birthstones we're privileged to be associated with -- stay tuned!