Peridot is the magnesium rich, gem-quality variety of Olivine and one of the few gemstones that only occurs in one colour – olive green.
Peridot is occasionally referred to as “The Gem from Heaven” as it has been found in meteorites. Extra-terrestrial peridot is found in rare pallasite meteorites that were created roughly 4.5 billion years ago. Pallasites consist of green olivine crystals embedded in an iron-nickel matrix, just like a load of olives baked in a tasty loaf of olive bread.
(Image from https://earthsky.org/space/cosmic-rock-found-in-farmers-field-worth-up-to-850000)
An article in Gems & Gemology Summer 2008 shows an extremely rare piece of interplanetary Cats-eye Peridot found by meteorite hunter Steve Arnold and shown at the Tucson Gem fair.
(Image taken from Gems & Gemmology Summer 2008)
One of the well-known inclusions in Peridot is the Lily pad inclusion. See below for a close up of one of these lily pad inclusions in one of our faceted peridots and this fabulous peridot slice exhibiting the vivid interference in lily pad discs.
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Needles and tufts of chrysotile in Peridot (above) and a doubly refracted lily pad inclusion. The double refraction is caused be Peridot's high refractive index.