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.
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.
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.