How to Buy a Peridot

Emeralds are not the only colored gemstones that boast a green hue. There is also the peridot, a lighter green gem that is the birthstone of August. Peridots were first discovered on a small island in the Red Sea; the sun had scorched the sand and left pale green crystals scattered about. The stone was first named topazion, but eventually came to be called peridot. If you are in the market for such a stone, you need to understand a few factors about how to buy a peridot.


  1. Image titled Buy a Peridot Step 1
    Observe the color of the stone you are considering.
    • Peridot is pale to grass green. The gem is classified as ideochromatic, which means the color is caused by ferrous iron. The most valuable stones are grass green, but peridot can also be yellowish or even have a brown tint.
  2. Image titled Buy a Peridot Step 2
    Look for clarity in the stone.
    • Peridot is not an expensive stone, and the industry standard calls only for "eye clean" clarity. Most peridots will have some small inclusions and flaws, which are much more apparent in larger stones. Where many semi-precious stones should be clear and reflective, peridots often have a velvety quality.
  3. Image titled Buy a Peridot Step 3
    Decide on a cut.
    • Because peridot is a more affordable gem, cutters don't worry as much about keeping weight to the stones and are creative with cuts than they might be with more expensive gems. Peridots can be found cut into unique fantasy cuts or as tumbled beads.
    • When looking at cuts, be sure to look for clean edges and symmetry. If you like a natural, native cut peridot, buy one that is inexpensive enough that you will be able to afford to have it re-cut by a professional.
  4. Image titled Buy a Peridot Step 4
    Consider the stone's size and pricing.
    • The price range for peridots is wide. Smaller stones (1 to 2 carats) can sell for as low as $50, while larger stones of deeper color can cost more than $400 per carat. Peridots of up to 10 carats are common.
  5. Image titled Buy a Peridot Step 5
    Ask the jeweler if the stone has been treated or enhanced.
    • Where many colored stones such as emeralds, amethysts, rubies and blue zircons are heat-treated to improve or deepen their color, there is no known treatment that will accomplish that for the peridot. The color of the peridot is the result of iron saturation in the stone. Peridot should always be an untreated gem.


  • Buy the peridot from a reputable dealer. Tourmaline and green glass are common imitations that are sometimes sold as peridot, but in fact, no lab-created peridot is on the market. (It has been made, but only for experimental purposes.) Your jeweler or gemologist should be able to produce a certificate of authenticity or a report from the gemology lab from which the stone you are considering came. Look for bubbles or swirls in the stone -- these are common traits of glass and will not be present in a genuine stone.
  • Compared to stones such as diamonds and emeralds, the peridot is a soft stone. If peridot jewelry is to be stored with other pieces, it should be put in a pouch by itself so the surface of the stone is not scratched or nicked by harder stones or sharp-edges on other pieces of jewelry.
  • Peridots should never be steamed or cleaned ultrasonically. The gem should be cleaned by hand in warm, soapy water (dish washing detergent is desirable), and should not be exposed to extreme heat, any acids, or extreme changes in temperature as this can cause the stones to crack.

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Categories: Rock Gem Mineral and Fossil Collecting