Peridot beads are formed out of the combination of two minerals, namely, forsterite and fayalite. While forsterite (Mg2Sio4) is rich in manganese, fayalite (Fe2Sio4) is formed of iron. Peridot possesses the qualities of both by falling under the family of olivine that comprises of these two minerals. Thus, the chemical formula of olivine is (MG,Fe)2Sio4.One of the most interesting facts about peridot gemstone is that although iron acts as the main agent in bringing out the color of this gemstone, but, in terms of composition peridote strikes much more resemblance to the properties of forsterite as compared to fayalite. Peridot beads also show traces of chromium and nickel, which are again good coloring agents like iron.
Peridot, just like diamonds, are formed in the deeper region of earth known as mantle unlike other precious mineral based gemstones that are usually formed on the crust of the earth. Peridot beads are initially formed in the crystallized form and found about twenty to fifty-five miles deep from the surface of earth where climatic conditions are extremely hot. They come to the surface only as a result of some volcanic or tectonic activities. In the same way, diamonds take birth about 100-150 miles below the surface of earth.
Peridot gemstones are usually found to follow the same family when it comes to color, that is, green. These beautiful beads can be found in various shade of green ranging from yellow-green to green with a slightly brown tint. The uniformity in the color of these beads makes them different from other mineral beads which can be found in many colors. Also known as poor mans emerald, peridot in the form of gemstone is rarely found as compared to olivine which is quite easily available.
While United States is considered to be the largest manufacturer of peridot beads, these gemstones are found in abundance mainly in Burma, China, Pakistan and Vietnam. Out of all these aforementioned countries, the peridot beads of the finest quality are found only in Burma and Pakistan. America collects the raw material for the production of peridot beads from Arizona, which possesses a great deposit of these precious crystals. Also, Peridot Mesa which is a place situated in Gila Country on the San Carlos Apache Indi Reservation East of Globe is believed to be the biggest productive locality for peridot gemstones in the whole world as nearly 80 to 90 percent of total production of peridot gemstones takes place at the San Carlos Reservation.
The largest peridot known to man weighs around 310 carats and is kept in Washington D.D. at Smithsonian. The value of peridot beads depends upon its availability and size. A peridot, which is less than 5 carats would not be priced as high as the one which is 5 carats or above in weight. The one that falls between 10-15 carats is quite rare to be found hence could be considerably expensive. A birthstone for those who are born in the month of August, this beautiful stone is believed to possess many talismanic powers as well.
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