As we celebrate the remaining days of summer by enjoying the great outdoors, I want to tell you a bit about August's birthstone, peridot. Peridot is unique in that it only comes in one color: green! How perfect to remind us of the beauty of August.
In the United States, peridot can be found in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. Peridot is another name for gem-quality olivine. What's most fascinating to me is that olivine can be found in meteorites that have come to Earth from space!! Check out this photo of a meteorite that I took at the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College, which by the way is a fabulous museum with a nice mineral collection and an incredible collection of dinosaur footprints and fossils that are beautifully displayed.
And here's a closeup of a meteorite with olivine from another museum:
Pretty incredible, huh?! There are even people who cut beautiful faceted stones for jewelry out of this extraterrestrial peridot. Amazing! Back to earthly pursuits, I was just hoping to find some U.S. peridot so I can make a piece of jewelry for my sister in honor of her new baby (due this month!). Just last week our landlord came across some stones from her travels long ago and offered them to us. And guess what she had! Peridot that she collected in Utah! Aah, serendipity. It's a wonderful thing. Here's a photo of the stones, which I may use in their rough form or perhaps have cut into cabochons or even faceted gems:
I can't wait for the arrival of my new little niece or nephew! I am so excited for his/her arrival. If he or she decides to come late, perhaps a Montana sapphire will be in my sister's future! More on September's birthstone (sapphire) next month.