Peridot (pronounced pare-uh-doe) is reported to have
received its name from the Arabic word "faridat," which means gem. The
inhabitants of St. John's Island, in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt, are
said to have mined peridot for the ancient Egyptians as early as 1500 B.C.
Peridot has a beautiful warm, soft olive-green to yellowish-green color, but
never matches the intensity or shades of green typical of emerald. It is
somewhat soft for a gemstone, having a hardness of 6.5 to 7, and quickly tends
to lose its polish if worn on a daily basis in a mounting not designed to
protect it from scratching.