If you’ve seen our first guide to peridot, the intriguing gem that is August’s birthstone, you’ll already have an idea of what makes this gem so special. From celestial origins in meteors dating back millennia to masquerading as emeralds, the peridot’s golden green hue has enchanted throughout the ages. 

Like numerous other coloured gems, the peridot is thought to be imbued with various properties. According to the American Gem Society, the olive-hued stone is believed to bring good fortune through power and influence, as well as bringing about a prosperous year. Additionally, peridot is also said to act as a talisman to protect the wearer from nightmares. 

But how can you tell a good quality peridot specimen? For those who have read our handy series on how to sound like an expert when choosing jewellery, you’ll already have a good few pro phrases under your belt, but this is something a little more specialised. 

Here’s what to look out for when you’re seeking out the perfect peridot at one of our Showcase Jewellers stores


Making the cut 

As we mentioned before, the peridot gets an average score of 6.5-7 the Mohs hardness scale, meaning that it doesn’t have the hardest composition. While this isn’t too much of a concern for the discerning consumer, for jewellers, it can make cutting this gem into the perfect shape more of a challenge. 

According to the International Coloured Gemstone Association (ICA), raw peridot is prone to cracking, meaning it takes a skilled hand to reveal its true inner beauty. However, once a gem cutter has worked to remove any coarse outer imperfections, the ICA notes that you don’t need to take any special precautions with it, as a peridot wears fairly well. 

What to look for when choosing a peridot 

With peridots coming in a broad range of verdant hues, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) notes that the finer examples tend to be more vibrantly coloured, with poorer-quality stones tending to be more brown in colour. Today, the best examples of peridots with good colour come from Pakistan and Myanmar, according to the GIA. 

As with diamonds, clarity is important. Finer peridots won’t have any imperfections or inclusions – often in the form of black spots – that are visible to the naked eye. However, with a slightly included peridot, you may see flat, reflective disk-like shapes known in the industry as ‘lily pads’. 

As for cut, peridots can be moulded into a variety of shapes, so go for one which catches your eye, or that complements its setting.