Shining with a bright green glow even at night, peridot was called the "gem of the sun" by the ancient Egyptians and the "evening emerald" by Romans. It was a favorite gemstone of Cleopatra and was historically mistaken for emerald. The pronunciation of this popular gem is often confused and should be pronounced pair-ee-doh, as opposed to pair-ee-dot. Peridot's name origin is uncertain, but several theories exist. Some sources speculate that it comes from the 13th century Middle English word peridote, meaning "bright spot or bright button", an apt description for this gem, given its brilliance. Other sources attribute it...
Jewels have been objects of desire from the earliest days of mankind. The enduring value of gems and pearls is largely a result of their beauty, durability, and rarity. It is this last aspect that has pushed humans to create less expensive alternatives to the natural product. These include imitations such as glass, fully synthetic counterparts of natural gems, and enhancements that modify gems and pearls to make them more valuable.
For more than 4000 years, the deep "green fire" of emeralds has been treasured as a symbol of eternal spring and immortality. Shrouded in myth and lore, the birthstone for May isn't just a beautiful gem. Emeralds are also ornaments of power and politics that have created legends and molded world history. Prized by Egyptians, Romans, Aztecs, crowned heads of Europe, and today, gem connoisseurs the world over, emeralds, more than any other precious gemstone, have sparked the eternal fires of our collective imagination.
These frequently used terms describe the visual appearance of the interaction between light and a gem are often confused and misused, sometimes even by experienced industry professionals. The following clears up the confusion, allowing you to understand exactly what you are seeing when you gaze upon your gemstone jewelry.