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My Favorite Gemstone Comes from the Planet Mars.
I wanted to buy my wife an exotic gemstone, but what do you buy a jeweller’s wife. She has diamonds up to her armpits and opals coming out of her ears.
Then I suddenly thought there is one gemstone that is found on the red planet. I’ll get her one of those.
I wanted a gem that got here the hard way, one that had a history, one that you didn’t just trip over on a beach. Well this gemstone is also found on the planet earth as well as Mars so I could get it locally. It got here the hard way though being blasted up from the earth’s mantel as molten mineral to crystalise near the surface as a beautiful green, much overlooked, not well respected gem in modern times, with an up market name Peridot!
Peridot is pronounced the French way which sounds like Pair-a-doh. It might be from the French word peritot for unclear since the stone generally has a lot of inclusions or it might be from the Arabic faridat meaning gem.
It is one of the only gemstones which come in only one colour. I like that too! It is definite and knows what it is. The green will vary because of the amount of iron present. It has often been called the poor man’s emerald. Well, emerald is thought of as the most expensive gemstone so I guess that is a compliment in itself.
But if we go back in time peridot was there from the beginning. Peridot was one of the twelve stones in the breastplate of Aaron from Exodus in the bible. This breastplate had twelve stones which represented the twelve tribes of Israel. It is said to be one of the gemstones in the breastplate of the Jewish High Priest. It has been mined as a gem for over four thousand years.
It was mined on the island of Zagbargad since ancient times. Imagine if you could get hold of one which was mined here in ancient times. How fantastic would that be as it is all but mined out now.
Although Peridot comes from a host of different countries such as Australia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Egypt, Mexico and Brazil the quality varies from one source to another. But 95% of the entire world production comes from the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona.
But if you want the real exotic gemstone from outer space you will have to look for the name Pallasites. This is a type of meteorite named after a German Peter Pallas who described in 1772. In 2003 Nasa discovered peridot crystals on Mars. This was the first time that a gemstone had been found on another planet.
A beautiful stone which set in gold will make stunning jewellery and if you are lucky to get hold of one which came from Mars or somewhere else in outer space you will be indeed fortunate.