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A gem variety of olivine that is golden-green, but also shades ranging from dark leek-green to yellowish-green. It has been confused with green corundum, emerald, and chrysoberyl. The stones are usually faceted, but some are polished by Tumbling or mounted in their natural rough form.
Some examples are chatoyant. A stone of brownish color, formerly called ‘brown peridot’, has since 1952 been recognized as a different mineral, sinhalite. In Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) water-worn fragments of bottle-glass have been sometimes deceptively sold as peridot.
The name ‘peridot’ is generally pronounced like the French form péridot; an alternative spelling ‘peridote’ is incorrect.
The original source in antiquity was the Egyptian island of St John’s (now Zabargad) in the Red Sea.