Green with Envy

Posted: December 21, 2011 - 11:47 , by royal
Collections, Natural History, What's New, Mineralogy | Comments () | Comment

Every day at the museum is a good day, but when a new object-specimen gets added to the collection, it is a great day.  It was a particularly stellar day in Earth Sciences when we were able to acquire this lovely princess cut, 23.24 carat peridot from Myanmar (Burma).

Green Periot Gem

23.24 carat peridot from Myanmar (Burma).

Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral forsterite, part of the olivine-group, and was first discovered on small island (4.5 km squared), St. John’s Island (also known as Zabargad), off the coast of Egypt, in the Red Sea. Myanmar has been a known source of peridot for hundreds of years and recently production has tapered off making it increasingly difficult to find specimens from this location.  Currently the largest producer of peridot is Pakistan.

It was the cut, a mixed cut called a princess cut, that caught our eye and had us lingering over this particular gemstone.  A princess cut is often seen with diamonds, as it highlights the dispersion of the stone and maximizes the cutting rough, but it is much rarer in coloured stones. The use of this cut with this material was a sign to us that the cutting rough was top quality.

The birthstone of August is a perennial favourite because of its rich green colour, and minimal known enhancements.  This sizable gem, larger than a postage stamp across the table, was a purchase made possible by a generous gift of the Levenston Family.