Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gemstone of the sun and life

Historically, one of the oldest and most important sources of peridot was the tiny island called Zabardjad or Zabargad in the Red Sea( now the property of Egypt). This strip of land less than two miles square has been documented as the first source of peridot, dating back as far as four thousand years. And the earliest Crusaders introduced peridot to Europe on their return home. This source was re-established shortly after the start of the twentieth century, after being closed for nearly a hundred years. Declared off-limits to outsiders in 1958 after being nationalized as part of Egypt, this island controls just a small portion of the worldwide peridot market today.

The peridot is a gemstone that is documented in many ancient references. It is mentioned throughout the Bible, and early Christians believed the stone to be sacred. Even today the peridot, along with the amethyst, is part of the tradition of Catholic bishops, found in ring that symbolizes purity and morality.

Much superstition and tradition surround the lively green peridot. It is considered a stone of springtime, and ancients believed it was a gift from Mother Nature in celebration of the annual creation of a new world. Napoleon gave peridot to the empress Josephine as a symbol of his undying love and admiration. National leaders who publicly wore peridot generally were held in the highest regard and thought to be gentle, fair, and wise. Certain Asian cultures once believed that placing a peridot under a person's tongue would keep him or her from dehydrating.

In ancient times a dream about peridot was believed to foretell impending danger, causing the dreamer to exercise complete caution the next day. Sometimes this person was so stricken with fear that he or she would remain in bed, virtually motionless, for days on end until it was felt the danger had passed. Many of these unhappy dreamers would refuse food or even water, for fear that a poison would ravage their bodies. Peridot was also used in Early Egypt and in the Aztec and Inca civilizations to purify the mind and the body. It aids in the absorption of digested foods and will soothe inflamed or ulcerous conditions of the intestines and bowels.

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