Peridot, an Extreme Gem

Peridot is a unique gemstone with a very violent and extreme journey to the earth's surface. Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral olivine. Most people are familiar with peridot as the birthstone for August but it much more extreme than you might think. Peridot, like diamond, forms deep in the earth's mantle, while most other gemstones are formed in the earth's crust. It is brought to the earth's surface through extreme high heat and pressure through volcanic eruptions. Only the strong crystals can survive such a journey.


I recently read about a green sand beach called Papakōlea Beach located in Hawaii that blew my mind! And since travel is very limited these days, we can take a short journey there right here. It is now on my bucket list. Papakōlea Beach is one of 4 green sand beaches in the world. The source of the green coloration of the sand there is due to the olivine crystals weathered from the volcano nearby. The crystals were brought to the surface by a volcanic eruption within the last 49,000 years and through weathering and erosion, the crystals traveled downhill to the coastline where it is currently deposited.


Papokeolea Beach, Hawaii (Green Sand Beach) Olivine crystal beach
Green Sand Beach (image from geologyin.com)