Double Refraction, Native American Jewelry & Meteorites



Peridot has a characteristic ‘double refraction’ in cut stones, especially those of significant weight, which enables the unaided eye to see a double image through the table. This feature is helpful in identifying peridot. The finest stones are of a rich green and have been referred to since ancient times as the ‘evening emerald’, most of which originate from the early deposits from St. John’s Island, and currently from the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Peridot cat’s eyes and star peridot are particularly rare and precious. Stones from East Burma are a vivid light-green with fine inclusions and a silky shine, while peridot from Arizona, where it is popularly used in Native American jewelry, has somewhat yellowish or gold-brown nuances.
Next to Kashmir, Burma has become a prime source of peridot, and the stones from its Mogok region are generally a lighter green than those of Zebargad and Kashmir. In Norway, Brazil, Australia, Hawaii and the Congo, Peridots have been found in meteorites.

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