Peridot is the birthstone for August.  Ancient Egyptians called it the "gem of the sun",  and some historians think that Cleopatra's famous emerald collection might have actually been Peridot.

The word peridot come from the Arabic word "faridat", which means "gem."  It can be pronounced either pear-i-doe, or pear-i-dot.  While most peridot formed deep in the earth, some of it was delivered to earth by rare meteorites, called pallasites.

A large amount of peridot is mined on the  San Carlos Reservation in Arizona.  Even though the United States is a high tech country, mining in this area is anything but that.  People use pics and buckets.  Other areas include China and Pakistan.

Peridot is the gem form of the mineral olivine, and is a 6.5-7 on the Moh's scale of hardness.  This makes for a good occasional use ring, earrings, or a pendant.