Peridot is a warm soft yellowish green gemstone that never has the intense green color of emerald. It is a popular birthstone for August, so a peridot ring, earrings or pendant would make an excellent gift for someone with a birthday in that month. It is not an expensive gem except in large, high quality pieces, but its lovely color makes it popular for jewelry.
One little known use for peridot in jewelry was in the late 19th and early 20th century in suffragette jewelry. This was worn by secret supporters of the movement who wore these pieces made from stones in the colors green, white and violet to spell out GWV or Give Women Votes. The violet for Votes was amethyst; the white for Women was pearls and the Green for Give would be peridot. The idea was that women would be able to show their sympathy with the cause without revealing it to their husbands. This combination of gems or peridot, amethyst and diamond are still popular with jewelry designers, purely because it is an attractive color combination and probably without any knowledge of the significance.
Peridot is a versatile gem that goes equally well with white or yellow metal and is often combined with diamonds so you will find traditional 3 stone peridot rings in yellow gold with diamonds and also ultra-modern rings in sterling silver set with peridot. A large emerald cut peridot stone is often used as a central feature in a gold ring surrounded by diamonds. This gives all the beauty of an actual emerald ring but at lower cost as peridot is cheaper than emerald, plus many people prefer it because of its lighter clearer color.
If you shop around you can get a gorgeous ring set with a 2 carat emerald cut peridot, surrounded by diamonds in 14 karat yellow gold for around $500, whereas the same ring with a central emerald or a similar clarity and quality would cost well into the thousands of dollars. If you are happy to settle for a sterling silver ring a genuine peridot can cost less than $30. Have a look on Amazon.com and also eBay for some real bargains.
A peridot ring is becoming an increasingly popular choice for men. The clear green color is not at all feminine and there are now almost as many designs of peridot ring for men as there are for women. So you could consider one of these attractive rings as an unusual birthday gift for a man born in August. Men tend to prefer chunkier rings which of course contain more metal so unless you have a large budget to go for gold, sterling silver would be a good choice for a man.
Green is not the most fashionable color for clothes, but the green of peridot worn in jewelry compliments a host of different clothing colors. Probably the only colors it does not look well with are scarlet reds and oranges, which may be why you are unlikely ever to see a ruby and peridot ring. Find out more about Peridot Jewelry.