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Peridots: Peridots have been used ornamentally for centuries. In fact, it's believed that Cleopatra's beloved emeralds were more likely this paler green stone often called the evening emerald. Peridots are found on just about every continent, but the bulk of gem quality peridots comes from Burma, China, Pakistan and the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in the US.

They are one of the less expensive gems, and are often found in large (over 10 carat) sizes. This means that it's not unusual to find excellent quality peridots for low prices. Because it is inexpensive and readily available, peridot is a favorite material for some of the more fanciful cuts of gemstone.

Cleaning peridot jewelry

Clean peridot in warm water with dishwashing detergent, or a mild commercial solution. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasives which can damage the surface and destroy the luster. You can use a small amount of ammonia in the water to help brighten the stone if it's excessively dirty. Soak in dishwater solution for 10 to 20 minutes, then scrub thoroughly but gently with a soft brush. Rinse and dry well before storing. Have jewelry professionally cleaned every one to two years.

Storing peridot jewelry

Because the stone is relatively soft, peridot jewelry needs to be protected from harder jewelry and metals in your jewelry box. Store it in a soft pouch of its own to keep other gems from scratching or marring the surface.

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