Gem of The Sun

In the pages describing its etymology and history, we have learned that Peridot through time received the erroneous name of topaz. Today, topaz is often referred to as ‘Gem Of The Sun’, a moniker attached to a scintillating gemstone sourced in ancient Egypt. However, the topaz that we know today was unknown till the 17th Century A.D., making it impossible for our topaz to be the suitor of this description. Unlike topaz, Peridot was known to the Egyptians, and was sourced from the island of ‘Topazin.’ This island, located in Foul Bay off the southern coast of Egypt in the Red Sea, is now known as Zabargad


The slaves that sourced the island’s green gems mined by day, but also by night as it was apparently difficult to distinguish the lustrous gemstones by daylight. To overcome this problem, the workers would go out at dusk and mark the location of the gems, which glowed under the incandescent light of torchlights. The workers would then return the next day to work the area. It is believed that their nocturnal brilliance gave rise to the green gemstone being appropriated with the pseudonym: ‘The Evening Emerald’. It is more than possible that this after dark light show also gave rise to the alias of ‘The Gem Of The Sun.’

However, it is also possible that this term was derived from Egyptians who had already found Peridot inside Pallasite meteorites. Pallasite meteorites are iron-nickel meteorites, which contain Olivine and subsequently Olivine’s sub-species Forsterite-Olivine, or as it’s more commonly known Peridot. Pallasite meteorites are named after the German naturalist Pyotr Pallas, who in 1772 found a 1,600-pound mass that had fallen in Siberia. But how could such Peridot gems form in outer space?
There are asteroids floating in space that measure as much as 50-200km in diameter, these huge rocks once formed the outer and inner layers of planets. In space the accumulation of that much mass, including the inclusion of high-temperature radioactive materials, would slowly alter an asteroids body causing the denser metals to drop to the center of the body. Less dense materials like Olivine wouldn’t descend so far, and would take shape within the outer layers of the asteroid. Overtime these immense asteroids, resembling the structure of the Earth, could possess the equivalent of a crust, mantle and core.

Eventually, the radioactive processes within the core of these asteroids cooled down, and substances such as Olivine crystallized. A big enough collision between two asteroids would cause fragments of the Olivine rich core-mantle boundary to fly through space; these fragments are the sources of Pallasite meteorites. These meteorites have fallen out of the heavens at regular intervals since the dawn of time. Therefore, it is not difficult to imagine that the ancient alchemic cultures of Egypt, believing ‘As it is above,

so it is below,’ considered these bright green Peridot crystals at the heart of these sky rocks to beThe Gems Of The Sun.’

The ancient connection between Peridot, and the virtues of the Sun, remained right up until the Middle Ages when Peridot was also known as ‘Crisolite:’ 'The Golden Stone.'