Birthstones and Gemstones: Designing with Peridot
I have to admit that peridot was not on my radar when I was growing up. But then my parents bought a small jewelry supply store, and in the stone case was a tumbled, beautifully colored peridot. It was love. I bought it, had it made into a pendant with another peridot beautifully faceted by cutter Mike Gray, and can’t wear it enough.
The color of peridot, you might think, would be wicked to try to incorporate with other gemstones. But these three designers do it with aplomb.
ABOVE: Green turquoise, peridot and pearls, set in a silver pendant. Part of a series of similar designs called “Paintbrushes.” Design and photo courtesy Layne Freedline
The pendant by Layne Freedline, of Layne Designs, part of a series called “Paintbrushes,” was a case of serendipity. “I love to collect gemstones and play with them when designing,” she says. “These are two stones that I had on hand. I often lay out several stones over a large piece of paper, and play with different combinations, then sketch out the possibilities.” Layne has combined a faceted peridot, peridot beads, tiny pearls, and a lovely piece of green turquoise, merging the similar colors of yellow green into a striking pendant. On top of that she’s combined textures: the smooth, cool luminescent surfaces of the pearls, the sharp edges of the peridot briolettes and round brilliant, and the smooth finish and veined pattern of the turquoise.
The design is featured in this video: Successful Jewelry: Design Idea to Wearable Art Video Download
Ken Haladjian, of Exclusive Jewelry Designs, frames a richly colored, emerald-cut peridot in a classic gold frame. It’s set in an exquisite filigree basket holding the peridot like the jewel it is. You would think finishing it with a woven chain tipped with diamonds would be all it needed, but Ken added a tiny exclamation point in the form of a small oval amethyst. It’s not strongly colored enough to take away from the peridot, but it’s just enough to let you know it’s there, and take a piece from classic to sublime.
Eve Alfillé, of Eve J. Alfillé Gallery and Studio, has a remarkable ability to speak with many design voices, from classic, to sculptural, to painterly. Her “Nouveau Botticelli” gemstone bracelet is Eve in her playful mode. Here, peridots hide and peek out between other gemstones of similar light values: pearls, amethysts, tourmalines, aquas, and, the pearls she’s so well known for using. Rather than taking center stage, the peridots are just like every other kid on the block.
This is a stone that can harmonize amazingly well with others, sing a solo, or be content in the chorus. With a little imagination and courage, you can’t go wrong.
Be sure to read all the other posts in this 5 part series:
Peridot — Just the Facts
Sharon Elaine Thompson is a GG and FGA who has been writing on gemstone and jewelry topics for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist since 1987. She also writes a line of Birthstone Romances under the name Liz Hartley.
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