Where in the world is peridot mined?
When I first got in the business the big source for peridot was Arizona. This material comes from the San Carlos Indian Reservation which is more or less 100 miles east of Phoenix. In fact, Laura and I traveled there to buy rough directly from the Native Americans. The material from San Carlos tends to be small and also tends to be included…
At the same time in our career we also found an occasional stone from Burma. The Burmese stones tended to occur in larger stones than the Arizona material and tended to also occur in large stones with fine color.
Soch, the gateway to the Sapat Valley Peridot mines, image courtesy of fieldgemology.org
As time has gone on there have been other peridot finds. Currently the most prolific find is in China. With the economic revolution in China the past 2 or 3 decades full exploitation of the China deposit has been successful. While not generally producing large gems the stones from China tend to be larger than those from Arizona.
In the mid 1990’s a new deposit of peridot was discovered in Pakistan. These stones produced some of the largest peridot gems I have ever seen. We were fortunate enough to buy a quantity of this rough material and were ecstatic simply to have had it pass through our hands.
Both in the case of China and Pakistan there seems to be a lessening of production although the mines were only relatively recently developed. The inherent rarity of gems comes forth yet once again.