This stone is generally known as olivine and peridot. Mineralogists include all the varieties under the one species olivine, and dealers probably sell more green garnets than chrysolites under the name olivine.
The distinction between the varieties is practically one of color only. For many years lapidaries were in the habit of calling the chrysoberyl " Oriental chrysolite," and in consequence the two stones have been confused, though the chrysolite is much the softer stone and usually shows marked differences in color and lustre.
At present it is customary to call those which incline most to yellow " chrysolite;" the yellowish green, resembling a light tourmaline with a dash of yellow, is known by the name "peridot", given to it by the French jewellers; and " olivine" is the name associated with the brighter yellowish emerald-green variety, although originally the yellow to olive-green stones were known by that name.
It is an ancient stone and in olden times was highly prized, but it has fallen in public estimation because of its softness. It is not as hard as quartz.
Some very beautiful specimens of peridot have come into the market lately and it is growing in favor, especially in the larger pieces, as they are more free from flaws and defects than other green transparent stones. The deeper shades of green are considered best.
It takes a fine polish, especially if treated with sulphuric acid, but is easily scratched.