Why I am starting with Olivine: Olivine is one of the most abundant mineral in the mantle and its properties make my research possible! Plus its very pretty and that’s what my engagement ring is made of! So here we go!

From Wikipedia: magnesium iron silicate with the formula (Mg,Fe)2SiO4. It is one of the most common minerals on Earth, and has also been identified in meteorites, the Moon, Mars, in the dust of comet Wild 2, and within the core of comet Tempel 1.

Mineral data – most of this is what you use to identify the mineral so… the general public doesn’t really care about most of these but I’ll put them here anyways…

Composition Olivine Group: (Mg,Fe)2SiO4

Forsterite (Fo): Mg2SiO4

Fayalite (Fa): Fe2SiO4
Color: Green! Yellow to yellow green and olive green (Hence the name)
Crystal Habit: massive to granular
Crystal system: Orthorhombic
Cleavage: poor ( {001} good, {010} distinct )
Fracture: Conchoidal – brittle
Hardness: 6.5-7
Luster: vitreous (glassy)
Streak: white
Optical properties: biaxial

Composition notes:

Most olivine exists between Fosterite and Fayalite, and the majority is fosterite rich.

You can also get Manganese (Mn) substituted in and form tephrolite (Te) Mn2SiO4

Uses: a clear gem variety is called peridot. It is also used as a refractory sand to make molds for certain types of casting procedures in foundries and infrequently as an abrasive. It can also be used in CO2 sequestration

Why is it important:

The mantle is dominantly olivine and thus the anisotropic nature of the olivine splits seismic waves and allows for studying the mantle flow patters which is my thesis. Cool huh?

At higher pressures and temperatures olivine is not stable (it also isn’t stable at surface pressures and temperatures)

At around 400km depth in the mantle olivine undergoes a change from an olivine structure to a spinel structure. This causes an increase in seismic velocity called the 410 discontinuity

Olivine is more important to me because well I’m a seismologist and I study the deep mantle. Which I think is the most bad ass thing to study! But that’s just me

Names: Olivine, peridot, chrysolite, Fosterite, fayalite, tephrolite

Energy: receptive
Planet: venus*
Elements: earth
Powers: Protection, health, wealth and sleep
“this stone is used to attract love as well as to calm raging anger. It is also used to sooth nervousness and to dispel all negative emotions. Because it is calming to the nervous system, it is also helpful in promoting a good nights sleep if warn to bed. Use in wealth-attracting spells to increase the odds of attracting more money or assets.”

* now I want to know what Venus is composted of…Basalt is the answer! There is olive then

Peridot associations: Scorpio, Healing and protective. Allows one to understand changes in one’s life, regulates life cycles,

Peridot olivine is the birthstone for August

“Found in meteorites. Completely aligns all the subtle bodies. This helps one receive information from the higher self more easily. Good stone for channeling. Visionary stone – it helps connect us to our destinies and to an understanding of the purpose of existence. Keeps the mind free from envious thoughts and jealousies. A good stone for people who cannot relate to realities beyond the physical world. Aids in manifesting physical work into material abundance. A healing stone working with the heart and solar plexus chakras.

Balances glandular system. Aids tissue regeneration. Has beneficial influence on heart, pancreas, spleen, liver, adrenals. Purifies body. Enhances bloodstream. Overal balancer and tonic for body/mind. Aligns subtle bodies. Increase intuitative awareness. Reduces stress. Stimulates mind. Accelerates personal growth. Opens new doors or opportunity.”

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Chrysolite: A golden yellow variety of peridot. It supposedly can help prevent fever and madness.


Gem quality (the pretty ones):

Hand sample:

Thin section:

In rocks:


To me olivine represents something primitive and deep. The mantle is olivine and the oceans crust is basalt which usually has a fair deep of olivine in it. Basaltic volcanoes like Hawaii’s Kailua also come to mind as well as the deep rich green. If you were looking for a mineral to sum up the whole earth well… this would be one of them! In my mind.