Chrysolite is derived from the Greek KRYSOS and LITHOS which means Gold Stone. Though the word Chrysolite has been used in the ancient times, there is actually no mineral with the name Chrysolite.

However, Chrysolite does refer to any of several green or yellow-green-colored gemstones including:

- Peridot, a gem quality Olivine

- The yellowish-green Sapphire also known as Oriental Chrysolite.

- The olive-green Tourmaline which is also known as Ceylon Chrysolite.

- The greenish-yellow Topaz (Saxon Chrysolite); Prehnite (Cape Chrysolite) and Moldavite which is also known as False Chrysolite.

- Other forms of 'Chrysolite' which include Zircon, Apatite and Chrysoberyl.

Chrysolite is mentioned in the Book of Exodus, in the description of the “breastplate” of Aaron. This so-called breastplate has never been found.

Peridot is also mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament of the Bible as a foundation stone for the heavenly city of New Jerusalem. Nonetheless, what is worth mentioning is that the majority of the gemstones mentioned in the Bible refer to the gemstone color rather than to any specific mineral.

Most gemologists believe that Chrysolite refers to Olivine, which is also known as Peridot. Olivine is composed of the minerals Fayalite and Forsterite. It was mined in the island of Zabargad (St. John) in the Red Sea, east of Aswan, Egypt 3,500 years ago. Many scholars also speculated that the famous Emeralds that were worn by Cleopatra were in fact Peridot gemstones from Zabargad.

The most important deposits of Peridot are found in Pakistan, in upper Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam. In Australia (Queensland), Brazil (Minas Gerais), China, Kenya, Mexico, Norway (north of Bergen), South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and the United States (Arizona and Hawaii). Recently, China has become one of the largest producers of peridot; and it has become a very popular gemstone in China.

Peridot was discovered in a meteorite that fell in Siberia in 1749. It has also been found in Mars and the moon in Olivine form.