What is the August Birthstone?
There are two birthstones for August - Peridot and Spinel.
There are two high quality gemstones to represent August - Peridot with its bright green colors and excellent clarity and Spinel, known for its range of colors, great durability and intriguing history.
Both gemstones would make an excellent choice as a gift to help celebrate the birthday of anyone born in August.
By the way, sardonyx is also often considered a birthstone for August but we have limited the text on this page to just the two main birthstones.
August Birthstone - Colors
Peridot is one of the few gemstones that can only be found in a single color - in this case, green. However the green can range from a light lemony-lime green all the way to a deep emerald or basil green.
Peridot is a type of idiochromatic mineral. This means that the cause of the gemstone color is an essential part of the chemical formula and crystal structure - with Peridot it is iron. In most cases, gemstones are colorful due to mineral impurities added to the chemical formula.
In contrast, Spinel is a very colorful gemstone with red, pink, violet, purple and occasionally blue being the most popular. There are also some black, gray and white Spinels that make very interesting gemstones.
Unlike Peridot, Spinels are allochromatic. This means the basic chemical formula of the gemstone contains additional mineral impurities such as chromium, cobalt or iron which create the variety of colors.
The August Birthstone Price
How expensive is Peridot?
Despite its lively color and excellent sparkle, Peridots are a very affordable gemstone. The only time they can get quite expensive is when they are of a significant size - peridots over 5 carats are quite rare - a deep green color and come from certain celebrated locations such as Myanmar or Pakistan.
Fine quality Peridots will usually cost between $20 and $50 per carat but larger stones with strong color can rise to $100 to $200 per carat and even more for gemstones over 10 carats in weight.
For more information about gemstones price per carat please read our article here
How expensive is Spinel?
Like most gemstones, it is the color that will determine the price of a Spinel.
First we have the basic color - red or blue Spinels are more valuable than black spinels while the purples and pinks settle between the two extremes.
The depth of the individual color will also affect the price - a deep ruby red will demand a much higher price than a light pinkish red for example.
Spinels over a few carats in weight are very rare so the price rises dramatically as the stones get bigger.
The range of prices due to color and carat size is extensive - some lovely lilac spinels can be bought for less than $50 per carat while a large cobalt blue spinel could reach $10,000 per carat!
Luckily, there are many gorgeous colored spinels to be found within these two extremes.
For more details please refer to our full Spinel Info page here
What are the spiritual benefits of August Birthstones?
Peridot's spiritual heritage stretches back thousands of years to a time when it was one of the gemstones of Aaron's breastplate in the bible and a foundation stone upon which New Jerusalem was built.
Other virtues include:
- A Gemstone of Love
- Calming and Soothing
- Helps with Depression and Anxiety
- Brings Prosperity
See our detailed article on Peridot meaning and uses
Spinel is 'The Stone of Immortality' and is renowned for its revitalizing and re-energizing qualities. Other attributes include:
- Spiritual Evolution
- Removes Negative Thinking
- Reminds us of the Joys of Living
- Encourages Compassion
See our detailed article on Spinel meaning and uses
The August Birthstones and the Chakras
As a consistently green gemstone, Peridot is linked to the Heart Chakra which deals with emotional issues such as intimacy, empathy and commitment and physical problems like high-blood pressure and the respiratory system.
The Chakras can be influenced by gemstones that share the color of the Chakra point. As Spinels can be found in several colors they can affect multiple Chakras. A classic Spinel chakra stone is Black Spinel - available in large sizes for reasonable prices - this gemstone can help unblock and realign the Root Chakra.
Find more details on Chakra gemstones here
The August Birthstones Species
Olivine is a common magnesium iron silicate mineral found all over the world but on rare occasions it has the right combination of crystal size, color and clarity to become the gemstone, Peridot.
Spinel is a magnesium aluminum oxide with a number of possible mineral impurities that help create the variety of colors. Spinels are then just divided by color- red spinels, blue spinels, gray spinels and so on.
The August Birthstone Treatments
Both Peridot and Spinel are among the few gemstones that are not enhanced in any way by special treatments such as heat, irradiation or dye. They are both just expertly cut and polished into stunning all-natural gemstones
The August Birthstones History
Peridot has a very long history as a gemstone with mining on the Egyptian island of Topazios in the Red Sea dating back perhaps 4000 years. According to both legends and ancient texts, enslaved miners worked day and night to retrieve the olive green gemstones for the kings and queens of Ancient Egypt.
It is thought that the famed emerald collection of Cleopatra was really Peridots and even today this golden green crystal is the Egypt's national gemstone.
Once upon a time, pretty much all high quality red gemstones were called Rubies. This included real rubies, garnets, tourmalines and, very often, spinels.
Spinels were found in the same mining locations as real rubies and shared a very similar robust durability and it was not until the late 1700s that they were officially declared to belong to different mineral groups.
Historically famous gemstones such as the Black Prince's Ruby and the Timur Ruby have turned out to be Spinels after all.
Where are the August Birthstones found?
While Peridots will be forever linked with the island of Topazios in the Red Sea off Egypt, they are no longer mined there. Myanmar and Pakistan are sources of some of the finest Peridots while China, Australia and Brazil provide the bulk of the world's supplies.
Spinel is still found in the traditional and ancient sites of Southern Asia, namely India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar but new sources have been discovered in Tanzania, Australia, Russia and Vietnam. Much of the world's best Black Spinels are found here in Thailand.
What jewelry is the August Birthstone suitable for?
Peridots are rated at 6.5 - 7 on Mohs hardness scale which makes them durable enough for most jewelry items but we would probably not recommend them for daily wear especially for rings without protective settings.
Peridots can be found in singles and matching pairs and lots so they are ideal for coordinated jewelry sets as well as side stones and accent stones or any multi-stone designs such as brooches and pendants.
As well as being the August gemstone, Peridot is the traditional wedding gift for the 16th wedding anniversary.
Spinels are rated at a very durable 8 on Mohs hardness scale which puts them just below rubies and sapphires and easily tough enough for all jewelry items including daily wear pieces such as engagement rings.
Spinels can be found in matching singles, pairs and lots for anyone interested in coordinated jewelry sets.
As well as being the August gemstone, Spinel is the traditional wedding gift for the 22nd wedding anniversary.