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Peridot, the August Birthstone

What is the August Birthstone?

Peridot (pronounced per-i-doh, -dot), the yellowish green gemstone known to the Egyptians as "the gem of the sun", is the official August birthstone. Formed deep in the earth's magma and erupted to the surface through volcanoes, this August birthstone has also been found in meteorites and comet dust.

The August Birthstone is Peridot, the secondary August birthstones are Sardonyx and Spinel.

Named for the Arabic word faridat, which means "gem", peridot is also known as chrysolite, or olivine – the group of minerals to which peridot belongs. Peridot is long believed to ward off evil, cleanse the mind of negativity and aide friendship.

Peridot is often mistaken for emerald. In fact, peridot has been called "an evening emerald" for the way it fluoresces a brilliant green under artificial light. There are even many historians who believe that Cleopatra's notorious emerald collection was actually peridot.

August Birthstone

What is the color of the August birthstone?

Peridot gets its unique yellow-green color from the presence of iron in its chemical composition, not from trace amounts of impurities, as with other gemstones. Actually, peridot is one of the few gemstones that only come in one color, though shades may vary from yellowish-green to olive to brownish-green, depending on how much iron is present. Yellowish-green is the most common shade of peridot.

The August birthstone color is green, peridot is never too light and never too dark it has a well saturated color.

We have seen very vibrant and lively colored peridot coming from Myanmar (Burma) in the past few years. The Burmese peridot's are usually quite clean and come in bigger sizes. They are priced higher since the color, clarity and size is uncommon in peridot from other locations. The first and last image in the first row, of the picture seen below are peridot's from Myanmar (Burma).

Peridot Colors

The History of the August Birthstone

The first appearance of peridot in historical reference and lore dates back to before recorded time in the Hawaiian creation myths in which peridot was called the "tears of Madame Pele", who is revered as the goddess of volcanoes and fire and the creator of the Hawaiian Islands.

Peridot has been mined from as long ago as the second millennium B.C. when Egyptians first started to uncover "the gem of the sun" from the island of Topazios in the Red Sea, now called St. John's Island, or Zabargad. It has been reported that miners spectacularly unearthed peridot at night, due to the magical way it was said to glow in the dark.

Referred to as chrysolite at the time, peridot is featured on Aaron's breastplate to represent one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Aaron was high priest of the Israelites and brother to Moses; together they led the Israelites out of bondage to liberation. Though it is not well-understood why peridot was chosen as one of the 12 gemstones, it clearly had a profound significance to the Israelites.

Peridot has been worn throughout the ages for its mystical and curative properties;

Peridot was officially recognized in 1912 as the August birthstone by the organization known today as the Jewelers of America.

Only five years before this event, the location of Zabargad – lost for centuries – was rediscovered; mining resumed though production peaked in the 1930s and ended sometime around World War II.

Today, peridot gemstones come from Myanmar, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Tanzania, Madagascar, Germany, Brazil, Czech Republic, Uruguay, and the United States. The primary source of mined peridot comes from the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona, which has a town named for this famous gemstone situated on a huge basalt flow containing fractured masses of peridot. Approximately 80% to 95% of the world's commercial quality peridot is mined from this location. The Peridot Beach in Hawaii remains one of the most exotic locations where these gemstones are found in abundance.

What is the meaning of peridot?

It has long been thought that peridot can aid friendship as well as purify the mind of negative thoughts, particularly those of envy.  Moreover, peridot has been credited with endowing its wearer with delight and good cheer, while attracting lovers and strengthening the eyes.

Peridot was first used as a talisman in the ancient world and it has a longstanding mystical reputation. It was once thought to ward off anxiety, making men more articulate and facilitating successful relationships and marriages.

It was also believed to dissolve enchantments. To exert its full potential, the stone was set in gold. If it was intended to provide protection from evil spirits, it had to be pierced, strung on the hair of a donkey, and worn on the left arm.

The ancient Romans wore peridot rings in battles as it symbolized strength and provided protection against the enemies.

Conversely, the ancient Egyptian priests ground the stone into a powder before mixing it with potent drinks to be used in ceremonies as they believed that drinking this concoction would bring them closer to nature.

In modern times, wearing peridot jewelry can help increase financial solidity and contentment in your life. The stone is widely associated with prosperity, loyalty, love, honesty, faithfulness, and optimism. The notion that it reduces stress and eliminates negative thinking, can help enhance harmony, particularly in marriages and other human relationships. Essentially, experts in gemstone significance suggest that the stone can prevent jealousy and anger in relationships.

Most importantly;

Wearing the peridot can help you follow your passion and the true desires of your heart. Many people believe that the stone increases willpower and enhances focus, as it allows one to let go of pessimism and all the negative thoughts of the past.

As a testament to willpower and focus, Napoleon Bonaparte, who nearly conquered the world and was fond of peridot, gave his bride-to-be, Josephine, a peridot jewel as a symbol of his love.

Another interesting significance of peridot is that it is widely connected to fame. Many people born in August turn out to be famous in their community. Popular figures who have peridot as their birthstone include Roger Federer, Cameron Diaz, Halle Berry, Tom Brady, and Usain Bolt. If you too have an August birthday and want to climb the social ladder, or become a famous figure in your community, do not hesitate to wear your August birthstone, peridot.

The healing properties of the August birthstone

Wearing your August birthstone has a deeper meaning than just improving your looks and boosting your mood. Peridot is renowned for its healing properties for the heart, eyes, stomach, spleen, breast, liver, lungs and sinuses, among other body organs. As a medical remedy, it was powdered to cure asthma. Additionally, holding a peridot under the tongue was supposed to lessen the thirst of a person suffering from fever.

Furthermore, peridot can also help improve mental health and boost spiritual wellness. It is associated with the heart chakra, also green, and wearing it close to the heart is said to cleanse it of negative emotions, leaving the wearer feeling light, blissful and ready to love.

Peridot is regarded as a powerful detoxifying agent. The stone is also thought to improve blood circulation, enhance metabolism, strengthen the immune system and boost digestion. Moreover, it has the ability to eliminate stress and dispel apathy and exhaustion.

Interestingly, people who wear peridot as their birthstone rarely develop illnesses or suffer from depression. Sometimes referred to as "the vitamin D of healing crystals", peridot can also help slow down the aging process, giving you a young and refreshing look. However, in the unlikely event that you fall ill, wearing this stone can aid in the treatment of your condition.

Believe it or not, Peridot is capable of treating heart disorders and other ailments that affect the spleen, gallbladder, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and thymus. All you have to do is wear the gemstone near the affected area. For instance, if you were experiencing chest problems, you could wear a long necklace, allowing the Peridot gemstone to touch the skin near your chest. This will allow the stone to absorb the negative energy that is causing pain around your chest.

The best part is that Peridot does not discriminate. Anyone can wear this gemstone for both healing and beauty purposes, regardless of whether it is your birthstone or not.
However, many people believe that the stone retains the negative energy after healing your body. For this reason, it is imperative to cleanse your August birthstone regularly by washing it under lukewarm water.

What is the durability of the August birthstone?

Peridot is considered to have a very good wearability suitable for all types of jewelry, though care should always be taken with gemstone jewelry.

Peridot's hardness (resistance to scratching) ranges from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Peridot's toughness (resistance to breaking and chipping) ranges from fair to good. This puts peridot in the field of durability only slightly below quartz, considered the low-end benchmark for highly durable gemstones.

In other words, peridot can safely be worn every day in jewelry pieces that are susceptible to heavy use, such as rings and bracelets, though the wearer should exercise a bit more caution than with a topaz or ruby. Of course, in pendants, necklaces and earrings, peridot does not require as much care and can be worn every day without worry.

What is the price of a peridot birthstone?

This question is best answered after you have given careful consideration to the way in which you want to use the gemstone; primarily, the jewelry design and your budget will dictate the size and cut of the peridot.

Peridot is a relatively inexpensive gemstone in small sizes, but the value goes up with stones weighing over 5 carats; 10-15 carat stones are very rare and expensive. Peridot ranges in price from about $10 per carat for well-cut stones around 0.21 carats and sized 5 x 3mm, up to as much as $150 per carat for fine gems of top color around 4.5 carats and sized 10.5 x 9.5mm.

Of course these are commercially available peridots; rare gemstones always fetch higher prices that can go into the thousands per carat. In general, the Peridot prices are relatively low; if you are on a budget, consider greenish yellow Peridots with sizes under 5 carats.

Are there any secondary August birthstones?

August actually has three different gemstones: peridot (the primary and officially recognized birthstone), sardonyx and spinel.

Sardonyx as a secondary August birthstone

Sardonyx is a brownish-red variant of onyx that gets its red bands from the mineral sard; hence, the name sardonyx. It has a history that can be traced even farther back than peridot, again to Egypt, where this gemstone was associated with courage, happiness, clear communication, and, like peridot, stability in marriage and other relationships.

While sardonyx was most commonly used in Ancient Rome to create cameos of Venus, worn on necklaces by women expecting to harness the power of the goddess of love, or of Mars by men hoping to gain protection in battle from the god of war, it was also set in signet rings and used for seals.

Sardonyx has the same Mohs hardness as peridot (6.5 – 7) and is cleaned and cared for in the same way. However, unlike peridot, which is not treated in any way, sardonyx's color is often manipulated with dyes; therefore, sardonyx treated in this way should not be soaked in water.

Spinel as a secondary August birthstone

Spinel takes its name from the Latin word spina, meaning "thorn", due to its pointed, thorn-like crystal form. It occurs in a range of colors, such as rose pink to rich red; lavender to deep violet; light to deep blue, orange, yellow, brown and black.

Spinel is considered to be a soothing stone because of its calming energy. Therefore, it is recommended for those who are suffering from stress. It is also thought to encourage renewal and healing. Different healing properties are attributed to spinel depending on its color. Red spinel is thought to enhance vitality. Both green and pink spinel are said to encourage love and compassion. Violet spinel is associated with spiritual development and yellow is linked to the intellect.

Just like peridot is often mistaken for emerald, spinel is regularly confused with ruby, a misconception that dates back to the mid-14th century and the tale of the Black Prince Ruby. This fabled gemstone is perhaps the most famous of all the British crown jewels for it was given to "The Black Prince", Edward of Woodstock, son of Edward III of England, as a debt paid for military support in a civil war on the Iberian Peninsula. The Black Prince brought the gemstone, which is neither black nor a ruby, back to England where it was worn on helmets by Henry V and Richard III during battle, passed around for a few hundred years as symbols of the king's power, and finally set in the Imperial State Crown at the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838.

Spinel sits at 8 on the Mohs hardness scale – only rubies, sapphires and diamonds are harder. It is also very resistant to mechanic shock - chipping or breaking. These qualities – high hardness and good toughness – give spinel an excellent durability rating, meaning that this gemstone is suitable for everyday purposes in all types of jewelry. Some people are so confident in the wearability of spinel that they recommend it for engagement ring settings!

Cleaning and Caring for Peridot?

The August birthstone is relatively easy to care for and does not require any special cleaning agents beyond a mild soap, such as dishwashing detergent. After soaking the peridot in a bowl with a solution of warm water and half a teaspoon of detergent, gently scour the gemstone with a soft toothbrush. Rinse the peridot in warm, clean water and dry with a soft cloth. Allowing the gemstone to air dry will leave it covered with spots.

Peridots should not be cleaned in ultrasonic or steam cleaners and you should avoid high temperatures, as well as rapid changes in temperature, as these conditions can cause discoloration.

Peridot has a Mohs hardness of 6.5 to 7; so, you should remove your peridot rings and bracelets before doing housework or digging around in the garden. Household cleaners commonly contain hydrochloric or sulfuric acid, both of which can cause peridot to lose its shine. Furthermore, if you wear peridot daily, you should apply makeup and perfumes before wearing your peridot jewelry because the chemicals in those products can compromise the color of the gemstone.

Whether you use a dedicated jewelry box or a simple plastic organizer box, it is recommended that you keep your peridot jewelry separated from other gemstones with jewelry bags or foam-filled jars to avoid scratches from harder gemstones, such as topaz or emerald. Another useful method is to store your peridot jewelry in acid-free paper envelopes arranged in a parcel paper organizer.

Final Thoughts

People born in August are among the luckiest lot thanks to the fact that they get to enjoy three different birthstones on the same month; gemstones which are not only unique, but also exceptionally exquisite.

Besides, they possess mystical powers that can guarantee your health and wellbeing as long as you keep wearing them along with your other meaningful jewelry. The best part is that anyone can wear August birthstones regardless of their birth month.

So, if you are searching for a powerful and exotic piece of jewelry that can bring happiness and stability to your life, look no further than the August birthstones- peridot, sardonyx and spinel. To find the purest August birthstones please see our stock of peridot and spinel right here.

  • First Published: July-17-2019
  • Last Updated: September-17-2019
  • © 2005-2019 GemSelect.com all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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