August's Birthstones - Peridot, Spinel, and Sardonyx

Those born in August have three birthstones, peridot, spinel, and sardonyx. These gemstones are rich with both meaning and beauty.


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Peridot has a yellowish green to greenish yellow hue which is a variety of the mineral olivine in which the depth of green may vary from depending on the level of iron content. Commonly, peridot has been mistaken for emerald or topaz through the ancient world where historians speculate that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection may have been comprised of peridot. The word peridot comes from Arabic ‘faridat’ meaning gem.

This gem was a favorite and valued in both ancient and medieval cultures while priests adorned it in their jewelry. For centuries, peridot has been used as a protective talisman guarding its owner from evil spirits and harm.

In Egypt, it was known as “the gem of the sun” and is believed to cleanse the mind of negativity. Peridot is noted for its strength with balance, good health, and restful sleep and peace to relationships.

The oldest recorded source of peridot was on the Egyptian island of Zabragad in 340-279 BCE, which still is prized and highly desirable. Today peridot is mined from China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tanzania, Vietnam, and the United States such as Hawaii and Arizona.

When cleaning and caring for your peridot, never use a steam or ultrasonic cleaner. With a 6.5-7 on the Moh’s Scale of hardness, it is a bit softer and cannot take hard wear. It’s not recommended for a daily such as an everyday ring.

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Spinel is a gemstone that can come in an array of colors from intense red, bright pink, orange, vivid purple, violet, blue, green, to even grey and black. Its name originally comes from the Latin word “spina”, which means thorn in referencing the shape of the spinel crystals.

Made from Magnesium, aluminum and oxygen which become liquid when hot magma erupts from within the earth’s crust and seeps into cracks in igneous or metamorphic rocks. When the liquid cools, it turns into colorless crystals or other a variety of colors from the impurities in the different minerals.

Spinel is found in Tajikistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, India, Tanzania, Russia, and Pakistan.

Throughout history, this gorgeous gemstone was commonly mistaken for ruby or sapphire. Even some of the most famous rubies in history have turned out to be spinel! This includes both the “black Prince’s Ruby” and the “timur Ruby” in the Crown Jewels of England, both which turned out to be spinel.

This gemstone is 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness making it a durable gemstone for rings and jewelry however, still be mindful of ultrasonic and steam cleaners as warm soapy water is a safer alternative.

 Spinel is a gemstone of revitalization to help re-energies oneself as well as release stress and anxiety while bringing inspiration and hope. Overall is a great gemstone to connect to one’s energy renewal and overcoming tough challenges.

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This ancient birthstone is a combination of two types of chalcedony: sard and onyx making bands of brownish red to dark orange with white or black layers of onyx. Sard refers to the ancient Persian city, Dardis, now in present day Turkey where the gemstone was found while onyx is from the Greek word meaning “nail” or “claw”

In Roman times, this gemstone was popularly used as a seal and signet rings as hot wax does not stick to it. Because of the banding colors of Sardonyx, it was a popular gem for carving cameos and intaglios with. Roman soldiers wore sardonyx rings with the image of Mars carved onto them for protection in battle.

Sardonyx is noted to bring courage, happiness, clear communication and bring stability to marriage and partnerships. It is also a highly protective gemstone that can boost your self-control and personal power.

Sardonyx is found in India most notability for the sharp contrast between the layers of color while they also can be found in Brazil, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Madagascar, Uruguay, and the United States.

Since Sardonyx is a 6.5 to 7 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, it should be treated with care when worn, especially as a ring. Many times, sardonyx us dyed it bring out the intense color contrasts so if high heat is applied to it, it may change the color of dyed sardonyx.

It’s best not to put sardonyx in the ultrasonic or steam cleaner and instead use warm soapy water and a soft bristle brush to wipe clean.


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