Learn About August Birthstones

Peridot earrings

Did you know that that August has multiple birthstones? Peridot is the go-to stone for the month of August. But, spinel and sardonyx are other birthstones used for this month.

"The peridot birthstone is known for being formed under extreme conditions, as it can be found in the hardened lava that carried it from deep within Earth’s mantle as well as in meteorites that traveled from outer space. The spinel birthstone was underappreciated until recently, as today’s consumers look for an alternative to ruby, a gem with which red spinel was mistaken for centuries. Sardonyx is the original August birthstone, with a history that dates back more than 4,000 years. Learn more about these three August birthstones and discover the perfect gift for those born in the month of August."

Peridot Birthstone:

"Peridot is the yellowish green to greenish yellow gem variety of the mineral olivine. Throughout history, peridot has often been confused with other gems such as topaz and emerald." "This August birthstone was valued in many ancient and medieval cultures. It appeared in priests’ jewelry as early as the second century BCE and later in the chalices and churches of medieval Europe. The peridot birthstone has also been used for centuries as a protective talisman, shielding the owner from evil spirits and “terrors of the night.”" 

"Peridot, the August birthstone, has an amazing story. Although most of the peridot seen in jewelry today comes from sources such as China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tanzania, Vietnam and the United States, some journeyed to Earth on meteorites while others are found in exotic locales like Peridot Beach, Hawaii, where the sands shimmer a luminous green."

"Peridot is the gem given to celebrate a 16th wedding anniversary."

Spinel Birthstone:

"The name “spinel” comes from the Latin word spina, which means thorn, in reference to the shape of spinel crystals. This second August birthstone comes in a wealth of colors: intense red, vibrant pink, orange, purple, violet, blue and bluish green." "Red spinel, along with other red gems, was thought to be a remedy for all types of blood loss and inflammatory diseases. The red gems were believed to ease anger and promote harmony."


"For centuries, spinel was mistaken for other gemstones. Some of history’s most famous “rubies” have actually turned out to be this August birthstone."

"Today, spinel is found in several locations. Major sources include Tajikistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tanzania and Pakistan. Some sources are known for producing spinel of arresting color, like hot pink and red spinel from Myanmar."

"This August birthstone is traditionally given as a 22nd wedding anniversary gift."

Sardonyx Birthstone:

"The most ancient of the August birthstones, sardonyx is a combination of two types of chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz): sard and onyx. Bands of brownish red to brown to dark orange sard alternate with typically white or black layers of onyx. In ancient times, sardonyx was a popular stone for Roman seals and signet rings, as hot wax would not stick to it. For millennia, the bands of color in this August birthstone have made it a popular carving material for cameos and intaglios."

"Sardonyx is believed to be one of the stones in the High Priest’s breastplate, as referred to in the Old Testament, and to represent the strength of spiritual life. Roman soldiers wore sardonyx rings with the image of Mars carved on them for protection in battle. Today, this August birthstone is associated with courage, happiness and clear communication, bringing stability to marriage and partnerships."

"This August birthstone has many sources. India is notable for producing sardonyx with good contrast between the different colored layers. Sardonyx is also found in Brazil, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Madagascar, Uruguay and the United States, among other localities."

Click here to discover our online collection of August birthstone jewelry.

Quotes in this blog post from: https://www.gia.edu/birthstones/august-birthstones#birthstone_2

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