Birthstone of the Month: August Edition
Did you know there is more than just one August Birthstone?
August is one of three birth months represented by three different birthstones. Originally, August birthstones were marked by sardonyx; a beautiful multicolor layered stone made up of two different minerals. Soon after Peridot was added and took over as the primary gemstone. Peridot is easily recognized by its illuminating lime green glow. Spinel was later added, coming in a different array of colors, giving August the vibrancy it deserves, this stone is often mistaken for a ruby or sapphire because of its blood red color. In this article, we’ll explore the August birthstones in all their glory.
Sardonyx is the most ancient August birthstone, made with two types of chalcedonies (cryptocrystalline quartz): sard and onyx. The color is varied, with brownish red, dark orange, white, and black layers. Sardonyx was common in Roman times when they used it on seals and signet rings because hot wax could not provide the same stickiness.
Its popularity originated more than 4,000 years ago in the Second Dynasty of Egypt. When battles occurred between Ancient Greeks and Romans, they wore sardonyx talismans detailed with heroic images and mythological gods like Mars and Hercules. They gave a lot of power to the stone, believing it increased bravery and granted the soldiers courage, a winning spirit, victory, and safety on the battlefield.
During the Italian Renaissance, sardonyx was closely linked to eloquence. Public speakers and orators used the gemstone to have clear and seamless communication with their audiences.
Sardonyx was the great equalizer, being worn by elites and regular men and women. It’s affordable now for anyone to enjoy.
Where It’s Found
Sardonyx can be found as an August birthstone in India, Brazil, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Madagascar, Uruguay, and the USA.
If you’re lucky enough to be born in August, you have three stunning birthstones to highlight your birthday. Which one is your favorite?
With its bright lime green color, the origin of peridot’s (sometimes called chrysolite) name isn’t clear.
We can trace back peridot jewelry to the second millennium BC when ancient Egyptian gemstones were found in deposits in the Red Sea on a volcanic island, now referred to as St. John’s Island or Zabargad.
Referred to as the “gem of the sun” by Ancient Egyptians, they believed this unique green glowing stone protected the person who wore it from night terrors. Cleopatra’s emerald collection could very well have been peridot. The proof is unclear.
In the Middle Ages, emerald was often confused with peridot for their similar glow and greenish hue. In Germany’s famed Cologne Cathedral, 200-carat gemstones cover the shrines there. These were also said to be emeralds, but in fact, they are not. They are peridots.
In the 90s, Pakistan found even more peridots, which were claimed to be some of the rarest and finest ever discovered. Known as Kashmir peridots, they measured out to be over 100 carats.
Another active peridot deposit on our planet today is found on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona. Around 80 to 95 percent of the world’s peridot collection can be found there.
Nowadays, peridot is in high demand, and the supply is plenty, making prices for peridot more affordable than ever. Especially for people born in August, peridot is now accessible to be worn by anyone who celebrates their special birthday month.
Where It’s Found
The August birthstone peridot comes from a wonderful rich storied background. Most of the peridot in jewelry is sourced from China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tanzania, Vietnam, and the United States. Some peridot even came to Earth via meteorites and others can be found on beaches and volcanic islands like Peridot Beach and Hawaii. The sands seem to let off a greenish hue.
Coming from the Latin word, spina, meaning thorn, Spinel refers to its crystals. The second August birthstone among the three, its color is bright and intense, varied like the Sardonyx. With hues of red, pink, orange, purple, violet, blue, and bluish green, this stone is not for the faint of heart.
Often confused with rubies or pink sapphires, spinel comes in a close second. It actually turns out that the most infamous rubies were spinels instead. Its notable qualities include an octahedral (having eight faces) structure and single refraction. It’s less hard than ruby and sapphire.
Red spinel, an extension of spinel itself, was believed to have medicinal effects for blood disorders and inflammation. They were also said to relieve anger, and anxiety, and bring about relief and harmony. The red spinel is a traditional gift for 22-year wedding anniversaries.
Where It’s Found
Spinel is sourced in several exotic locales including Tajikistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tanzania, and Pakistan. The most intense colors like hot pink and deep red are from Myanmar.
Looking For More Information?
If you are looking for more information on birthstones or are interested in seeing them in person, give us a call at 810.229.5335, or stop by our location in Brighton, MI to see our engagement rings firsthand. For even more information, check out our Jewelry 101 blog or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.