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August birthdays are lucky enough to have not one or two, but three birthstones to choose from. Here is a breakdown of Peridot, Sardonyx and Spinel, the vibrant and stunning August birthstones:


Peridot is an extremely rare semi-precious gemstone known for its signature lime green hue. It originates from the mineral olivine and, in addition to being the birthstone of August, it also represents the first wedding anniversary. Unlike most gemstones, peridot comes in one color only, though it is produced in variations of green from yellow to deep
green-brown. Most commercially-available peridot is produced in Arizona but is also mined in China, Myanmar and Pakistan. As a 6.5-7 on the Mohs hardness scale, peridot forms deep within the mantle of the earth and is
propelled to the surface by volcanic activity. As such, in Hawaii, it symbolizes the tears of Pele, the goddess of volcanoes. Peridot is one of the world’s oldest-known gems. In fact, documentation of peridot mining dates back to 1500 B.C. The word ‘peridot’ is derived from
the Arabic word ‘faridat,’ which translates to ‘gem.’ The ancient Egyptians believed peridot protected wearers from evil forces and, as such, referred to this green stone as the ‘gem of the sun.” Ancient Egyptian priests drank
from peridot-encrusted goblets to facilitate communication with Egyptian gods of nature. In addition, some scholars speculate that Cleopatra’s famous emeralds were in fact peridots. Even in modern times, peridot is
thought to boost power and strength as well as to calm the mind and body.


Sardonyx is a reddish-and-white striped stone that consists of alternating layers of sard, a reddish-brown variant of the mineral chalcedony, and onyx, a semi-precious banded variety of chalcedony. Sardonyx is another of the three
August birthstones and rates a 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. It is primarily sourced in India, Brazil, Czech Republic Germany, Madagascar, the United States and Uruguay. Sardonyx is also called ‘banded agate’ and
derives its primary name from the word ‘sard,’ which means
‘reddish-brown,’ and ‘onyx,’ which means ‘veined gem.’
Sardonyx has a long and storied history dating as far back as ancient Egypt approximately 4,000 years ago. It has been a popular stone for intaglio and
cameo jewelry as well as for ancient Roman signet rings and seals. Since sardonyx has long symbolized courage, strength and good fortune, ancient Greeks and Romans wore sardonyx engraved with Mars, the god of war,
on the battlefield for courage and protection from opponents. Sardonyx was also popular during the Renaissance period for its purported powers of improving communication and mental focus.


Spinel is an intensely-colored gemstone most famous for its vivid red and pink variations, though it is available in almost any shade. Spinel rates an ‘8’ on the Mohs hardness scale and is primarily produced in Myanmar and
Burma, while other spinel-producing countries include Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United States. The name ‘spinel’ is thought to have originated from the Latin word ‘spina,’ which means ‘spine’ and references
the sharp points of spinel’s octahedral crystals. One iron-containing variety of spinel, magnetite, possesses magnetic properties and was used in the
compasses of 11th century seafarers. It is now recognized as an August birthstone.
Throughout history, red spinel has been confused with ruby and sapphire though it is, in fact, chemically distinct (though rubies are often found in the same mines, which has furthered the confusion). Ancient Sanskrit writings
deemed spinel the “daughter of ruby,” and several famed rubies throughout the ages have been found to be spinel. One notable example is the TimurRuby, which was then thought to be the largest ruby in the world and was
set in a necklace and gifted to Queen Victoria in 1853. Another famous example is the Black Prince’s Ruby, which belongs to the British Crown Jewels and remains one of the world’s most famed jewels. Spinel has traditionally been associated with physical and mental healing, serenity,
heightened energy levels and protection from negative energies.

With such an array of gemstones rich in color, beauty and history to choose from, the possibilities are endless for a gift of jewelry set with one of the three August birthstones. Can’t decide which to choose? No problem! Take all three!

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