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August Birthstone

The Lime Green Peridot - "The Gem of the Sun"

What is The Birthstone of August?

Dubbed by the Ancient Egyptians “The Gem of the Sun”, August’s birthstone is a truly rare and ancient stone, found in volcanic lava or in fallen meteorites. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the light lime-colored Peridot gem is associated with light and cosmic extra-terrestrial powers.

Though Peridot has just one color (while other gems might have rarer varieties and shades), its hues can range from a radiant yellow, through bright green to light brown. But perhaps the most captivating aspect about the Peridot is its fascinating history and enchanting sparkle.

Gold Peridot and Diamonds Ring
Peridot and Diamonds Ring

Peridot Gemstone Rings - Beautiful Gifts for August Kids

Quick Facts on August's Birthstones

August Birthstone Facts

Birthstone of August Peridot
Birthstone Color Olive Green, Yellowish Green and Yellow
Mohs Scale 6.5-7
Chemical Formula (Mg,Fe)₂SiO₄
Origin China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Pakistan, Tanzania, United States & Sardinia (Italy)
Interesting Fact Named as the “gem of the sun” by the Egyptians

Peridot Gift Ideas for August’s Birthdays

Peridot jewelry would make everyone green of envy, Gorgeous colors along with affordable price tags make it ideal.

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The Story of Peridot

The Peridot stone belongs to the elite branch of gems which are not formed in the crust of the earth. Like the diamond, the lime-green stone is actually created much deeper. A genuine Peridot is formed in magma and then resurfaces during a volcanic activity. Though the stone was first found thousands of years ago in Hawaii, and is thus deeply connected with Hawaiian culture and mythology, it is also the most important gem in Egyptian culture. It is the country’s national gem and was mostly found on the island of Topazos, currently known as St. John’s Island in the Egyptian Red Sea.

Peridot - August Birthstone Peridot
Peridot Mantle Peridot Mantle (credit: James St. John)

It is no coincidence that the name of the stone derives from the Arabic word “Faridat”, which literally means “gem”. However, some believe that the name was originated by the Ancient Greeks and has to do with the word “Peridona”, which means “giving in abundance”. The latter source corresponds with common belief that the stone grants affluence, success, and generally good luck.

Since Peridot was believed to strengthen and increase positive characteristics, it was often embedded on the Crusaders’ armours, who had brought the gems back with them from their Mediterranean Crusades. Yet another example, were goblets made from the stone from which people would drink different healing potions, believing it would enhance the medicine’s impact. However, it wasn’t until the Victorian and Edwarian Era when the stone truly gained its popularity. The reason for this was that King Edward had declared it his favorite stone, linking it with confidence, regality and power.

Myths and Legends

Myths Around August Birthstone - Peridot Myths Around August Birthstone - Peridot

The bright color has sparked a great number of legends, most of which are associated with harmony and inner peace. Which is why during the middle ages, the gem was set in different clothing pieces to ward off nightmares, especially in items colored gold. They were also used to decorate cathedrals and church robes, believed to instill God’s spirit of oneness.

But prior to its arrival and entrance into Western culture, Peridot was already a pretty spiritually significant gem in Hawaiian mythology. In Ancient Hawaii, prayers would praise Pele, the goddess of the volcano and would gather the stones after every eruption, trusting they were the goddess’ tears of joy. Being a fickle goddess, Pele both unleashes her wrath with lava, but then repays the people with glistening drops of sun. This is why Peridot is also characterized as a source of healing and forgiveness.

Whether you’re seeking for peace, a boost of self-esteem or a gorgeous piece of glimmering jewelry - the August birthstone is the hottest way to go, breathing fire from the very heart of Mother Nature.

August Birthstone FAQ's

So for those of you who read all this way (or the ones who decided to skip to the end) – here is a recap and highlights regarding August Birthstone:

What Are the Birthstones for August?

Peridot is the undoubted gem of August. However August has two more gems - Sardonyx and Spinel.

Why Does August Have Three Birthstones?

There are three birthstones in August: Peridot, Sardonyx and Spinel. Interestingly, while Peridot is the most familiar stone to represent August and also the one to be considered the traditional gem, it is Sardonyx that was the real first birthstone. Peridot was added later and became the primary gem of the month. Only during 2016 Spinel was added which made August the third month to have three birthstones along with June and December.

As for how to choose which of the three gems is the right one for you...? There is no right or wrong. But you can consider that Peridot is simply the most familiar of the three to the extent that it is considered the traditional gem of the month.

What is August's Birthstone Color?

Each of the three birthstones of August, Peridot, Sardonyx and Spinel, has a different color. Between all three you have pretty much all the colors of the rainbow: Red, Green and Blue and their variations. Here is how they are divided:

Peridot is known for it's green hue which ranges from pure green to yellowish green to greenish yellow. The greener it is, without yellowish and especially brownish tints, is considering better. Interestingly, according to the GIA, Peridot's colors tend to be at their finest in stones weighing 10 carats and above.

Sardonyx are known for their white and brownish-red bands. In fact, the meaning of the word Sardonyx is derived from the Greek - sard means “reddish brown” and onyx meaning “veined gem”.

Spinel comes in red, pink, lilac, and blue. As with all gems, some colors are rarer and more valuable than others. Red spinel is considered rarest and most desirable, followed by cobalt-blue, then by pink and orange spinels.

Sardonyx - Reddish Brown and White Sardonyx - Reddish Brown and White

What is the Birthstone for August 24th?

This question comes up a lot because this is the date when the the Zodiac sign changes from Leo to Virgo. However, the birthstones for August 24th remain Peridot, Sardonyx and Spinel. With that said, you should consider that on this date the Zodiacal stone changes to Carnelian.

For more information you can also check our cool Birthstone Calculator - What is my Birthstone?.

August 24th Zodiac Stone - Carneol August 24th Zodiac Stone - Carneol
Credit: Wikipedia