August's Birthstone is
Peridot – “The Extreme Stone”
Bring Kindness and Adventure!
Throughout history, Peridot has come to have many names and accolades, among them "The Extreme Stone," "The Tears of Pele", and "Gem of the Sun".
Peridot is a sacred stone to many ancient cultures and peoples, considered a positive power, a symbol of the sun. This yellow-green stone brings its wearer influence, power, aid in friendships, and protection against Nightmares. Peridot was often worn for luck and success, and as a sacred talisman by many ancient groups. Peridot is also thought to have healing properties, and medicinal goblets were encrusted with this gem. As a crystal of warmth and well-being, its gold-green hues bring to mind the Earth's change from Summer to Fall, however it is associated as a gem of spring.
Hawaiian people call Peridot the "Hawaiian Diamond", and it was known as "The Tears of Pele". Peridot is sacred to the goddess Pele, whom was the goddess of fire and volcanoes in Hawaii. Probably because this gemstone is found in lava, deep in the earth’s mantle, and even in meteorites! Peridot is one of only two gems that form in the Earth’s mantle, the other being Diamonds. However, peridot forms 20 to 55 miles deep below the surface. Ancients believed that Peridot was sent from the stars as drops of the sun, and they were surprisingly accurate. Peridot is often also found in Meteorites and space rocks, possibly created at the time of our galaxy's birth.
Peridot jewelry dates back as far back as the second millennium, BC. It mined by ancient Egyptians, as early as possibly 300 BC. Ancient Egyptian peridot was mined from a small volcanic island, Topazios, in the Red Sea. To honor its place of origin, Ancient Egyptians anointed the vibrant green stone “topazion”. And as you can expect, the name was eventually shortened to “topaz.” Ironically however, around the 18th century, this stone suddenly - and for no apparent reason - lost its name to the golden hued gem known as topaz today. The vibrant yellow-green stone was called something new — Peridot. Peridot is derived from “faridat,” the Arabic word for gem, or the French word for "gold", depending on whom you ask.
“Gem of the Sun,” was bestowed by Ancient Egyptians for its bright glow. Today, it is the national gem of Egypt. Typically light green in color, Peridot does range from a golden, bright yellow-green to a deep emerald green. Part of the reason it was often confused for Emeralds through medieval times. Based on the location of its ancient mine, and its rare, darker color variations only ever produced in the Red Sea, many jewelry historians believe that most of Cleopatra’s famous collection of royal 'emeralds', were actually peridots from Egypt. Considering Peridot's heritage and mining location, it is very likely. Long believed to be Emeralds were also the 200-carat gemstones adorning one of the shrines in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral, but they are also peridots. People continued to confuse these two green gemstones through the ages.
Interestingly, despite its being around for centuries in a variety of countries and cultures, around 80-95% of the world’s current peridot supply is found in San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona, a relatively new mining location. But thanks to rich gemstone deposits there, the modern demand for peridots can be easily met. Those born in August have an abundant, affordable, beautiful green birthstone.
Peridot's other symbolism:
The zodiac stone for those under the sign of Libra, born between September 23 and October 22, is Peridot. Today, Peridot is also the traditional gift of 16th anniversary of marriage.
August's other birthstones include these 2 fiery red beauties:
Sardonyx has been popular for centuries! As expected of an "Extreme" stone, Ancient Greeks/Romans wore sardonyx gemstones carved with the likenesses of their heroes and gods, like Ares/Mars, and Hercules. As expected of an "Extreme" stone, the ancients believed the sardonyx would harness the bravery and prowess of great gods, and was praised for granting wearers courage, protection, and victory on the battlefield.
Sardonyx was a popular gemstone for seals/signet rings of the roman times, and were often used for sealing official documents, as wax doesn’t stick to sardonyx's smooth surface. Later in history, Sardonyx was associated with eloquence, clear thinking and communication. It was often worn by public speakers during the Renaissance. Overall, sardonyx is a strong communication, courage and protection stone. So much so, that ancient peoples believed sardonyx would protect a home from 'evil' if a gemstone was placed at each corner of the home.
As stone of protection Spinel is used for increasing hope, revitalization, and 'joie de vivre'! Spinel is great for healing and an be used to revitalize every chakra. Spinel is perfect for increasing inspiration and energy in mind, body, heart and spirit.
Spinel comes in a wide range of colors, from shades of pink, red, brown, blue, yellow, green, and even black. Gleaming red spinal was often confused with Garnet or Ruby throughout history and has a reputation as the “Most Underappreciated Gemstone.” Hilariously, some of the largest and most famous 'rubies' revered throughout history were recently discovered to be spinel stones. Famous, “Black Prince’s ruby” and “Timur ruby”, which are especially large red gemstones in the Crown Jewels of England, are in fact spinel gems.