August Birthstone: Exploring All 3 Amazing Birthstones
Are you curious to learn about the fascinating world of August birthstones? There are mainly 3 birthstones for August.
Well. the Birthstones of August encompass Spinel, Sardonyx, and Peridot. Among them, Peridot exhibits a captivating green color, resulting from the involvement of lava and chemical processes contributing to its remarkable hardness.
Let’s dive into the article and learn more about August birthstones. I’ll discuss the value, history, color, meaning, and others.
August Birthstone: General Overview
First, we’ll get an overview table on August Birthstones.
Found in China, USA, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tanzania, Vietnam
Talisman for protection, used in the Christian community
Found in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Vietnam, Tanzania, Pakistan
Various colors (e.g., orange, blue, violet, purple, pink)
Medical properties used for disease treatment
Found in Uruguay, Tanzania, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tajikistan, Czechoslovakia
Dark blue and white
Symbolizes protection and happiness
Meaning Behind Birthstone
The tradition of birthstones has a long history, dating back centuries. However, the birthstones we recognize today were officially selected by the National Association of Jewelers in the United States in the early 1900s. These gemstones have become popular gifts for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. However, the concept of birthstones can be traced even further back to biblical times.
In the book of Exodus (28:17-20), it is mentioned that 12 gemstones were affixed to the breastplate of the prophet Aaron. Each stone represented one of the 12 tribes of Israel and was engraved with the name of the respective tribe. This biblical reference is one of the earliest known connections to the concept of birthstones.
Birthstones also have ties to Western astrology and Ayurveda. Ashley Leavy, the founder and educational director of the Love and Light School of Crystal Therapy, has previously explained that birthstones also have significance in these ancient traditions. Due to the diverse range of birthstone options found in different traditions, the National Association of Jewelers standardized the selection of birthstones in 1912.
Birthstones have a rich history and symbolism, drawing from religious scriptures, astrological beliefs, and cultural practices, making them meaningful and cherished gems for many people.
August Birthstone 1: Peridot
First, we’ll discuss and explore Leo’s birthstone, Peridot.
Peridot Birthstone Meaning & History
Peridot, the birthstone for August, is a captivating gemstone with a rich history and symbolic meaning. This gemstone belongs to the olivine mineral family and showcases a remarkable range of colors, primarily yellowish green to greenish yellow. Over the centuries, peridot has occasionally been mistaken for other gemstones, most notably topaz and emerald, leading to exciting tales and misconceptions.
One intriguing historical reference involves the Red Sea island of Topazios, which was erroneously associated with Topaz but, in reality, was a significant source of peridot. This misidentification made the island’s name intertwine with the topaz gemstone.
Furthermore, the illustrious Shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral contains approximately 200 carats of gems initially believed to be emeralds. However, upon closer examination, they were revealed to be the vibrant August birthstone, peridot. This discovery sparked speculation that even Cleopatra’s renowned emerald collection might have included peridots, adding to the gemstone’s mystique.
The etymology of the term “peridot” can be traced back to the Arabic word “faridat,” which means gem. This birthstone holds significant value in ancient and medieval cultures. As early as the second century BCE, peridot adorned the jewelry of priests, signifying its esteemed status. It found its way into the chalices and churches in medieval Europe, enhancing their sacred beauty. Peridot has long been considered a protective talisman, believed to shield the wearer from malevolent spirits and the anxieties of the night.
Peridot is associated with various virtues and qualities in the realm of symbolism. Its vibrant green hue represents renewal, growth, and vitality, making it a stone of rejuvenation and positive energy. Peridot is believed to promote harmony and balance in relationships while fostering compassion and understanding.
It also alleviates stress, anger, and negative emotions, encouraging a sense of inner peace and well-being. As the birthstone for August, peridot is seen as a representation of strength, prosperity, and good fortune for those born in this month.
Where is Peridot Found?
Peridot’s journey from its origins to becoming a beloved birthstone involves captivating sources and diverse locales. While the peridot used in jewelry today is primarily sourced from countries like China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tanzania, Vietnam, and the United States, its origins extend beyond earthly boundaries.
One of the earliest recorded sources of peridot is the Egyptian island of Zabargad, which was once known as Topazios. Mining activities on this island likely began around 340-279 BCE, yielding beautiful peridot gemstones.
However, the island’s treacherous conditions, earning it ominous names such as the “Island of Death” and “Ophiodes” (meaning “snake island”), add an air of mystique to Peridot’s history. Despite the challenging environment, Zabargad peridot has been highly prized throughout the centuries and continues to be sought after by gem enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. Exceptional specimens of this birthstone for August can be found adorning the displays of prestigious museums.
Myanmar, previously known as Burma, is also a notable peridot source. In the mountainous region near the gem city of Mogok, on the northern slope of Kyaukpon, loose peridot crystals can occasionally be found hidden within crevices. The peridots from this locality exhibit deep color saturation and exceptional transparency, making them highly desirable among gem connoisseurs.
Arizona stands out in the United States as the primary peridot source for August birthstones. Millennia ago, massive volcanic eruptions shaped the landscape, resulting in rivers of lava flowing across what is now the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. Over the years, Apache families have worked the mines, extracting peridot from this unique geological formation.
In a truly remarkable twist, peridot has also arrived on Earth through pallasite meteorites. These meteorites, composed of a combination of nickel-iron and olivine (the mineral family to which peridot belongs), have delivered gem-quality peridot to our planet. While thousands of meteorites have impacted Earth, only a few have contained peridot of gemstone quality, making these extraterrestrial peridots exceptionally rare and coveted by collectors.
Peridot’s fascinating journey, from its earthly sources to celestial origins, adds a sense of wonder and enchantment to this captivating birthstone. Its allure lies not only in its remarkable beauty but also in the stories woven throughout its history and the symbolic meaning attributed to it over the ages.
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Peridot is widely recognized for its vibrant lime-green color derived from the mineral olivine that composes the gem. Unlike many other gemstones, peridot’s color is not influenced by impurities but rather by its inherent composition. It is unique in that it typically occurs in a single color. However, peridot can exhibit variations in shade, ranging from yellow-green and olive to brown-green.
The color of a peridot is determined by the presence and quantity of iron within its chemical composition. The green color is attributed to ferrous iron (FeO), while the yellow tones are influenced by ferric iron (Fe2O3).
An exciting characteristic of peridot is that it retains its vivid coloration even under artificial lighting, making it suitable for daytime and nighttime wear. Due to this quality, it is sometimes called the “Evening Emerald.”
Peridot Birthstone Care & Cleaning
Caring for peridot jewelry requires gentle handling and proper maintenance to preserve its beauty and durability. It is important to note that peridot ranks 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it relatively softer than some other gemstones. Consequently, it is not recommended for daily wear in a ring, especially if it will be subjected to rough treatment or constant exposure to potential hazards.
Peridot is susceptible to damage from certain acids and prolonged contact with acidic sweat, so it is essential to avoid exposing the gemstone to harsh chemicals or substances that could compromise its integrity. When cleaning peridot, a delicate approach is necessary to prevent any potential harm. Harsh cleaning methods, such as steam or ultrasonic, should be avoided, as peridot is vulnerable to thermal shock.
The safest and most effective method for cleaning peridot involves using a soft-bristle brush, such as a toothbrush, with a mild dish soap diluted in warm water. Gently scrub the gemstone, ensuring all sides are adequately cleaned. Rinse the peridot thoroughly with clean water and use a soft cloth to pat it dry. Remember to store peridot jewelry with care, keeping it separate from other gemstones to avoid potential scratches from harder stones.
The value of peridot is determined by several factors, including its olivine content, depth of color, and level of transparency. Peridot gemstones with a deep olive green hue, devoid of yellow undertones, hold significant worth. Additionally, gems that exhibit high transparency rather than appear murky are regarded as the most valuable.
One aspect contributing to peridot’s perceived value is its formation in the Earth’s mantle. This distinguishes peridot as a unique gemstone, as a diamond is the only other gem formed in the mantle. This rarity adds to its appeal for many individuals seeking gemstones with exceptional origins.
August Birthstone 2: Spinel
Now it’s time to discuss another August birthstone: Spinel. Let’s check it
Spinel Birthstone Meaning & History
Spinel, the birthstone for August, is a captivating gemstone with a fascinating history and diverse colors. The name “spinel” is derived from the Latin word “spina,” meaning thorn, which refers to the characteristic shape of spinel crystals. This gemstone is renowned for its impressive color spectrum.
Throughout history, spinel has often been mistaken for other gemstones, leading to intriguing stories and misconceptions. Some of the most famous “rubies” in history have turned out to be spinel. An exceptional example is the Black Prince’s “ruby,” weighing approximately 170 carats. Various Moorish and Spanish kings had owned this gemstone before it came into the possession of Edward, Prince of Wales (also known as the Black Prince) in 1367.
Only in the 18th century was spinel accurately identified and differentiated from ruby based on its chemical composition. This historic red spinel is proudly displayed in Great Britain’s Imperial State Crown, adorning the regal ensemble above the magnificent 317.40-carat Cullinan II diamond.
In addition to its intriguing history, spinel carries symbolic meaning and has been associated with various beliefs and healing properties. Red spinel and other red gemstones were believed to possess medicinal properties and were considered a remedy for blood loss and inflammatory diseases. It was also thought to have the power to soothe anger and promote harmony. As the birthstone for August, spinel is traditionally given as a gift to celebrate the 22nd wedding anniversary.
Where is Spinel Found?
Spinel is sourced from various locations worldwide, each offering unique characteristics and color variations. Some of the major sources of spinel include Tajikistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tanzania, and Pakistan.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, is renowned for producing spinel of striking colors, such as hot pink and red spinel. The Mogok Stone Tract in Myanmar is a prolific source of spinel and other gem minerals like ruby and sapphire. The gems unearthed in this region possess a natural luster that locals refer to as “spirit polished.”
Sri Lanka, often called the Treasure Island of gemstones, is home to various gem species and varieties, including spinel, sapphire, ruby, and garnet. Spinel is mined extensively in the country’s southern half, with colors ranging from blue and pink to purple. The Central Highlands and the Ratnapura District are known for their lush rolling hills and river gravels, which have been rich sources of spinel for centuries.
Northern Vietnam’s Luc Yen region has been a notable source of spinel since the 1980s. The region produces spinel in deep red, purple, pink, violet, and violet-blue hues. In recent years, vivid blue spinels have also been discovered. Accessing the mines in Luc Yen requires several hours from Hanoi, involving driving, hiking, or biking.
A significant discovery of pinkish and orangy-red spinel in Tanzania 2007 captivated gem collectors. The mines in Tanzania also yield spinel in shades of purple and blue, adding to the variety of colors available in this August birthstone.
Spinel stones come in various colors, including intense pink, red, and purple. The red spinel can vary from orangy to purplish red, with the finest specimens exhibiting pure red or slightly purplish red hues. These colors are considered the most desirable and are typical of medium to medium-dark tones. A high-quality 5-carat spinel stone showcases the beauty and allure of this gem.
Spinel Birthstone Care & Cleaning
Spinel has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, making it a relatively durable gemstone suitable for various types of jewelry, including rings. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners can be used to clean spinel; however, caution should be exercised if the gemstone has fractured, as these could be vulnerable to damage. As a safe alternative, warm soapy water can clean spinel jewelry.
Spinel is generally stable when exposed to light and chemicals. However, it is worth noting that high heat can cause certain colors of spinel to fade. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid subjecting spinel gemstones to excessive heat.
Spinel possesses excellent value due to its profound historical symbolism associated with healing, harmony, and hope. Wearing spinel is believed to offer protection from harm, adding to its esteemed status. Furthermore, its impressive Mohs hardness rating of eight makes it highly durable and a desirable choice for everyday jewelry.
The value of spinel is also influenced by its color, with deeper and richer hues being perceived as more precious. Red spinel is typically regarded as the most valuable among its various color variations, further enhancing its allure in the gemstone market.
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August Birthstone 3: Sardonyx
Now it’s time to explore the third birthstone of August.
Sardonyx Birthstone Meaning & History
Sardonyx, the birthstone for August, holds a significant place in history as one of the oldest known birthstones associated with this month. It is a unique gemstone combining two types of chalcedony: sard and onyx.
Sardonyx is characterized by bands of brownish red to brown to dark orange sard, alternating with typically white or black layers of onyx. Its distinctive color patterns have made it a popular choice for carvings, cameos, and intaglios throughout the ages.
In ancient times, sardonyx was highly valued for its practical properties. The Romans favored it for seals and signet rings because hot wax would not stick to its smooth surface. The durability and beauty of sardonyx made it an ideal medium for creating intricate carvings and designs. The bands of color in this August birthstone have been skillfully crafted into cameos, conveying stories and symbols through the artistry of ancient civilizations.
Sardonyx has also held symbolic and spiritual significance throughout history. It is believed to be one of the stones set in the breastplate of the High Priest, as mentioned in the Old Testament. In Roman culture, soldiers wore sardonyx rings with the carved image of Mars, the god of war, as a form of protection in battle.
Today, sardonyx is associated with courage, happiness, and clear communication. It is believed to bring stability to marriages and partnerships, representing the strength of spiritual life.
Where is Sardonyx Found?
Sardonyx is sourced from various locations worldwide, each contributing its unique characteristics to the gemstone. India is renowned for producing sardonyx with distinct and contrasting layers of color. The gemstone can also be found in Brazil, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Madagascar, Uruguay, and the United States.
India stands out for its sardonyx with well-defined and contrasting layers of different colors. The country has a rich history of sardonyx production, showcasing the beauty of this August birthstone.
Other countries, such as Brazil, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Madagascar, Uruguay, and the United States, also have notable sardonyx deposits. These locations contribute to the global supply of sardonyx, each offering its variations in color and patterns.
Sardonyx is predominantly found in earthy tones, although it can occur in several colors. The card layers, which form the reddish-brown to dark orange hues, are commonly observed. On the other hand, the onyx layers are typically black or white, although some white onyx pieces may appear slightly creamy due to their semi-translucent nature.
While it is possible to come across predominantly white or black sardonyx and stones that feature a dominant earthy hue, these variations indicate a higher concentration of onyx or sard within the gemstone. However, it’s important to note that if a stone lacks either sard or onyx, it cannot be classified as sardonyx and should be recognized as a different stone altogether.
Sardonyx Birthstone Care & Cleaning
Sardonyx has a hardness rating of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, indicating that it is relatively durable. However, care should be taken when wearing sardonyx jewelry, particularly rings, as they are more prone to accidental impact or scratching. It is worth noting that sardonyx, like other forms of chalcedony, is sometimes dyed to enhance its appearance.
Therefore, exposure to high heat, such as during jewelry manufacturing or repair, can affect dyed sardonyx’s color. As with any gemstone, it is advisable to handle sardonyx carefully and avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals or abrasive materials to maintain its natural beauty.
Sardonyx holds immense value as a birthstone, rooted in its deep historical symbolism and ancient associations. The enduring meaning attributed to this gemstone adds to its timeless allure. Notably, since antiquity, sardonyx has been revered for its reputed ability to absorb negative energy. Per this belief, the intensity of the gem’s color reflects the extent of the negative energy it has assimilated.
What sets Sardonyx apart is its distinctive banded and combination design, which truly distinguishes it in various forms of jewelry, including rings, necklaces, and bracelets. This exceptional aesthetic quality further enhances its appeal and makes it an intriguing choice for adornment.
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Tips for Purchasing August Birthstones with the Best Knowledge
When buying August birthstones, it is essential to consider the following factors and keep the headings in mind: cut, cost, clarity, and carat. Additionally, obtaining certification from reputable third-party institutions like GIA, IGI, and EGL is crucial to ensure the authenticity and quality of the birthstone. The certification report provides detailed information that helps buyers make informed decisions.
Let’s delve into the specific points to consider when buying each August birthstone:
Facts to Determine When Buying Peridot as August Birthstone
When purchasing Peridot, pay attention to the cutting and polishing styles. The green color of Peridot can sometimes camouflage inclusions or impurities, so examine the symmetry of the stone’s faceting. Look for a Peridot birthstone that exhibits excellent symmetry, similar to the facets of a diamond, to maximize light reflection. Examine the structure of the Peridot from all angles, ensuring that all elements and patterns align with the provided certifications.
Facts to Determine When Buying Peridot as Spinel Birthstone
When buying Spinel as an August birthstone, focus on the stone’s anatomy, which includes step-cutting and faceting patterns such as a table, crown, girdle, pavilion, and culet. These elements contribute to the stone’s light-reflecting ability, so inspect the anatomy for any defects or irregularities.
Certifications for Spinel August birthstones can alleviate doubts and provide valuable information for purchasing decisions. After considering the certification and original characteristics, select a clear and transparent Spinel birthstone without any diamond-like inclusions. The desired carat weight for Spinel birthstones can range from 0.5 carats to 5 carats or more.
Facts to Determine When Buying Sardonyx as August Birthstone
Authenticity is crucial when buying Sardonyx birthstones. To ensure the stone’s genuineness, use hardness and scratching equipment to test the surface of the Sardonyx. Rubbing the stone’s surface can help determine if the color is consistent and does not easily rub off. Cross-checking the certification will provide further assurance before purchasing the Sardonyx birthstone.
August Birthstone: Interesting Facts
There are some common facts about August birthstone. Some of them are very interesting. Now we’ll learn some interesting facts about August Birthstones.
- The name “Peridot” comes from the Arabic word “faridat,” which means “gem.”
- Peridot is unique in that it has a single color, which is green. While there may be variations in shades and levels of clarity, all peridots are green.
- The green color of peridot results from the presence of iron during its formation.
- Peridot is one of the gemstones used to adorn The Shrine of Three Kings, located in Cologne, Germany.
- Spinel was officially designated as one of August’s birthstones in 2016, as per the decision by the Jewelers of America.
- Spinel was historically used as a substitute for ruby and was even mistaken for ruby in the Black Prince’s crown, known as the Black Prince’s Ruby.
- Despite its resemblance to ruby, spinel is significantly less expensive, often costing half or less than half of the price of ruby.
- Both “sard” and “carnelian,” which make up sardonyx, were originally referred to as “sardion” until the Middle Ages.
- Sard, without carnelian, is one of the oldest known names for a silica mineral, second only to crystal.
- Sardonyx has been utilized in ancient printmaking techniques such as cameos and intaglios.
- Due to its historical association with royalty, Queen Elizabeth gave the Earl of Essex a sardonyx ring as a gift.
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So, that is everything about August birthstones. So, in conclusion, the August birthstone holds significant meaning and beauty. Whether it’s the vibrant green Peridot, the mesmerizing Spinel, or the elegant Sardonyx, each birthstone has its unique qualities and history.
Good luck finding the ideal one.