Glittering green peridot is the birthstone for those born in the month of August, and—according to the Center for Disease Control—there are quite a few of you! The month of August had the highest birth rate for ten years between 1990 and 2006. It was barely beat out by July for the other six years!
This trend is highly dependent on weather patterns, so the July and August predominance likely extends into the past and will continue on into the future. So if you are amongst the approximate 9% of the population that can lay claim to this stunning gemstone or if you know someone else who is (you probably do) then read on to discover what makes this gemstone so fascinating!
All peridots came to exist on Earth in one of two ways: they either formed deep underground at high temperatures or they caught a ride on a flaming meteorite. For the latter group, pallasite meteorites delivered peridot to our doorstep! Peridot from asteroids is extremely rare and valuable, but lucky for us, the United States has a steady supply of Peridots made on Earth! Brilliant Earth sources our stunning peridots from the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, where Native American community members revere the land and use low-impact mining techniques. These gemstones provide Native Americans with safe, secure livelihoods in an otherwise isolated area.
Peridot is a rare gemstone that only occurs naturally in one color. It is a form of Olivine (think olive green!) a mineral composed of magnesium and iron. With the inclusion of outside elements, certain gemstones can occur in every color of the rainbow. Peridot, however, only comes in subtle shades of green. It will never be blue, red, purple, orange, or anything else! It is unique in its specificity.
Peridots have a long history of mythological associations. Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), an ancient naturalist, first recorded the existence of peridot on a small island off the coast of Egypt. He originally called the stone “topazios” and described it as a gem that was commonly green but also occurred with yellowish tones. He called that island Topazios after the gem, but it was later renamed St. John’s Island or Zabargad. This island was closely guarded by the Ancient Egyptians because it was thought to be an island of priceless treasures. It is widely believed that some of Cleopatra’s famous emeralds were actually peridots!
The Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun,” and some thought that it protected against nightmares, or “terrors of the night.” It was also meant to bring the wearer confidence, power, and general good luck and health. Peridots are also closely connected to the Hawaiian culture—they are thought to be the tears of the volcano goddess Pele. The Papakolea Beach on the Big Island is completely green due to crushed olivine!
Peridots range from yellowish lime green to deep, earthy olive tones, making them a very sought after jewelry choice. Peridots are a wonderful option for those who love green gemstones but are looking for an option at a lower price point than emeralds, or prefer the typically brighter hue of peridot. Certain shades of peridot can easily be confused with emeralds! When set against lustrous sterling silver, peridots can show off their fresh, vibrant sparkle. If you are looking for a piece of unique jewelry for an August baby (even if that’s you!) consider our Silver Peridot Twist Pendant or our Silver Peridot Stud Earrings. Or, if you’d like a bit of icy sparkle alongside the leafy green of our Arizona peridots, Silver Peridot and Diamond Stud Earrings are the perfect choice.
If you love brilliant colors but peridot isn’t your birthstone or your ideal hue, take a look at our other loose colored gemstones to find your favorite!
Peridot gemstones would be a lovely addition to any mother’s ring. These rings feature the birthstones of each child and occasionally the parents as well. The stones are normally lined up in a row in order of birth, but in reality you can be as creative as you’d like! If you would like to custom design a peridot mother’s ring, contact one of our design experts today!
As August passes by, we would like to wish a very happy birthday to 9% of the population. Embrace your green, ancient, cosmic, ethically mined birthstone!
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