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The History and Meaning of August’s Birthstone

 

Vibrant yellow-green peridot is the birthstone for those born in the month of August. Known as a symbol of opportunity and prosperity, peridot is beloved by many. Read on to discover what makes peridots so enchanting.

peridot studs

PERIDOT GEMOLOGY

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. The August birthstone, 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.

All peridots came to exist on Earth in one of two ways: they either formed deep underground at high temperatures or caught a ride on flaming meteorites (called pallasite meteorites). Peridot from asteroids is extremely rare and valuable, but lucky for us, the United States has a steady supply of peridots made underground. 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.

silver twist peridot pendant necklace

PERIDOT BIRTHSTONE HISTORY AND MEANING

Peridots have been steeped in myth for thousands of years. 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 named 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 the site 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. It was also believed 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 sand on the Big Island’s Papakolea Beach is a rare and beautiful green hue due to a high content of crushed olivine.

AUGUST BIRTHSTONE JEWELRY

Peridot ranges in color from yellowish lime green to deep, earthy olive tones, making them a very sought after jewelry choice. These gemstones are a wonderful option for those who love green gemstones but are looking for an option at a lower price point than emeralds. 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 someone born in August (even if that’s you!) consider our Silver Peridot Twist Pendant or our Silver Peridot Stud Earrings.  One famous fan of peridot earrings is the Duchess of Cambridge, or Princess Kate, who has frequently been seen in a pair of peridot, blue topaz, and diamond earrings.

VINTAGE PERIDOT JEWELRY

Vintage peridot jewelry is frequently found from the Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Nouveau eras. King Edward VII (for whom the Edwardian era is named) declared it his favorite gemstone, which made it a popular choice for his subjects. Art Nouveau era jewelers favored colorful, semi-precious stones such as peridot.

CARING FOR PERIDOT

Peridot is durable enough for everyday wear in jewelry, but should be treated with care to avoid scratching. Clean your peridot with mild soap and warm water.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Happy birthday August babies! Embrace your green, ancient, cosmic, birthstone!

What do you love about peridots? Tell us on InstagramFacebookTwitter, or in the comments!

COMMENTS

Rogers Brown Says:
March 22nd, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Born 8/27/1962 my 1st daughter born 8/26/1989 my last daughter born 8/14/13, I have 2 other daughters that are Virgos but born in September. I need to get them all Peridot jewelry they are all very confident and healthy young ladies. Daddy’s girls!!!

Cathy Ann Ford Says:
March 20th, 2018 at 12:32 pm

October13th does my stone mean anything

Joe Dellavalle Says:
March 4th, 2018 at 6:05 pm

I am also an August baby born on the 26th. My mother, had a mother’s ring and from the time I was a little boy the Peridot was my favorite stone. I have a sister born in May & Brother in March and the 3 stones in the mothers ring are beautiful next to each other. But, Peridot is still the best one!

Melanie Says:
March 1st, 2018 at 10:04 pm

My daughters birthday is Aug.9~I would love to custom design a peridot & emerald ring,necklace & bracelet for her 16th birthday.It would be beautiful & original..just like her.

Theresa Says:
February 6th, 2018 at 6:52 pm

I was not born in August but married on August 26, 1967. For our first anniversary my husband gave me a Peridot ring. I have worn it ever since. He passed just before our 50th wedding anniversary and it is still on my wedding finger. It was the best gift he had ever given me. It will be passed to my daughter when I am gone.

Haunani Says:
December 25th, 2017 at 11:58 am

I am from the island of Maui.born on August 31.i am of the Hawaiian heritage on my Mothers side who is of full blood.but not my dad.thou my blood line is only half hawaiian I carry it with much Respect,Grace, and with dignity.In my possession I hold the most Beautiful Peridots stone the Peridot Necklace & Peridot stud Earrings on a gold chain.i truly Love and Embrace my Peridot Stone with all my heart and will never depart from it only to pass it down to my grand-daughter soon.

Jill Hume Says:
December 15th, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Peridot is easily my favorite stone as well as aquamarine, larimar, citrine & amethyst. Actually I love them all!

Lisa Says:
December 9th, 2017 at 5:51 pm

I am an august person the 22nd.and i love the yellowish and green together.its brilliant

Nece Says:
November 29th, 2017 at 6:14 am

My son and granddaughter share August 25 birthdays. Mine is the 20th! We love peridot. I have gifted my granddaughter with several pieces of jewelry in the peridot.

Kerry Nichols Says:
November 27th, 2017 at 10:25 am

Peridot comes in all shades of green and yellow and even Orange. I own a Peridot mine and I found all those colors in that mine in southern Chihuahua Mexico. If you look in the color Encyclopedia of gems by Dr. Joel Arem (former curator of the gemological division of the Smithsonian) you will see photographs of all of those colors!

maxine king Says:
October 25th, 2017 at 3:52 pm

my first born grandchild is an august baby,
having worked in jewelry for 20+ years I was thrilled to buy her first birthstone. In folklore it is said if you give Peridot as a gift it brings the recipient good luck, fortune, and wisdom. Isn’t that a beautiful sentiment to give a new baby girl. I love jewelry and all the stories it has to share!

Dianna Valerio Says:
October 18th, 2017 at 12:23 am

I have always liked the color green

Patchouli Woman Says:
September 6th, 2017 at 12:43 pm

I have my birthstone of Peridot in my high school class ring. It glows under a black light!
I don’t know if this is because of the white gold setting or not. Really amazing!

cindy Ellison Says:
August 15th, 2017 at 7:27 am

The peridot have a sentimental value as it was my mother-in-laws stone. She was a gem herself. I have always loved the colour green and it is a beautiful stone. I was very lucky to be given her ring when she passed.

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