August Birthstones: Discover Peridot, Spinel and Sardonyx

Published April 13, 2021
Pile of Peridot gems

Peridot isn't your only choice when it comes to August birthstone jewelry. In fact, August offers you three birthstones: peridot, spinel, and sardonyx. Learn about these three stones, including their appearance, value, history, and meaning.

Why Does August Have Three Birthstones?

For decades, August had a modern and traditional birthstone, peridot, and sardonyx. However, in 2016, the American Gem Trade Association and Jewelers of America updated the August birthstone list to include the spinel as a modern birthstone for August. It's one of three months with three or more stones. The original birthstone list, created in 1912, listed peridot as the modern August birthstone. Learn more about each different birthstone by looking at their individual history.

Most Popular August Birthstone - Peridot

There is a reason you think of that olive green stone when you think of August jewelry. That's because peridot is the most popular birthstone for August. According to the Gemology Institute of America (GIA), peridot is a crystal found in rocks made of iron and magnesium mined in the U.S., China, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Finland. The gem is typically formed from lava in nature, but lab-made versions are available. Meteors also contain this stone. While the cost of peridot is about $50+ a carat, the price can increase or decrease depending on several factors like carat, clarity, color, and cut. It gem works excellent to create the perfect peridot ring or necklace.

Peridot gem stone

History of Peridot

The history of this green apple gem is quite unique. In fact, once upon a time, the Egyptians so highly valued the brilliance of this unique gem, they kept its location on the volcanic mines of Zebargad a secret. Why was this gem so cherished? Well, it was the "gem of the sun," so it could keep nightmares at bay. It was also closely linked with nature, according to Grants Jewelry. In addition to the Egyptians, Roman's also prized peridot for its rich light green color, similar to the emerald.

Meaning of Peridot

Given its origins, it's easy to see why peridot is so unique. However, the Egyptian meaning of nature is far from the only meaning of peridot. With fiery origins, peridot is a romantic stone containing a strong association with spirituality. For example, many consider peridot to hold meanings of harmony, happiness, and kindness. Given the origins of the stone, it's also considered a powerful stone. Therefore, it should come as no surprise; this is the birthstone of Leos.

Spinel - Another Modern August Birthstone

In the birthstone game, spinel is the newest member to be added to August's birthday lineup. But why add spinel to August? Because it's an absolutely stunning gemstone. Known for its brilliance and variety of colors, spinel gives August birthday buffs variety with hues from deep red to perfectly purple. Mined in Burma, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka, among others, spinel can cost anywhere from $600-$10,000 for a carat. However, lower and higher value gems are available.

Spinel gemstone

Royal History of Spinel

Spinel has a rich and royal history. A true ruby and sapphire imposter, spinel has been around for centuries. You might not realize that spinel was a gem of royal courts because it was typically confused with its more famous siblings. However, many famous pieces of royal jewelry starting in China's royal courts had spinel in them. According to GIA, one of the most famous spinel impostors was the Prince of Wale's, aka "Black Prince's," ruby acquired in 1367. However, spinel wasn't differentiated from ruby until Jean Baptiste Louis Rome de Lisle discovered that spinel was its own gem in 1783.

What Does Spinel Symbolize?

Similar to its birthday sibling, spinel is a hopeful and happy gem. It's said to house spiritual properties that can help to replenish and refresh your mind, body, and spirit. Like the fiery Leo, this fiery stone is powerful at enhancing energy and devotion to any project or endeavor you are attempting. A fiery red August birthday stone is a great addition.

Traditional August Birthstone - Sardonyx

When it comes to your traditional birthstone for August, look no further than sardonyx. A mix of the stones sard and onyx, sardonyx has the oldest roots of stones for this month. To understand why sardonyx is the traditional stone, it's important to understand the history. Sardonyx was a popular stone during Egyptian and Roman times for amulets, talismans, seals, cameos, and signet rings. According to the American Gem Society, it's also believed to be one of the stones found in the old testament.

Sardonyx gemstones

Properties of Sardonyx

Since sardonyx comes from two different stones, it has a range of colors from orange to black and is mined in India, Germany, and the U.S., among others. Called a chalcedony, onyx with black and white bands, sardonyx works better for creating larger pieces of jewelry like cameos rather than a traditional gemstone. The cost of sardonyx varies based on the cut, carat, and clarity, but you can find it for about $10.

Meaning of Sardonyx

The meanings behind the gemstone sardonyx go back to its Egyptian and Roman roots. Cameos were made in the profile of Venus to symbolize love, or soldiers wore it for protection and strength. Therefore, you shouldn't be surprised people associate sardonyx with happiness, love, good fortune, protection, and stability. Therefore, if you want an August birthstone gem with an ancient appeal, consider sardonyx.

Perfect August Birthstone

If you like variety for your birthday jewelry, be glad you were born in August. With the most recent change in birthstones, August has three different gems to choose from. Peridot and spinel are great for stones in your rings and necklaces, while sardonyx works great for bigger pieces and vintage cameos.

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August Birthstones: Discover Peridot, Spinel and Sardonyx