As the final month of summer, those born in August have a grand total of three- that’s right, count ‘em, three- fabulous birthstones to choose from. Whether you’re shopping for a fiery Leo or a sensible Virgo, one of these fascinating stones is sure to fit the bill.
Read on to learn more about the history of these captivating stones and discover how to care for each August gemstone respectively. What’s more, we’ll explore ways to incorporate birthstone jewelry into your everyday life, like in gemstone engagement rings and wedding rings, for a fun way to showcase your birth month with style.
Peridot Meaning and History
Dating back as early as 1500 B.C., the green peridot stone is believed to be one of the world’s oldest gemstones.
Some of the earliest discoveries of the stone have been traced to St. John’s island in the Egyptian Red Sea where it’s said to have captured the attention of Pharoah’s and even Cleopatra. The story goes that island natives worked to collect the peridot gemstone for the Pharoah’s collection, day and night. However, it was at night that they could spot the stone easiest thanks to its stunning green glow. Ancient Egyptians referred to the peridot gem as, “the gem of the sun.” Peridot is the national gem of Egypt today.
This captivating green jewel is highly regarded around the world and is commonly used as a protective talisman to ward off evil spirits and “terrors of the night.”
Where Is Peridot Found?
Peridot comes from olivine, a common mineral that is rarely gem-quality that occurs deep within the earth’s mantle. It is then brought to the surface by volcanos in places like Hawaii, the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, China, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Africa.
As for the lovely green hue that the peridot birthstone is famous for, the American Gem Society(AGS) says this, “Peridot’s signature green color comes from the composition of the mineral itself- rather than from trace impurities, as with many gemstones. That’s why the peridot gemstone only comes in one color, though shades may vary from yellowish-green to olive to brownish-green, depending on how much iron is present.”
How to Care for Peridot
Unfortunately, the peridot crystal can be prone to damage as it only rates as a 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, a scale that determines the hardness of all gemstones. For context, a diamond rates as a 10 on the Mohs scale and is hard enough to cut glass.
That being said, peridot still makes for a fabulous choice for a piece of birthstone jewelry with proper care and maintenance. To clean your peridot jewelry, simply create a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Then, dry the piece with a clean soft cloth. Jewelry featuring peridot birthstones should be stored separately from other fine jewelry pieces and should be removed before partaking in strenuous activities.
Sardonyx Meaning and History
Dating back to Ancient Egypt, sardonyx is the oldest of the august birthstones. Featuring brownish-red and orange bands, sardonyx was often used for Roman seals and signet rings because hot wax doesn’t stick to it. Sardonyx was also a common carving material due to its deep coloring and was often used in cameos and intaglios.
A fascinating gem, there is a lot of lore surrounding sardonyx. Some people even believe that sardonyx is one of the stones that was featured in the High Priest’s breastplate mentioned in the Old Testament of the bible. Roman soldiers also wore jewelry featuring the gem to bring protection during battle.
Today, sardonyx is believed to cultivate happiness, stability, courage, and clear communication.
Where is Sardonyx Found?
Featuring alternating layers of sard and onyx, sardonyx ranges in color from yellowish-red to reddish-brown depending upon how much iron oxide is present. Interestingly, the bands featured in sardonyx are always parallel, unlike the seemingly random bands featured in agate.
The most coveted sardonyx stones originate from India. However, the gem can be found around the world including in Brazil, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Madagascar, Uruguay, and the U.S.
How to Care for Sardonyx
Similar to peridot, sardonyx is a relatively soft gemstone rating at a 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. Special care should be taken when wearing august birthstone jewelry featuring sardonyx, especially if the gem is set in a ring.
Clean sardonyx pieces with a mild solution of warm water and dish soap. If needed, scrub the piece with a soft-bristle brush for a deeper clean.
Spinel Meaning and History
Perhaps one of the most underrated gems of all time, spinel has a history of being misidentified for other stones like ruby and pink sapphire. It wasn’t until the rise of modern gemology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that gemologists discovered that the spinel gemstone has its own unique chemical structure and that several famous “rubies” are actually spinel instead.
Two celebrated examples of the spinel vs ruby debacle are England’s Black Prince’s ruby and the Timur ruby. The Black Prince’s ruby is set in the Imperial State Crown and is believed to have originated from the mountains of Afghanistan after the stone first appeared in historical records dating back to 14th century Spain. The ‘ruby’ passed hands through many monarchs and survived several devastating events such as fires, WWII bombing raids, and attempted theft before arriving where it is today as one of the centerpieces of England’s Crown Jewels.
The Timur ‘ruby’ is not a ruby but a massive polished red magnesia spinel. The stone weighs over 361 carats and is set in a necklace that currently resides with the England Crown Jewels.
Spinel could be the perfect gift for those looking to attract money, energy, and power into their life as the stone is said to bring these things to the wearer.
Where Is Spinel Found?
Spinel comes in a wide spectrum of colors including red, cobalt blue, bright pink, bright orange, lavender, black, violet-blue, greenish-blue, gray, mauve, yellow, and brown. Of these, red is the most coveted followed by the more vibrant offerings.
The largest deposits of spinel are in places like Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. However, the stone has also been discovered in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania, and the United States.
How to Care for Spinel
If August is your birth month and you’re on the hunt for a piece of spinel jewelry you’re in luck. Ranking as an 8 on the Mohs scale, this gemstone offers reasonable hardness making it a good candidate for most rings and fine jewelry pieces.
However, while this stone is rather durable, there are still a few things that you should keep in mind. For example, some colored spinel is prone to fading when exposed to high heat so take extra care to avoid wearing these on extra hot days. Additionally, spinel is not invincible. Be mindful not to ding or scratch your spinel stones and clean them with a mixture of warm water and dish soap when necessary.
How to Wear An August Birthstone
With three stunning gemstones to choose from, there’s no shortage of possibilities when shopping for august birthstone jewelry. Visit Diamond Nexus to find a fun way to accessorize while simultaneously showing off your birthstone in style.
For something simple try a minimalistic bracelet or a pair of stud earrings. Or, get a little more fun with it and create a custom jewelry charm bracelet, complete with a charm featuring your august birthstone of choice. Alternatively, choose a statement pendant necklace featuring one of these three stones for a piece that you’ll reach for time and time again.
While you can set each august birthstone in a ring, be sure to treat these pieces with care as some of the stones are susceptible to damage from everyday wear and tear. Go a step further and customize your piece by choosing the best precious metal to pair with your stone – white gold, rose gold, yellow gold, or even sterling silver, all add a unique flair to a piece of fine jewelry.
*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulant that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.