August Birthstones :Spinel and Peridot
Before we look at the birthstones for the month, let’s get into some background information regarding birthstones. As you might already know, a birthstone is a gemstone that corresponds to a birth month and has a unique and historical significance. Ancient civilizations believed these gemstones represented certain powers such as luck, health, and prosperity. In addition, they did not distinguish the gems by anything except for color, which was seen as their most important feature.
Along with June, October, November and December, August is lucky enough to have multiple birthstones associated with the month. Why do some months have multiple birthstones you ask? This was an attempt by the National Association of Jewelers (now called Jewelers of America), both to standardize the birthstone system and to provide somewhat more affordable and readily available gemstones that could be purchased by everyday Americans. Both of the August birthstones are available from sources within the United States, making them good options for consumers.
The Spinel gemstone is often mistaken for a ruby due to its bright red color and can be difficult for the lay person to distinguish. Spinels form in the same rock units, under the same geological conditions and are found in the same gravels as rubies. So, it is not surprising that ancient gem traders thought that these colorful spinels were rubies. In fact, some of the most famous rubies in history have turned out to be spinels.
Birthstones all have some sort of hidden meaning, and spinels are believed to protect the owner from harm, to reconcile differences, and to soothe away sadness. However, its true appeal is the range of rich, brilliant colors and affordability. The most desirable color for a spinel gemstone is a rich vivid red. Spinels are found in a variety of colors including cobalt blue, pastel pink and orange.
Deposits of spinel have been found all around the world: Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. They have also been found in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania and the U.S.
Peridot, also called the “Evening Emerald”, is known for its bright lime green glow. They are among the oldest known gemstones and are often associated with prosperity and good fortune. In ancient times, it was said that Mother Nature created this gem to celebrate the new world and when presented as a gift, Peridot was believed to have magical powers with the ability to heal and to protect one from nightmares.
This August birthstone is one of the few gemstones that exists in only one color; the distinctive and unique lime green that comes from the common mineral olivine. Olivine forms deep inside the earth’s mantle and is brought to the surface by volcanoes.
Fun fact: These gems can come from space! Yes, peridot has been discovered in meteorites. However, most of the world’s peridot supply comes from the San Carlos Reservation right here in Arizona. They are also found in China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Africa.
Although the bright lime greens and olive tones of the peridot are the most desired, these gemstones are also available in several colors ranging from yellowish green to brown. If you prefer light citrus tones or earthy tones, peridot should be the next addition to your jewelry collection.
Gemstone jewelry with a birthstone is the perfect gift for a loved one, because wearing something both beautiful and of personal significance makes it all the more special. If you are interested in birthstones or have any questions regarding this type of jewelry, contact us and we will be happy to help.