1 August 2023
August is another of those months that has three stones designated for those born that month, peridot, spinel, and sardonyx.
This comes from the mineral olivine and is a yellow-green that is often confused with topaz or emerald. Peridot has an Arabic derivation faridat, or gem. It is considered a good luck charm or protection from evil and night terrors.
Originally found on the island of Zabargad (formerly Topazios), it is now sourced from China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam, and the United States. These crystals are created from volcanic eruptions and some may have landed on earth from a meteorite. So, as you can imagine, it takes extreme force for these stones to form. Some of the finest come from crevices on the northern slope of Kyaukpon in Myanmar (formerly Burma).
The peridot is softer than many other stones and is not recommended for jewelry like a bracelet that may take some punishment. Cleaning is difficult. Do not use steam or an ultrasonic cleaner. It is also vulnerable to acid. If you must clean it, use a mild dishwashing soap, warm water, and a soft brush.
This is the designated gift for a 15th wedding anniversary.
The crystals that form a spinel are spikey and its name comes from Latin spina for thorn. It comes in a wide variety of colors often intense in color. Like the peridot, it is often confused with other stones like rubies. Red spinels were thought to be a protection from blood loss or inflammation and to quell anger as well as promote harmony.
Hot pink spinel can be found in Myanmar and the southern portion of Sri Lanka produces blue, pink, and purple. The stone can also be found in Tajikistan, Vietnam, and Tanzania. Blue spinels come from a region in Vietnam, and Tanzania gives us pinks and orange-red. High heat can cause some of the colors to fade.
Ultrasonic and steam cleaners can be used if the stone is without fractures. If you have concerns, go for warm, soapy water.
It is a traditional gift for a 22 wedding anniversary.
This is the last on our list of August birthstones but is actually the original designated gem for the month. It is formed by a combination of two types of chalcedony. It is layers of white or black onyx with stripes of red, brown, or orange. For centuries it was a popular choice for cameos and intalglios. It is thought to represent strength and protection during battles. Is now associated with courage, happiness, and clear communication. Thought to bring stability to a marriage or partnership…but you also might want to consider couples therapy.
Look for stones with a strong contrast of color. They are predominately found in Brazil, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Madagascar, and Uraguay.
It is often dyed so high heat may affect its color. It is also rather soft so it is not recommended for daily wearing or in a piece of jewelry that can easily be struck, like a ring. Best cleaning is with soapy water and a soft brush, like its companion August birthstones.