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Peridot, the August Birthstone

Peridot, The August Birthstone

*Updated* August Offers 3 Unique Birthstones

Ahhh… Peridot. The August Birthstone. But it’s not alone!

The month of August has two birthstones; the peridot and the sardonyx. Both of these stones have been seen throughout history and have rich symbolism. The Peridot however is most commonly associated with the August Birthstone. Peridot is one of the very few gemstones that exists for sale in only one color; a very distinctive lime green. The peridot can be found naturally in a range of color variations, from yellowish green to brown, however lime green or olive green are the most sought after and common to find on the market.

“Peridot is said to host magical powers and healing properties to protect against nightmares and to bring the wearer power, influence, and a wonderful year. As peridot is a gemstone that forms deep inside the earth and brought to the surface by volcanoes, in Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes”. ~ American Gem Society

The sardonyx birthstone on the other hand, is a type of onyx. Its a reddish brown stone with a white banding that can be seen. Peridots have a crystal-like appearance while a sardonyx is more of a natural stone-like appearance.

Spinel was officially added by the American Gem Trade Association in July of 2016 as an added birthstone for August. Read the press release “American Gem Trade Association to Add Spinel as an Official Birthstone for August“.

 History of Peridot, The August Birthstone

In ancient times it was believed that Peridot was a gift from Mother Nature to celebrate the annual creation of a new world. When presented to someone, Peridot is said to bring the wearer healing properties and magical powers.  Peridot has been worn for centuries and has been used to protect and heal. Sardonyx goes as far back as the ancient Greeks and Roman, who used the stone during battle, believing it would bring them to victory, as it is also believed to instill power, and influence through the wearing of the gemstone one’s body.

The distinctive colors of every birthstone actually have a lot of meaning that go along with it. It is believed that the olive green color of a Peridot helps to reduce anger and heal stress – something many of us need in our modern daily grind. In fact, there was a time when people would wear this stone on their body to ward off evil and negative vibes.

Peridot Origins

Peridot is formed very far below the Earth’s surface. Its is similar to diamonds in that it is brought up by volcanic eruptions; a pretty unique and special process. Some also came to earth in meteorites, but the extraterrestrial persuasion of the August Birthstone is extremely rare. You’ll likely never see it in a retail jewelry store. The majority of peridot stones that are available come from Arizona, although there is a significant supply that comes from China, Pakistan, and Myanmar. Sardonyx comes from India, but can also be found in Brazil, Uruguay, the United States, and in Germany.

“The word “Peridot” comes from the Arabic root “faridat,” which means “gem.”  Early records indicate that the ancient Egyptians mined a beautiful green gem on an island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known as St. John’s Island or Zabargad. Legend has it that the island was infested with snakes, making mining unpleasant until an enterprising pharaoh drove them into the sea. From the earliest times, people confused this stone—now known to be peridot—with other gems. It was one of many labeled as “topaz.”


Peridot is a relatively inexpensive gemstone in small sizes – gemstones smaller than three carats are very common but gemstones over five carats are rare and can be very expensive. Peridot in 10 to 15 carats are even more rare, but provide an amazing bold look if your’e lucky enough to find one and afford it. There is no known treatment to improve the color or clarity of peridot, so peridot is always an untreated gem. The stone that most resembles the Peridot is the Fancy Vivid Yellowish Green diamond.

Answer: The largest cut peridot is 310 carats and is housed at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.; a 192.75 carat stone that belonged to the czars is in the Diamond Treasury, Moscow; and a 146 carat peridot is kept in the Geological Museum in London, England.

Contact Gittelson Jewelers for you all of your pearl needs. Check out our birthstone jewelry guide, for more information.

1 Comment

  1. WarPaint International

    Peridots are gorgeous! August brides should consider them for unique wedding day additions to their bridal party 🙂

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