August Birthstone

A Simple Guide to the August Birthstone

The August birthstone is a striking green gem called the peridot. Although commonly mispronounced as “pehr-ih-dot,” the name actually has a bit of an exotic flair and is properly pronounced as “pehr-uh-doe.”

If you have a loved one with an August birthday, or if you simply want to know more about this fascinating August birthstone, read further. This article provides the reader with a general description of the stone, affiliated meanings that the peridot has, as well as historical significance that is tied to it.

Physical Description

The August birthstone, unlike many of the other birthstones, is only one color traditionally. Peridot is generally an olive green color, reminiscent of shades of green that were quite popular in the 1970s. Although the most highly prized peridots are intense olive greens, they can have different tints as well. It is not uncommon to find bright yellow-green peridots, as well as murky brownish-green ones. The shade and intensity is generally dependent upon the amount of iron that is contained within the crystalline structure.

Because of its bright green colorings, many people consider the peridot to be the gemstone accessory of choice for bright and sunny summer months. Several celebrities make the gem a staple in their summer wardrobes, dazzling their fans with radiant shades that accent their designer clothing.

Birthstone Meanings

Several meanings are attributed and affiliated with the peridot birthstone. The more common ones include love, loyalty, faithfulness, and truth, making it a gemstone of fidelity and honor. In addition to these, many cultures believe that peridots should be worn to increase their fame and wealth.

Cultures and belief systems that put an emphasis on the healing powers of gems and minerals, believe that peridots have healing properties that can benefit the sinus, lymph nodes, breasts, and even lungs.

Historical Significance

Not surprisingly the peridot has been valued throughout history for several different reasons and in several different cultures as well. For example, so entrenched in our history is the peridot, that it can be traced back to ancient Egyptian jewelry. In fact, archaeologists have found proof that is was commonly used in royal jewelry dating as far back as 2000 BC.

The ancient Egyptians were able to mine for this precious gemstone because of a volcanic island that was located less than 50 miles off the Egyptian coast. Modern man discovered this island in the early 1900s, but sadly the peridot deposits had been exhausted.

The ancient Romans also took a fancy to the August birthstone. They were particularly fond of the radiance in the green shine, which did not fade or change in the presence of other light sources, such as fire. It is because of this trait that Romans gave the peridot the nickname “emerald of the evening.”

Peridots have also played large roles throughout religious history as well. Fables and rumors have been passed for thousands of years that the three wise men adorned themselves with peridots. In addition to this, many people believe that several ancient religious relics would have contained large numbers of peridots as well. To this day, several medieval cathedrals boast peridot accents in their architecture and in the many treasures that lay within.

No one really knows why, but peridots seemed to fade in popularity shortly after the middle ages, and it was not until a short while ago when a large deposit was discovered in the Kashmir region that the peridot became popular once again. It now is one of the most sought after gemstones and even has a 62 gram specimen on display in Washington D.C.