There are few gifts more precious than a piece of birthstone jewelry. It’s a gesture that shows you truly love and care for the recipient. This month in particular has some stunning birthstones that are vibrant with color, including sardonyx, the traditional birthstone, and peridot and spinel, the modern August birthstones.
Peridot: A Fascinating Story
Derived from a mineral called olivine, the peridot is the most popular August birthstone and can be yellowish-green to greenish-yellow in color. While most peridot comes from places like China, Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar (formerly Burma), and the United States, some traveled to Earth on meteorites!
From the Arabic word faridat, meaning gem, this August birthstone has long been part of ancient and medieval cultures. It is thought that mining for peridot began on the Egyptian island of Zabargad as far back as 340–279 BCE.
It is claimed that peridot is a remedy for blood inflammatory disease and blood loss. On the lighter side, this stone is associated with harmony and easing anger.
When caring for peridot, it’s important to remember that it is softer than many other gems, registering a 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. It does require special treatment and should be cleaned by a professional.
However, if you do plan to clean your peridot, you should always use a soft bristle brush, gentle soap, and warm water. When storing your peridot, take great care as they can scratch easily.
Spinel: A Rainbow of Colors
Spinel, the second most popular August birthstone, can be found in many colors including bluish-green, blue, violet, purple, orange, vibrant pink, and intense red. In fact, the red is so intense that spinels are often mistaken for rubies.
Certain locations seem to produce more vibrantly colored spinel stones, and they are most commonly found in Myanmar, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Tanzania. Locals in Myanmar refer to stones there as “spirit polished” because they are so naturally lustrous when unearthed.
Registering an 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, Spinel is considered a durable stone. It is safe to carefully clean them with ultrasonic and steam cleaners, since fractures can be a problem with this stone. Professional cleaning or warm soapy water at home is recommended to keep this gem gorgeous.
Sardonyx: An Ancient Birthstone
Sardonyx, a combination of sard and onyx, has bands of brownish red to brown to dark orange with black or white layers of onyx. It is the most ancient of all August birthstones.
Well known in Roman times for its use in signet rings and seals, it’s also a popular carving stone for intaglios and cameos. It is associated with happiness, courage, clear communication, and stability in partnerships and marriages.
The finest Sardonyx stones are currently found in India, but they have been located in the Czech Republic, Germany, Brazil, Uruguay, and the United States, as well as other locations.
Taking care of your sardonyx should be no different than peridot. Sardonyx registers 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, making it a rather soft stone. It should be noted that some types of manufacturing or repair could alter the color of the stone.
Ready to Choose Jewelry With the Beautiful Modern August Birthstones? Shop Matthew’s Jewelers for the Best Selection of Gemstones!
No matter the special occasion, the team at Matthew’s Jewelers is honored to help you choose the perfect stone to celebrate. Need help customizing your jewelry? We can help with that too! Stop in to our Plantation store today!