The August Birthstone is: Peridot
In 1912 the American National Association of Jewelers named the Peridot (pronounced pair i dot or
pair i doe) as the august birthstone. In addition to this honor the Peridot is also given as
the 16th anniversary gem.
A beautiful green to yellow-green in color, the peridot is often mistake for an emerald. In fact, legend has it
that Queen Cleopatra preferred Peridot over other gems and that some of her "Emeralds" may have been Peridot.
Emeralds, though, don't have the yellow tint and tend to be a darker green.
Peridot has been around for awhile... there are records placing it in Egypt over 3,000 years ago. The Romans
loved the green sparkle (which doesn't change with the light) and they named it the evening emerald. It
was rediscovered in the 1990s and became the sensation of the gem tradeshows. A huge find was made in Pakistan, in
the mountains, at just over 13,000 feet!
Despite the harsh conditions of the mountains and the mines it is a rich enough find to satisfy the world's
demand for the august birthstone. The Peridot found in this mine are also unusually large and clear. In fact, their
quality is such that they are referred to as Kashmir Peridot. Some of the one-off fancy cuts of these
peridots have been over 100 carats in weight.
Legend has it that most gemstones have some sort of magical power (and crystal healers use these
powers) associated with them. Because of this people will work peridot and the other birthstones into birthstone
charms, pendants, rings, and all sorts of other jewelry. What better way to get the full benefits of your
birthstone than by wearing it?
Our crystal healing page says: Peridot brings the energies from in the aura to the
physical body. This is useful after energy work -- however, one needs to be certain that they are bringing in
the new energy -- not the stuff they are trying to purge. Use with caution.
Another legend is that pirates favored the gem to protect them from evil (!) and that when set with gold Peridot
would help protect against the terrors of the night.
The august birthstone makes an excellent gift. Whether as a Catholic gift or for teen jewelry and
children's jewelry, and it's an excellent gift for the grandparents, and so on.ultrasonic jewelry
cleaners are not recommended with this gem.
Of course, large, fine, clear, flawless specimens are going to be expensive, but nice specimens of
Peridot jewelry can be found in all budget ranges.