What is the birthstone for August?

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If you were born in August you have two birthstones to choose from: One is Peridot. Peridot is said to host magical powers and healing properties to protect against nightmares and to bring whoever wears it power, influence, and to have a wonderful year.

Rose leaf Peridot ring
Rose leaf Peridot ring

Peridot is a gemstone that forms deep inside the earth and is brought to the surface by volcanoes in Hawaii. It symbolized the tears of Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes. Today most of the peridot supply comes from Arizona, China and Pakistan. Peridot comes in several color variations ranging from yellowish green to brown, but the most wanted is the bright lime greens and olive greens.

Peridot is a gem-quality transparent variety of olivine, a mineral composed of magnesium-iron silicates. The green color is due to the presence of iron. Some of the finest peridot stones are called “evening emeralds” because they appear greener under artificial light. Peridot is one of the oldest
known gemstones. Since ancient times it was re-guarded as the symbol of the sun. The Greeks believed that it brought royal dignity to its wearer. During the middle ages, peridot was pierced and then strung and worn on the arm to ward off evil spirits. The Crusaders mistook them as emeralds
and brought them back to Europe where they were featured as ornaments in churches.

Turkish Sultan’s collected what is believed to be the world’s largest collection. The gold throne in Istanbul’s Topkapi museum is decorated with 955 peridot cabochons.

The second birthstone for August is Sardonyx. Sardonyx is a variety of the silica mineral called chalcedony. This sort of mineral contains layers of tiny quartz fibers, which are stacked on top of each other to give a banded appearance. These layers range from translucent to opaque. The stones
vary in color too.

Sardonyx
Sardonyx

The word Sardonyx comes from the Greek, Sard meaning “reddish brown” and onyx meaning “veined gem”. This gemstone is found throughout the world but the best stones are found in India. In the United States, sardonyx can be found in the Lake Superior region in Oregon.

Because of the attractive banding, sardonyx has long been used to fashion cameos (carved raised figures) and intaglios (the opposite of cameos).

Sardonyx is a relatively common and inexpensive gemstone and was a favorite in ancient times. Unlike other gemstones it was affordable for everyone.

Roman soldiers wore sardonyx as a talisman to guard them against evil and to bring good fortune.

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