Updated: Aug 5
In 2016, August joined the ranks of only three months with three birthstones, alongside June and December. The unique combination of sardonyx, peridot, and spinel features some of the most unusual yet beautiful gemstones that are often unheard of by the general public. So whether you are born in August, or happen to know someone who is, keep reading to learn all about this stunning trifecta of early autumn birthstones.
One of the oldest gemstones in recorded history, Sardonyx was most well known for being used by the Romans to make wax seals and signet rings, as hot wax did not stick to it. It ranges in color from a vibrant orange to a deep reddish brown, and is known for its red and white/black stripes that are caused by alternating layers of sard and onyx. Because of its unusual layers, sardonyx is also commonly used in brooches, cameos, and other carvings that show of the intricacies of the gemstone. Historically, sardonyx was known for bringing protection to one during battle, but today, the gem represents courage, happiness, and a strong
The most well-known out of August's three birthstones, peridot is a beautiful, transparent green gem that symbolizes wealth, prosperity, and good fortune, as well as protection from bad omens. Depending on the iron levels present in a particular stone, the tint of peridot may vary from yellowish to brownish, though it never strays from the token green base color. Unlike most gems, which can only be found in mines or quarries, many peridot stones came to earth on meteorites! Another fascinating place to find this gemstone is on Peridot Beach, in Hawaii, where the sand is tinted green from olivine crystals that have eroded from an ancient volcanic formation. In addition to being a birthstone for August, peridot is also a gift traditionally given on one's 16th anniversary.
The most recent addition to August's list of birthstones, spinel is not as well known as peridot or sardonyx, but with its popularity on the rise, this dazzling stone is about to take the world by storm. With shades remarkably close to that of a ruby, it has actually been mistaken for the king of all gems throughout history, though most famously as The Black Prince's Ruby. Weighing in at a whopping 170 carats, the stone was not recognized as spinel until the 18th century, when the chemical differences between rubies and spinel could be observed. Thought to promote harmony, this stone is also a classic gift to celebrate a 22nd wedding anniversary.