Vibrant yellow-green peridot is the birthstone for those born in the month of August! Known as a symbol of opportunity and prosperity, peridot is beloved by many. Read on to discover what makes the August birthstone, the peridot, so enchanting!
Peridot is a rare gemstone that only occurs naturally in one color. It is a form of Olivine (think olive green), a mineral composed of magnesium and iron. With the inclusion of outside elements, certain gemstones can occur in every color of the rainbow. The August birthstone, however, only comes in subtle shades of green. It will never be blue, red, purple, orange, or anything else! It is unique in its specificity.
Peridot birthstone history and meaning
Peridots have been steeped in myth for thousands of years. Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), an ancient naturalist, first recorded the existence of peridot on a small island off the coast of Egypt. He originally called the stone “topazios” and described it as a gem that was commonly green but also occurred with yellowish tones. He named that island Topazios, after the gem, but it was later renamed St. John’s Island or Zabargad. This island was closely guarded by the ancient Egyptians because it was thought to be the site of priceless treasures. It is widely believed that some of Cleopatra’s famous emeralds were actually peridots!
The Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun,” and some thought that it protected against nightmares. It was also believed to bring the wearer confidence, power, and general good luck and health. Peridots are also closely connected to the Hawaiian culture—they are thought to be the tears of the volcano goddess Pele. The sand on the Big Island’s Papakolea Beach is a rare and beautiful green hue due to a high content of crushed olivine.
Caring for peridot jewelry
Peridot is durable enough for everyday wear in jewelry but should be treated with care to avoid scratching. Clean your peridot with mild soap and warm water.