The August birthstone is the peridot. It is also the stone given during celebrations of the 16th marriage anniversary.
It is common for peridot to be confused for emeralds. In fact, it has been discovered that some popular large stones thought to be emeralds were actually peridots. An example is a gem used to beautify the shrine of Three Holy Kings in the Cologne cathedral, which was only discovered to be a peridot in the last century.
What is the meaning of birthstone for August?
The birthstone for August derives its name from the French word “peritot” which means “gold,” since the stone has hues that fluctuate towards this color.
What is the history of the peridot?
Peridot is among the minerals with an elaborate written history. According to ancient records appearing in Egyptian papyri, mining of peridot dates back to 1500 BC. During this time, the stones were mined mainly in the Topaz Island, the present St. John’s Island or Zabargad, of the Egyptian Red Sea. The stones were useful in making carved charms, and the Egyptians knew them as the gem of the sun.
Those who lived in the Island were forced to gather peridot stones for Pharaoh’s coffers. It is believed that Pharaoh had watchers around the Island under strict orders to gun down any trespassers. Since peridot glows in the dark, miners would work during the day and night. They would prospect during the night and retrieve the mineral the next day. Mining on St. John’s Island continued for over 3,500 years.
Some fine large peridots were also among the treasures found in Christian cathedrals in Europe before world wars which led to looting and dispersion of most of them. The peridot was one of the stones worn on the breastplate of Aaron, Moses’ older brother, which represented the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The peridot is mentioned in revelations, specifically, in the writings about the apocalypse.
Where is the peridot, the August birthstone, found?
Today, the main source of peridot is Arizona. However, the gem can also be found in Pakistan, Myanmar, and China. Other new sources of peridot are Russia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Oregon, and Norway.
What is the largest peridot found?
Most peridot gemstones exist in small sizes of less than 3 carats. Any size of peridot above 5 carats is rare to find and will come at a higher cost. Nevertheless, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and the I have displayed among the largest, finest, and the best varieties of the peridot. Washington, DC’s Smithsonian Institution is famed to have cut a peridot gem of 310 carats.
What is the August birthstone color?
The August birthstone color of the peridot ranges from yellowish green to brown, but its distinctive lime green or olive green color is the most sought after.
What are the healing powers of the peridot stone?
The August birthstone is believed to encourage friendship and can set the mind free from covetousness. Also, it supposedly protects one from the evil eye. There are also tales that insinuate that peridot can bring happiness and jubilance, attract lovers, as well as strengthen weak eyes.
It is believed to have some healing powers. For instance, in medieval times, people drank liquid medications from vessels carved from peridot in the belief that such a vessel will enhance the efficacy of the medicine. Today, peridot is believed to cure liver diseases, ease digestion ailments, aid detoxification, improve the efficiency of the kidneys, heal constipation and ulcers, calm the nervous system, and hasten recuperation after bug bites.
What are the properties of the peridot stone?
Peridots are transparent, brilliant light green in color and oily to vitreous in luster. Though the stones have been confused with emeralds, peridots are lighter. However, their Mohs hardness score ranges from 6.5 to 7, which renders peridots more resistant to scratches, thus making them suitable for jewelry design.
How do you care for your peridot jewelry?
Though a bit hard compared to emeralds, one should keep the stone away from items that can give it scratches. Also, peridots can be ruined by sharp blows, steam cleaners, chemicals, and ultrasonic cleaning.
How do you clean your peridot jewelry?
You can clean your August birthstone using warm soapy water. Of importance is to make sure that you do not expose it to sudden temperature fluctuations. Such changes in temperature could easily damage the stone.
What is the value of the peridot?
Large pieces of this gem are becoming increasingly rare. This is why the price of a peridot above 5 carats will increase with size. Their price will also depend on the quality and their origin, with those from Myanmar commanding a higher price. With that said, a peridot can cost between $1 and $900 per carat.