Like many months, August is typically associated with two birthstones, Peridot and Sardonyx. The more common one is Peridot which makes light green the official August birthstone color. Sardonynx tends to be brown to red and contains light bands of white or black stripes through the gem. Many people relate this birthstone to renewal or rebirth, and it is believed to have healing powers. It has a friendly energy to it and can stimulate and balance chakra. The most prized peridots are deep greens, which can be easily mistaken for an emerald under the wrong light. In fact, many people believe that it was actually a peridot on Aaron’s Breastplate, and not an emerald. This would make peridot one of the earliest used birthstones in recorded history.
History of Peridot and Sardonyx
Peridot derives its color from the iron in the gem’s structure. Varying levels of iron can cause different shades of green, but this gem is unique in the fact that it only comes in one color, lime green. The different levels of iron can make the color range from a very light green to a deeper green with a brown hue.
This gem can be found all over the world including Egypt, the United States, China, and Mexico. Interestingly enough, peridot has also been found in meteorites as well as on the surface of Indian Reservations in Arizona. Many tourists travel there to collect the small chunks off the surface as souvenirs.
Peridot has a rich history, and can be dated back thousands of years. In 1580BC, Egyptians were already making jewelry items out of this precious gem, and the Greeks were soon to follow their lead. Things like rings, pendants, necklaces, and other jewelry items were among the things that this birthstone was used for.
Like many other birthstones ancient people valued this stone for its mystic powers. Greeks believed that anyone who wore it had a royal dignity to them, while other cultures believed that it would ward of evil spirits.
Sardonyx gems are usually a brownish red color. They typically have thin layers of white and black between the red, giving them a nice multi-colored appearance. They are mined in India, Germany, the United States, and parts of Brazil. However, typically the best ones with the richest colors are always found in India.
Sardonyx is far from a rare gemstone, and that might be the reason that peridot is so much more common as the official August birthstone. However, ancient cultures valued this gem highly because of its wide availability. Many common people who typically couldn’t afford the rarer gemstones were able to purchase sardonyx as part of their jewelry collection.
Many people have heard of sardonyx in relation to Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Essex. The queen gave the earl a sardonyx ring attached with a promise. She promised to assist him whenever he was in need of help. When the earl was imprisoned on charges of treason, he sent the ring back to her as a way of asking for her help. However, the ring was intercepted and never received by Elizabeth, and he was executed because of it.
August Birth Flower
The August birth flower is the Gladiolus. This beautiful flower comes in many colors, but is typically either a light to deep purple, or a light to deep pink. The flower was discovered in South Africa in which it is a native species.
This flower has a rich history dating back all the way to the Roman Empire. In gladiator competitions, crowds would shower the victor in these flowers as a form of admiration for winning the fight. Because of this, people dubbed the flower the sword lily. However, the overall appearance of the flower is long and skinny, and the flower themselves have little spikes on them, so they do bear a resemblance to an actual sword.
This flower is also mentioned all the way back in biblical times. The Book of Mathew references fields of these flowers. Europeans also have a rich history with this flower, attempting to change the appearance via hybridization at least 400 years ago. Like many flowers, it’s said that a gladiolus also has healing powers. It helps to remove splinters from the skin as well as cure colic in babies.