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August Birthstone Guide

by | Jun 1, 2024

  • August is represented by multiple birthstones, offering a variety of colors and choices for personal jewelry.
  • Each August birthstone has its own historical significance and associated meanings, from prosperity to protection.
  • Caring for August birthstones involves understanding their specific properties and maintenance needs to preserve their natural beauty.

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The lustrous beauty of August birthstones captures the essence of late summer with their remarkable colors and brilliance. As unique and vibrant as the month itself, August boasts not just one, but multiple gemstones as its heralds.

The traditional peridot, with its olive to lime green hues, has long been cherished for its sun-kissed color, invoking images of ripening summertime foliage. Modern additions to August’s birthstones, like the splendid spinel in many colors and the banded beauty sardonyx, provide an even richer palette for those born in this month to express themselves.

Each of these gemstones carries its history and mythology. Peridot, for instance, is often associated with peace and prosperity, while spinel has been historically mistaken for other precious stones due to its range of available colors.

With its distinctive layers, Sardonyx has been popular for cameos and intaglios since ancient times.

These stones’ physical and chemical properties contribute to their durability and the maintenance required to keep them gleaming.

From the clear, verdant tones of peridot to the varied shades of spinel and the protective qualities attributed to sardonyx, each August birthstone has its unique appeal and storied past.

Overview of August Birthstones

august birthstone color

August is unique in that it is represented by not one but multiple birthstones, offering a range of choices for those born this summer month. The gemstones attributed to August are peridot and spinel, each with its own distinct characteristics and history.

Peridot: The Primary August Birthstone

Peridot is famed for its vibrant green hues and is the primary birthstone for August. This gemstone is thought to have been formed in the Earth’s mantle and brought to the surface by volcanic activity, an extremely rare occurrence for gemstone formation.

Peridot can vary in color from yellow-green to olive green, and its intensity of color depends on the amount of iron within the crystal structure. Peridot has been treasured since ancient times and is associated with light and cleansing.

  • Color Range: Yellow-green to olive green
  • Formation: Earth’s mantle, delivered by volcanic action

Spinel: The Lesser-Known August Gem

While not as well-known as peridot, spinel is an equally fascinating birthstone for August, recognized for its excellent range of colors and sparkle. Initially confused with other gems like rubies and sapphires, spinel stands on its own with a reputation for brilliance and durability.

Spinel is found in various colors, the most desirable being vivid red, cobalt blue, and bright pink. It offers an excellent variety for those seeking alternatives to the traditional green peridot.

  • Color Range: Red, blue, pink, and more
  • Attributes: Brilliance and durability

Historical Significance

birthstone august

The allure of August birthstones—peridot and spinel—reaches far back into ancient history. Civilizations revered these gems for their beauty and reputed powers.

Ancient Egypt and Peridot

In Ancient Egypt, peridot was often called the “gem of the sun,” treasured for its vibrant green hue that does not change even under artificial light.

The Egyptians mined this gemstone on the volcanic island of Zabargad in the Red Sea, which was known to them as the “Island of Topazios.”

Peridot was fashioned into beads or carved into small figurines and talismans, symbolizing light and protection. Esteemed by Pharaohs, peridot was believed to ward off evil, and its mining was a closely guarded secret of Egyptian priests.

Spinel in History

Spinel has been a staple in regal jewelry throughout the ages, and some famous spinels have been mistakenly identified as rubies.

The Romans appreciated the gem’s bright hues and used it in their ornamental design. Historical records indicate that spinel was recognized as a separate mineral from ruby only in recent centuries.

This stone, occurring in various colors from red to blue, has been part of several significant jewelry pieces throughout history and was especially favored by royalty and the noble class for its rich color and rarity.

Physical and Chemical Properties

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The physical and chemical properties of the August birthstones peridot and spinel reveal a fascinating range of characteristics. Each stone exhibits unique traits that contribute to its value and appeal.

Peridot Composition and Characteristics

Peridot, the gem-quality variety of the mineral olivine, is known for its distinctive lime-green to olive color due to iron’s presence.

This iron content dictates the intensity and tint of the green, each stone potentially offering a different hue.

Peridot typically ranks between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale in terms of hardness, with good transparency.

Although peridot is durable enough for jewelry, its relative softness requires protective settings, especially for rings worn daily.

Spinel Varieties and Traits

Spinel arrives in a kaleidoscope of colors, including red, pink, blue, black, orange, and violet, attributed to various trace elements within its composition.

Red and pink hues come from chromium, while iron can produce blues and violets.

As for its chemical makeup, spinel is a magnesium aluminate, setting it apart from the similarly appearing ruby and sapphire.

On the Mohs hardness scale, spinel is quite robust, generally ranging from 7.5 to 8. This makes it suitable for all types of jewelry without the need for extra precautions typically associated with softer gemstones.

Locations and Sources

what is the birthstone for august

The birthstones of August, predominantly peridot and spinel, have diverse geographic origins. Their mining and collection span continents, where each location uniquely contributes to the global supply.

Peridot Mining Regions

  • Myanmar: The peridot from this region is renowned for its deep green colors. The country’s Mogok area is a significant source.
  • China: China’s peridot, often lighter in color, is mainly found in the volcanic subsoil of the northern regions.
  • Pakistan: In Pakistan, Azad Kashmir’s Suppat region is notable for producing fine-quality peridot.
  • United States: Arizona’s San Carlos Reservation is one of the largest peridot producers in the world.
  • Vietnam and Tanzania are also known for yielding peridot, but to a lesser extent.

Spinel Producing Countries

  • Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan spinel, noted for its bright colors, is mined from the island’s alluvial deposits.
  • Tanzania: Mahenge and Uluguru Mountains in Tanzania are sources of high-quality spinels with vivid reds and pinks.
  • Vietnam: Luc Yen district is particularly famous for red and blue spinels.
  • Tajikistan: The country is known for spinels found in the Pamir Mountains.
  • Other notable sources of spinel include Madagascar, Nepal, and Afghanistan.

Healing and Spiritual Aspects

august birthstone meaning

The August birthstones—peridot and spinel—are celebrated for their unique healing and spiritual qualities. They influence emotional well-being and vital strength, contributing to a harmonious mind and body.

Peridot and Emotional Well-Being

Peridot is known for its ability to foster emotional balance and personal growth.

Often associated with health and happiness, this gem is believed to help alleviate feelings such as anger and anxiety, which tend to disrupt one’s peace of mind.

Individuals use peridot to enhance relationships. It is thought to promote love and understanding while reducing negative emotions that can cause relationship strain.

  • Health: Enhances general well-being
  • Mind: Promotes emotional balance
  • Body: Believed to aid in detoxification processes
  • Spiritual Development: Encourages growth and personal transformation

Spinel and Its Restorative Properties

Spinel is a stone of revitalization, offering restorative power to both the physical body and the spiritual realm.

It provides strength and support during stress and fatigue, leading to better rest and a rejuvenated sense of self.

Within healing, spinel’s energy may contribute to an individual’s sense of peace and resilience, improving their ability to navigate life’s challenges with composure and health.

  • Strength: Symbolizes endurance and stability
  • Rest: Helps to rejuvenate after physical or mental exhaustion
  • Spiritual Development: Aids in overcoming challenges and growth

Gemstone Care and Maintenance

august birthstone jewelry

Caring for August birthstones, such as peridot, requires specific approaches to ensure their brilliance and longevity. This section details the optimal cleaning techniques and recommends the best practices for storage and handling.

Proper Cleaning Techniques

Peridot, the primary August birthstone, should be cleaned with warm water and mild soap. Use a soft brush to gently remove any accumulated debris. Avoid steam cleaners and ultrasonic cleaners, as these can damage the stone.

  • Peridot:
    • Cleaning solution: Warm water with mild soap
    • Tool: Soft brush (non-metallic)
    • Avoid: Steam cleaners, ultrasonic cleaners

Storage and Handling

When not worn, peridot stones should be stored separately to prevent scratches from harder gemstones. Wrapping them in a soft cloth or placing them in a fabric-lined jewelry box is recommended.

  • Peridot:
    • Storage: Separate compartment or wrapped in a soft cloth
    • Handling: Care to avoid sharp impacts

Jewelry and Craftsmanship

what is the august birthstone

The world of August birthstone jewelry boasts remarkable craftsmanship. This is especially evident in pieces featuring the vibrant peridot and the alluring spinel. The selection encompasses a variety of jewelry types with a focus on the cut and setting that best showcases the stones’ beauty.

Peridot Jewelry Selection

Peridot, the signature birthstone for August, holds a place of esteem in jewelry collections. Its rich, olive-green hue is often cut in ways that maximize its fiery luster, making it a popular choice for earrings, engagement rings, and pendants.

When set in gold—mainly yellow gold—peridot’s green tones are accentuated, offering a warm and luxuriant appearance. In contrast, setting peridot in silver can give pieces a more contemporary look while highlighting the gemstone’s brightness.

  • Earrings: A favorite for their versatility.
    • Stud Earrings: Often featuring round or princess-cut peridots.
    • Drop Earrings: May incorporate peridots in various shapes for a more dramatic effect.
  • Engagement Rings: A symbol of uniqueness.
    • Solitaire Rings: A singular peridot takes center stage, cut to catch the light.
    • Halo Rings: Surrounded by diamonds, the peridot’s green is vividly pronounced.
  • Bracelets and Pendants: Classic elegance.
    • Tennis Bracelets: Joined peridots encircle the wrist with color.
    • Pendants: Peridots often appear as a necklace’s focal point in intricate settings.

Incorporating Spinel into Fine Jewelry

Spinel, with its array of colors, is another August birthstone that enriches the jewelry world. Although less known than peridot, spinel offers versatility and is gaining popularity for its vibrant red, pink, and blue tones.

In fine jewelry, spinel is skillfully cut to maximize its brilliance and often paired with metals like platinum and white gold for a sophisticated finish.

  • Jewelry Types:
    • Rings: Spinel can be a stunning centerpiece in an engagement ring.
    • Earrings and Pendants: Both can benefit from spinel’s striking colors.
  • Metal Choices:
    • Platinum and White Gold: Enhance the stone’s natural brilliance.
    • Yellow Gold: Can provide a stunning contrast to spinel’s varied hues.

Buying Guide

what is august birthstone

When shopping for August birthstones, which include peridot, spinel, and sardonyx, buyers should focus on several key aspects to select the best product for their jewelry needs.


The ideal peridot is vibrant olive-green without any hints of brown or yellow. Spinel offers various colors, but vibrant reds and cobalt blues are the most prized. Sardonyx features layers of reddish-brown and white, and buyers should seek stones with clearly defined, straight bands.


Quality peridot should be eye-clean, meaning it has no visible inclusions when viewed with the naked eye. For spinel, the more precise the stone, the more valuable it is. Sardonyx is opaque, so clarity is less of an issue, but it should have even, sharp-banded patterns.


A well-executed cut enhances the stone’s color and brilliance. Look for symmetry and proportions that showcase the stone’s best features. An exceptional cut will also help to mask any inclusions.


While peridot is generally affordable, prices can vary based on size and quality. Prices for spinel can range significantly, especially for rarer colors like blue. Sardonyx is typically the most affordable of the August birthstones.

Birthstone Desired Color Traits Clarity Expectation Ideal Cut Relative Affordability
Peridot Vibrant olive green without brown Eye-clean Symmetrical & proportionate Generally affordable
Spinel Vibrant reds and cobalt blues Clear with minimal inclusions Well-cut to enhance color Varies, rarer colors pricier
Sardonyx Reddish-brown with white bands Opaque with sharp banding Cut that highlights banding Most affordable


Frequently Asked Questions

August’s birthstones include traditional and modern gems, each with its own significance and range of colors. These vibrant stones are popular choices for various types of jewelry. Here’s what people commonly ask about them.

1. What are the traditional and modern birthstones for August?

The traditional birthstone for August is Sardonyx, which has a long history of over four millennia. In modern times, Peridot and Spinel are recognized as August birthstones, with Spinel being the latest addition.

2. Can you explain the significance of the August birthstone?

Peridot, known for its bright green color, symbolizes strength. Spinel is associated with protection and calmness, and Sardonyx is believed to bring courage and happiness.

3. What variety of jewelry is commonly associated with August’s birthstone?

Rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets frequently incorporate August birthstones. Peridot is commonly set in silver or gold, and Spinel is appreciated for its ability to suit various jewelry styles due to its array of available colors.

4. Has a new gemstone been added to the list of August birthstones?

Yes, Spinel is the new addition to the list of August birthstones. It joined Peridot and Sardonyx in 2016 when the American Gem Trade Association and Jewelers of America recognized it.

5. How do the colors of August’s birthstones differ?

Peridot is known for its olive to lime green color. Spinel offers a range of colors, from vibrant pinks to deep reds, and Sardonyx features bands of white, red, or orange layers.

6. Which birthstone is appropriate for a Leo born in August?

Peridot is particularly suitable for a Leo born in August. It resonates with the fire sign’s warm-hearted and cheerful nature.

Spinel can also be a good match. It provides a variety of hues to suit Leo’s style.



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