August Birthstones: Discover the Unique Beauty of Peridot, Spinel, and Sardonyx

Written by:

Ivana Naskova

Edited & fact checked by:

Jagpreet Kaur

Published date:

Estimated reading time:

August birthstones

Note from the Nomad: I’m a yogi, not a doctor! Any information provided here about the healing properties of crystals is based on historical or traditional beliefs and is not intended as medical advice; always consult a healthcare professional for medical concerns.

The three August birthstones, peridot, spinel, and sardonyx, offer a rich choice for everyone born this month, even for the most indecisive gem lovers.

You can pick your perfect birthstone from a wide variety of colors, unique looks, and beneficial healing properties. Moreover, you’ll learn all about its meaning, symbolism, and history.

Peridot Birthstone

NicknameThe Study Stone
AppearancePeridot Healing Crystal
Benefits and healing properties1. Stress Relief - Calms nerves, reduces stress
2. Emotional Balance - Alleviates jealousy, resentment
Protects against1. Stress - Calms nerves, reduces stress levels
2. Anger - Alleviates irritability, soothes temper
3. Depression - Uplifts mood, combats melancholy
Associated chakraHeart Chakra (Anahata), Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) - Balances emotions, encourages personal growth.
Associated birth month and zodiac signAugust (Leo, Virgo)
Physical characteristicsColor: Yellowish-green to pure green
Structure: Orthorhombic crystal system
Mineral Class: Olivine
Hardness (Mohs Scale): 6.5 to 7
Region(s) commonly found inZabargad (St. John's Island), Egypt; Myanmar (Burma); United States (Arizona, Hawaii); China; Vietnam; Pakistan; Norway; Brazil; Australia; Kenya; Mexico; Sri Lanka; South Africa
Alternate spellings & misspellingsperidote, peridot, peridott, perido, paredot
Where to buy and learn moreSee latest price

August birthstone Peridot is the traditional birthstone, and its different colors, which range from yellowish-green to pure green, can get confused with emerald. In fact, because of its unique ability to sparkle under natural or artificial light, the peridot is also called an “evening emerald.”

Where is Peridot Found?

The first of August’s birthstones, peridot, is formed under extreme conditions. It is a variety of the mineral olivine, a mineral composed of magnesium and iron found deep in Earth’s mantle and brought to the surface during volcanic activity. Furthermore, peridot stones’ unique color and luster result from the presence of iron in olivine, so they come in bright green, but yellow gems are also found.

Besides being found in hardened lava, August’s birthstone peridot can also be found in fallen meteorites, adding even more power and mysticism to the stone. Imagine wearing a meteorite traveling from outer space as your peridot jewelry. Impressive!

Where are the Peridot Sources?

Peridot found in fallen meteorites, known as Pallasite Meteorites, is often too small to be used in jewelry. Luckily, there are other places where this gem is available.

The Egyptian island of Zabargador in the Red Sea, known as Topazios or St. John’s Island, is one of the oldest sources making the peridot Egypt’s national gem. It is believed the mining here began around 340–279 BCE. However, the world’s finest specimens of this birthstone are not easy to be found here as the island is also referred to as the “Island of Death and Ophiodes,” aka “snake island.” Nevertheless, peridot from Zabargad continues to be prized and highly desirable and can be found in prestigious museums worldwide.

Next, the Vietnamese peridot was discovered during the 1990s and became quite popular due to its varied shades of green. We also have the Burmese peridots mined in Myanmar and Hawaii, where this birthstone is a big part of Hawaiian culture. Lastly, significant amounts of peridots come from China and the United States of America.

Peridot resemblance with other gemstones

Throughout history, the August birthstone peridot used to be confused with other gems such as topaz and emeralds because of its green color.

One example is the Egyptian Red Sea island of Topazios, named assuming to be a topaz source, but in reality, produces peridot. So given the fact that this was the main source of peridot in ancient Egyptian times, some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emeralds were instead peridots.

Another example is the “Shrine of Three Holy Kings” in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral which was long thought to be decorated with 200 carats of emeralds. However, the gems also turn out to be the August birthstone peridot.


History and Symbolism

The word “peridot” derives from the Arabic word “faridat,” meaning gem. Its green color is associated with life, health, peace, and harmony. So many of the legends revolve around these traits. During the Middle Ages, the stone was set in different clothing pieces as it was believed to ward off nightmares and evil spirits. People even used to wear the August birthstones, believing it would provide them with foresight and inspiration. The Romans also used peridot as a protective talisman against enchantment.

In addition, the Ancient Egyptians called peridot the “Gem of the Sun.” They greatly appreciated the peridot stones and believed them to have special healing powers. According to a legend from Hawaiian folklore, people in Hawaii assumed the gems made from volcanic lava to be the tears of the volcano goddess Pele.

Undoubtedly, many ancient and medieval cultures praised and adored the beautiful peridot. It was even worn as jewelry by the priests around the second century BCE and later adorned the chalices and churches of medieval Europe. Finally, in 2005, traces of peridot were found in comet dust upon the return of the Stardust space probe.

Peridot Metaphysical Properties

Peridot is best known as a stone of compassion with the power to make all things new. If you choose it as your birthstone, wear it to help you sleep peacefully, as it is believed to bring restful sleep to its owner. Furthermore, the August birthstones reduce anger and have calming effects. Lastly, it is said to have the power to cure depression.

When it comes to romance and love, traditionally, the peridot jewelry is a 16th wedding anniversary gift.

Spinel Birthstone

NicknameThe Resurrection Stone
AppearanceRough Raw Red Spinel Stone 05.00 Carat Natural Rough Red Gem, Egl Certified Red Spinel Gemstone for...
Benefits and healing properties1. Stress Relief - Reduces stress, brings calmness and relaxation
2. Mental Clarity - Improves intellectual power and reduces forgetfulness
Protects against1. Stress - Promotes relaxation and revitalization
2. Low Energy - Enhances vitality and physical energy
3. Negative Thoughts - Encourages positive thinking and optimism
Associated chakraRoot Chakra, Sacral Chakra - Grounding, balances emotions.
Associated birth month and zodiac signAugust (Leo, Virgo)
Physical characteristicsColor: Red, pink, blue, purple, orange, black, and others
Structure: Cubic (isometric) crystal system
Mineral Class: Oxide minerals
Hardness (Mohs Scale): 7.5-8.0
Region(s) commonly found inAfghanistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Australia, Russia, Vietnam
Alternate spellings & misspellingsspynel, spinell, spinnel, spinelle, spynell
Where to buy and learn moreSee latest price

Spinel is considered to be the modern birthstone for August. But, unfortunately, it was the striking resemblance in color and the fact that all gems are found in the same locations that kept this gem for a long time in the shadow of famous rubies and sapphires. As a result, people in the past kept mistaking it for corundum, the family of gemstones to which the other gems belong. However, today spinel is quite popular, especially red spinel, as people often buy it as an alternative to ruby.

The Black Prince’s Ruby and Timur Ruby

The second of three birthstones for August, spinel, was for centuries mistaken for other red gems. One of the most famous rubies – the “Black Prince’s Ruby” was surprisingly discovered in the 18th century based on chemical differences to be a spinel stone. The gem was owned by Edward, Prince of Wales (also known as the Black Prince), who received it in 1367 as payment for winning a battle. Today this historic red spinel of approximately 170 ct is part of Great Britain’s Imperial State Crown jewels, just above the 317.40 ct Cullinan II diamond.

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The same occurred with the “Timur Ruby,” 352.54-carat polished red spinel set in a necklace named after the ruler Timur, founder of the Timurid Empire. The piece is also part of the Crown Jewels of England and was also mistaken to be made out of rubies instead of red spinel.

image 1 3

History and Symbolism

The name “spinel” originates from the Latin word “spina,” which means “thorn,” referring to the shape of a spinel stone. This birthstone for August comes in a wide variety of colors, from intense red, vibrant pink, orange, purple, violet, cobalt blue, and bluish green. In addition, blue and red spinel stones are considered the most expensive, but pink spinel stones are also very popular. People adore this gem for its hot pink colors that make the most romantic spinel jewelry.

When it comes to spinel symbolism and legends, there aren’t many, as in the past, the stone was mistaken for ruby and sapphire. However, the spinel August birthstone is a symbol of joy and high energy. It is said to bring feelings of happiness, optimism, and positivity when wearing it. Moreover, it is an ideal stone for those who work too much and have trouble loosening up, as this amazing gem has the power to help its owner unwind and relax. And along with the rest of the red gems, the spinel was also believed to aid blood disorders and inflammatory diseases.

Where is the Spinel birthstone found?

As mentioned, the birthstone can be found in the same location as ruby and sapphire, which is Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. However, lately, there were sources of spinel discovered in Africa, Australia, Russia, and Vietnam. What is interesting is that the origin of the stone can significantly influence the price. For example, a red spinel from Myanmar or Tanzania is rarer than a diamond, and its cost can go for thousands of dollars per carat.

Sardonyx birthstone

NicknameThe Stone of Strength and Protection
AppearanceRunyangshi Natural Sardonyx Banded Agate Stone Crystal Palm Play Stone Irregular Polish Tumbled...
Benefits and healing properties1. Strength and Courage - Enhances personal willpower, integrity
2. Clear Communication - Promotes articulate expression, understanding
3. Protection and Stability - Guards against negativity, fosters relationships
Protects against1. Lack of Courage - Enhances strength and bravery
2. Negative Energy - Offers protection from negativity
3. Communication Issues - Promotes clear and effective communication
Associated chakraRoot Chakra, Sacral Chakra - Grounding, strength, protection, courage.
Associated birth month and zodiac signAugust (Leo, Virgo)
Physical characteristicsColor: Banded, typically white and brownish-red
Structure: Cryptocrystalline silica
Mineral Class: Chalcedony (a variety of quartz)
Hardness (Mohs Scale): 6.5 to 7
Region(s) commonly found inIndia, Brazil, Germany, Czech Republic, Madagascar, Uruguay, United States
Alternate spellings & misspellingssardonix, sardonyks, sardonyx, sardonix, sardonyx
Where to buy and learn moreSee latest price

Sardonyx, with a history of more than 4,000 years, is the original August birthstone and the oldest of the three birthstones. The gem is a combination of two types (alternating layers) of chalcedony (silica mineral): sard and onyx. Its formation is quite unique as the mineral contains stacked layers of tiny quartz fibers, creating a banded appearance. On top of it, the layers in these stones range from translucent to opaque and also vary in color. They can be white, gray, or other colorful varieties.

Sardonyx birthstones typically contain flat white and brownish-red bands. In fact, the name “sardonyx” originates from the Greek word “sard,” meaning “reddish brown,” and onyx, meaning “veined gem.”

History and Symbolism

The last of the August birthstones has been a symbol of strength and courage since ancient times. In addition, the stone was popular among Romans during these times, who discovered it was practical to use as seals and signet rings since hot wax would not stick to it. Moreover, the legend says sardonyx can help have clear communication, and the Roman soldiers wore sardonyx rings with the image of Mars engraved on them for protection in battle.

As a birthstone for August, Sardonyx is believed to be the oldest of the three gems due to its Biblical mention in the Old Testament. In there, it is said to be part of the High Priest’s breastplate with 12 stones. Therefore, the gem symbolizes spiritual faith, prospect, and growth.

Nowadays, the gem is still used as a protective stone as it once was believed to grant protection against evil and attract happiness. It is also said to bring stability to marriages and partnerships.

In addition, it is associated with friendship and support. In this spirit, one of the most famous sardonyx birthstones is most likely the one placed in a gold ring and imprinted with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England. The Queen gave this ring to the Earl of Essex as a token of friendship while promising to be by his side if he ever needed her support.

Where is Sardonyx found?

Back in the past, sardonyx was people’s favorite gemstone, not only for its unique beauty but also because it was widely available. Compared to other rare gemstones available only to royalty, nobility, and the elite, this birthstone was the people’s gem, as even the less wealthy could afford to own it.

Therefore due to the many sources where it can be found, the gem is relatively common and inexpensive. India is notably the biggest producer of gem-quality sardonyx, ones that have good contrast between the distinctive colored layers. But this August birthstone can also be found in Brazil, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Madagascar, Uruguay, and the United States.

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How to Take Care of Your August Birthstones

Peridot on the Mohs scale hardness ranges from 6.5 to 7, which means it is softer than many gems. Therefore, you must be extra careful when wearing it, especially as a ring. Cleaning peridot is also a delicate process that requires attention. Sensitive to high temperatures, avoid using steam or ultrasonic cleaners. Instead, only use warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft bristle brush.

With a Mohs hardness rating of 8, your spinel jewelry requires less attention than the other birthstones for August. So it is safe to use ultrasonic and steam cleaners. However, check the spinel for the presence of fractures, as they mean a less durable gem. In such cases, warm soapy water is your safest option to clean it.

On the Mohs scale, sardonyx ranges the same as the peridot or 6.5 to 7. So same as its fellow August birthstone, you would want to be careful when you wear it. In addition, sardonyx, like many other forms of chalcedony, is commonly dyed. Meaning high heat, as in jewelry manufacturing or repair techniques, could easily affect the color of the gem. So it is best to use only a soft-bristle brush, warm soapy water, and avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaners.


What is August birth color?

Although August has three gemstones, Peridot has become the gem most often associated with those born this month. As a result, the August birthstone color is said to be lime green, deep olive green, or yellow. All of them are relaxing colors that evoke happy and optimistic feelings. However, you can still choose reddish brown or red in reference to sardonyx and spinel.

Why does August have multiple birthstones?

According to the American Gem Trade Association, peridot, spinel, and sardonyx are all considered August birthstones. Sardonyx was the original August birthstone, while peridot is the traditional one. Spinel was added last as an alternative in 2016, making it the modern birthstone choice on the list.

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About Ivana Naskova

Ivana Naskova is an accomplished author who has a passion for both writing and reading. Additionally, she has over nine years of experience working as an astrological specialist. Her love for spirituality, yoga, and meditation is what keeps her centered, calm, and fulfilled. She is dedicated to assisting you in exploring the spiritual aspects of the world and achieving greater happiness. Follow me: Instagram | LinkedIn

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