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What is the August Birthstone?

Periodot and spinel are the modern birthstones for August. Those born in this month are fortunate to be able to choose between the playful shades of light green with peridot and rich shades of purple, pink or blue with spinel.

Peridot

Peridot is one of the modern birthstones for the month of August. Also known as the “sun gem,” this semi-precious stone has the chemical formula, (Mg,Fe)2 SiO4. Peridot is primarily made up of olivine, magnesium, and iron. The amount of iron present in peridot gives it its unique color and luster. 

Peridot Twist Rope Split Shank Ring Angara
Find this Ring at AngaraThe yellow gold perfectly complements the light green peridot in this split shank rope-style ring.

Peridot is also called the “evening emerald” because of its unique capacity to sparkle under natural or artificial light. However, it should not be confused with emerald because peridot has its own distinct characteristics setting it apart from other gemstones.

Bar-Set Solitaire Round Peridot Bypass Ring Angara
Find this Ring at AngaraA bypass ring is a perfect style to showcase the sparkle of high-quality peridot.

Peridot has been found in fallen meteorites and in volcanic lava, adding to its mystic allure and power. Peridot found in fallen meteorites known as Pallasite Meteorites are often too small to be used in jewelry, but larger stones commonly found in the earth’s upper mantle and brought to the surface by lava are large and preferred by jewelers.

What is the August Birthstone Color?

Peridot is predominantly natural light green in color, but yellow stones have also been found. The color intensity of peridot depends on the amount of iron ore present in the stone.  The more iron present, the more distinct the gem and the more valuable it is. 

14K Yellow Gold Elongated Peridot Halo Ring James Allen
Find this Ring at James AllenA diamond halo is a striking complement to the mossy-colored peridot.

What is the August Birthstone Meaning?

Peridot’s bright green color is synonymous with good health, peace and harmony. It is popularly known as the gem of compassion – a stone that makes all things new.  Wear peridot for restful sleep. This stone can help you calm down if you are prone to anger. Peridots are also said to cure depression. 

If you are celebrating your 15th wedding anniversary, Peridot is the stone for you and your loved one to commemorate this milestone.

18K Yellow Gold East-West Oval Peridot and Diamond Ring James Allen
Find this Ring at James AllenEast-west rings are on-trend, and this stackable peridot and diamond ring goes with everything!

Where Does Peridot Come From?

First found in Egypt, Peridot is the national gem for Egypt. It is believed to have adorned Queen Cleopatra VII, the great and last queen of Egypt from 51-30BC.  

Found also in Hawaii, peridot is a big part of the Hawaiian people’s culture. They believe Peridot to be the tears of the volcanic goddess, Pele. 

The Vietnamese peridot discovered in the 1990s is very popular with jewelers for its varied shades of green, while Myanmar is home to the large Burmese peridot loved for its large cuts and rich color.

Other Peridots come from the United States of America and China. The Hubei peridot, found in the Hubei Province of China, boasts mesmerizing yellow undertones. The Chinghai peridot, which occurs in brightly colored green, is highly valued and makes beautiful jewelry on its own or in combination with other gemstones used in jewelry making.  

Is Peridot Durable?

Peridot is a durable and pretty hard gem, measuring between 6.5- 7 on the Mohs scale. It has a refractive index of 1.65-1.69, making it suitable for a variety of jewelry pieces, from rings to earrings, bracelets, and pendants.

Peridot and Diamond Halo Ring in 18k White Gold Bue Nile
Find this Ring at Blue NilePeridots can also be used as the center stone for engagement rings.

Where Can I Buy Peridot Jewelry?

Peridot can be bought from a variety of established brick-and-mortar jewelry stores, and more online retailers are starting to carry them. Check out James Allen, Blue Nile, CustomMade, and Angara.com as these are a few of our favorites.

Frequently Asked Questions About Peridot

What is peridot?

Peridot is a semi-precious gemstone primarily made up of olivine, magnesium, and iron. The amount of iron present in peridot gives it its unique color and luster. Peridot is the modern birthstone for August.

How do you pronounce peridot?

The word Peridot has French origins, and many people do not pronounce the ‘T’. They might say “Pear-eh-doe” (French) or “Pear-eh-dot” (American). Some say “Peh-ruh-dot” (British).

How much is peridot worth?

Peridot’s price and value is determined by color saturation, hue, and size. The very smallest stones (between 0.5 and 1 ct) may cost $5-$25 per carat; stones between 1-3 carats may cost $25-$100 per carat, and stones larger than 3 carats can cost upwards of $500 a carat. 

Spinel

One of the modern birthstones for August is spinel, along with peridot. Even though spinel has long been overshadowed by ruby and sapphire, this remarkable gem is finally gaining the recognition it deserves. In fact, it has often been mistaken for corundum – the family of gemstones to which rubies and sapphires belong. This confusion arose from their striking similarity in color and the fact that they are often found in the same locations. However, spinel is chemically different from ruby or sapphire.

halo spinel diamond ring whiteflash
Find this Ring at WhiteflashThis dazzling spinel gemstone mimics the look of a ruby.

What Color is the August Birthstone?

Spinel comes in a variety of other colors, including orange, pink, purple, and even black. The rarest and most popular colors of spinel are red and blue, as top-color spinel can shine as brightly and vividly as better-known counterparts ruby and sapphire. Since they are the most sought-after, blue and red colored spinel are also the most expensive. Pink spinel has become very popular for its hot pink or bubblegum colors, which can be used to create a perfect piece of romantic, feminine jewelry. Black spinel has become recently trendy for its unique black color and resemblance to black diamonds. 

No matter the color, the saturation of a spinel gem will have the greatest impact on its price, so the richest, brightest colors will have the biggest price tag. Some especially rare spinel even exhibit a jaw-dropping color-change effect, where they will change from one color to another under incandescent light. 

Spinel and Tsavorite Three Stone Ring in 18k Yellow Gold Blue NIle
Find this Ring at Blue NileA large, purple spinel takes center stage in this ring that resembles a flower.

What is the Meaning of Spinel?

The word spinel may be derived from the Latin word spina for “thorn.” This alludes to spinel’s spine-shaped crystals. Due to spinel being confused for ruby and sapphire for so long, it does not have the same ancient traditions and beliefs associated with it as many other gemstones. Still, the gem has been associated with joy and energy and is believed to bring feelings of positivity to the wearer. It is also believed to inspire a sense of relaxation for those who work too much or have trouble unwinding.

Where Does Spinel Come From?

Spinel was generally mined in locations where you will also find ruby and sapphire deposits; namely, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. However, spinel has been discovered more recently in various sites including Africa, Australia, Russia, and Vietnam.

Spinel Double Halo Diamond Engagement Ring Whiteflash
Find this Ring at WhiteflashThis spinel center stone is 2.35 carats and is surrounded by 0.6 carats of diamond melee.

The origin of the stone can significantly influence the price. A red spinel from Myanmar (formerly Burma) or Tanzania (the Mahenge mine) is much rarer than a diamond and can cost thousands of dollars per carat.

Is Spinel Durable?

Spinel has a hardness of 8 out of 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, making it a very durable gem for everyday use in spinel jewelry. It also has a high refractive index – meaning, it sparkles! – and the stone is quite affordable when compared with ruby or sapphire.

A red spinel stone from Myanmar is rarer than a diamond and can cost thousands of dollars per carat.

How to Buy Spinel Jewelry

Unfortunately, spinel jewelry is not easy to find either in-person or online. Most of the larger retailers don’t carry spinel because the stone isn’t as popular as sapphire, rubies, or emeralds. The best place to shop for high-quality spinel jewelry is CustomMade, which will source a high-quality stone that fits your budget and create a bespoke setting just for you.

Red Spinel Center stone Custom made
Find this Ring at Custom MadeThis red spinel center stone is flanked by multi-color gemstones in a ring designed by a CustomMade customer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Spinel

What is spinel?

Spinel is actually a whole group of minerals, but many of them are very dark and are not used in spinel jewelry. Only one type of spinel mineral is gem-quality and used in jewelry, and it is called gahnospinel. This type of spinel has the ideal tone and hue to be used in jewelry.

Is spinel a real gem?

Yes, spinel is a real gem. Most people aren’t aware of spinel because for centuries it was confused for ruby and sapphire. In fact, many famous gemstones, including those in the British crown jewels, are believed to be rubies but are actually spinel!

What is spinel worth?

The value of spinel depends on the country of origin, size, color, and quality of the stone. Smaller blue, pink, purple and black spinel may be worth $100 per carat or less, while larger stones – in particular, Burmese red spinel or Mahenge spinel – can be worth thousands of dollars per carat.

Can you wear spinel every day?

Yes! It is an 8 out of 10 on the Mohs scale, which means it is a hard gem and will resist scratches. This makes it an ideal stone to wear every day.