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Stone of the Month

Birthstones have been used since at least the first century as a way to give good luck on ones birthday. Gemstones are associated with each month and each precious stone has designated qualities associated with it. These gemstones corresponded to the zodiac signs of the time.

The Modern Birthstone list is the official birthstone list from the American National Association of Jewelers, Jewelers of America. These gemstones were officially adopted in 1912. In the US, this is the accepted list. Tanzanite was added as an additional birthstone for December by the American Gem Trade Association in October 2002.

Birthstone Chart

Birth Month Modern Birthstones Traditional Birthstones 15th-20th Century Birthstones
January Garnet Garnet Garnet
February Amethyst Amethyst Amethyst, Hyacinth, Pearl
March Aquamarine Bloodstone Bloodstone, Jasper
April Diamond Diamond Diamond, Sapphire
May Emerald Emerald Emerald, Agate
June Pearl, Moonstone Alexandrite Agate, Cat's Eye, Turquoise
July Ruby Ruby Onyx, Turquoise
August Peridot Sardonyx Carnelian, Sardonyx, Topaz
September Sapphire Sapphire Chrsolite
October Opal, Tourmaline Tourmaline Beryl, Opal
November Yellow Topaz, Citrine Citrine Pearl, Topaz
December Blue Topaz, Turquoise, Tanzanite Turquoise, Zircon, Lapis Lazuli Bloodstone, Ruby
 

August Birthstone

Peridot is the modern August birthstone and the gem designated for the 16th wedding anniversary.Peridot ranges in color from light yellow-green to the intense bright green of new spring grass to olive. Because of the way peridot splits and bends the rays of light passing through it, it has a velvety appearance, a rich glow, and a slightly greasy luster. The purer green a peridot is the higher the value. Any tinges of brown or visible flaws greatly diminish the price.

The name Peridot comes from the Arabic word "faridat," meaning gem. Ancient Egyptians called them the "gem of the sun," because of their dazzling brilliance when seen in the desert sun.  It was believed that the Peridot glowed with light even as darkness fell, which is why miners were said to have scouted for these gems during the night, marking their location, and returning in the light of day to retrieve them.  Perhaps this legendary mining method is the reason that the Peridot is sometimes called  "evening emerald."

Peridot is a mineral named Olivine, which is found in a variety of greens, ranging from light yellowish green to a dark olive.  Early mining for this gem was done on Saint John's Island near Egypt around 1500 BC.  The green crystal was considered protective against evil and when set in gold, especially helpful against night terrors.  It was ground to powder and used as a remedy for asthma and as a cure for thirst brought on by fever.  Today, Peridot is mined in Burma, Norway, Brazil, Australia, Hawaii, the Congo, and in Arizona.    

The force of nature is alive within a Peridot, making a gift of this gemstone symbolic of vitality.  It signifies strength, both individual and within a relationship, as well as the promise of new growth in years ahead.  

The best quality peridot has historically come either from Myanmar or Egypt but in 1994 a new deposit of peridot was discovered in Pakistan which produces some of the finest stones. This mine is located in the Nanga Parbat region in the far west of the Himalayan Mountains in the Pakistani part of Kashmir. Large crystals have been found in this area, one stone was more than 300 carats. 

Most of the world production of peridot comes from Arizona where there is an abundant source of lessor quality material while peridot from Myanmar, Pakistan and Egypt is more rare and finer quality. Price for stones from these areas will be higher and similar to prices for other top quality colored gems.

 

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