August is one of the few months that have more than one stone attributed to it and they are very different. Peridot is one of the oldest known gemstones and ancient records show that it was being mined from as far back as 1500 BC. It is an Olivine stone of gem quality and is a magnesium rich silicate. The Peridot is known for its beautiful lime-green colour and over the past 20 years it has risen in popularity as it stands out as being very different from the better known stones. It is being used more and more in jewellery such as rings and earrings and in America is becoming popular for engagement rings that are that little bit different. The colour hues vary from the lightest lime green through to the brightest and then out to a dusky brownish.
In ancient times the Peridot was viewed as being a gift from Mother Nature to celebrate the creation of a new world. It was worn by Cleopatra throughout her reign and is known to have been one of her most prized possessions. It is mined mainly in Arizona but smaller supplies exist in China, Myanmar and Pakistan. One unusual use of the stone is to crush it for use in sand blasting!
Properties of the Peridot are a good match for those born under the sign of Leo as the stones are thought to enhance love, attention and bring a warm and generous feeling towards the owner. They are also believed to be easily angered when provoked and easily jealous. It is not necessary to be wearing the stone to reap the benefits of its power.
The second stone for August is the Spinel also known as Sardonyx. This stone is also known as the Daughter of the Ruby, due to its colouring. It varies in colour from the lightest pale pink and orange right up to the deepest blues, with the deep pinks being the best recognised. It is believed that the name comes from the Latin word spina, which means little thorn, and as some spinel crystals have sharp points it is thought this matches the description.
The most common cut for this stone is cabochon and can often be found in the more expensive of fashion jewellery as the appearance is so similar to the more expensive ruby stone. It is mostly mined in Burma and the stones are quite often much larger than the ruby stones. The properties attributed to the Spinel are said the help reduce sadness and heartache in the wearer.
Whichever stone you choose as your August birthstone, you should be happy in the knowledge that as all gem stones take millions of years to form, they all contain the rich energies of all that time encompassed within them, which is why they all make the wearer feel empowered with the force of nature!