August Birthstone: Peridot
The Evening Emerald
August’s Birthstone History
For all the reasons you may know, your August birthday makes you very special, but for one reason for which you may vaguely be aware, your birthstone does, too.
Your birthstone is the illustrious, shimmering gem we’ve come to love: Peridot. With its signature coloring resulting from the iron elements in the gorgeous green stone, it is one of the few gems that come to us in one color: green.
It is a love affair whose origins date as far back as the days of Pliny the Elder in 25 AD when the Roman natural-philosopher and collector made his initial recording of the magical green peridot stone on Zabargad Island (also known as St. John’s Island) off the coast of Egypt.
The Gem of the Sun
It was not long before the Egyptians became so enamored with the glowing emerald-like gem they regarded it as “the gem of the sun.” Even Cleopatra could not resist its radiant appeal.
And during the time before the first world war, when the island became the favored source of peridot, the Egyptians relied on it for its bounty, which provided millions of dollars of the exquisite green gem.
In 1958, Egypt’s President nationalized the deposits on the island, formally recognizing peridot as its national stone, instantly acknowledged as “the gem of the sun.” In the years afterward, when mining on Zabargad diminished, the clamoring public sought other sources to fill the growing demand for precious stone.
Unlike the often varied hues and variations of other stones, peridot’s extraordinarily specific color spectrum is limited to the unique range of yellowing green, to greenish-yellow.
Peridot from Earth and Sky
Small quantities of peridot have been identified in pallasite meteorites containing the green mineral olivine, transported to us from their amazing earthbound journeys across the sky.
The gem, delivered from more earthly sources, is likewise discovered near volcanoes such as Peridot Beach, Hawaii, where it has been chronicled to be as old as several millions of years, and regarded by Hawaiian folklore to be the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele.
Valued not merely for its hypnotically green translucent beauty, early civilizations also treasured peridot as the protector from fears and nightmares, and as a catalyst of improved levels of spiritual enlightenment.
The Evening Emerald
Its brilliant natural-green hue has earned it the distinction of the “Evening Emerald” for the lustrous green glow incited at the mere flicker of nearby lamplight.
And, most important of all, you recognize it to be a spectacular August birthday treasure.
To mark your birthday celebration, HerMJ offers hand-jeweled necklaces and bracelets designed and crafted in sunny California. The pieces feature dazzling Austrian Swarovski crystals in shimmering shades of peridot and unique one-of-a-kind designs.