August's birthstone is the peridot, which is a vivid green stone with a hint of gold that comes in many variations of color, from a yellow green to a greenish brown. Usually, most people with August birthdays prefer to wear the stones that are more lime green or olive green in color. With it being a summer birthstone, peridot tends to coordinate well with the bright and fun colors of a summer wardrobe. In today's market, the peridot is commonly found in Arizona and Hawaii. Other places in the world where the peridot is found are Brazil, Norway, Myanmar, Australia, and South Africa.

[caption id="attachment_496" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Photo by Jarno (Flickr) Caption: This natural peridot has yet to be cut and polished. Photo by Jarno (Flickr) Caption: This natural peridot has yet to be cut and polished.[/caption]

History of the Peridot

Light plays a huge part in the history of the peridot. It was originally named "the gem of the sun" by the Egyptians, and they believed that it granted protection from nightmares. It was also common to see hanging from donkeys' manes or worn around one's arm to ward off any evil spirits. It has been mentioned in ancient references and in the Bible as well. Modern-day Catholic priests and bishops have been known to wear peridot rings to show morality and purity.

The stone is formed deep inside the earth and is brought to the surface through volcanoes' eruptions. Early Egyptians mined the peridot on St. John's Island, now referred to as Zabargad. At the time, this island was covered in snakes, creating a very scary and unpleasant experience for those who were there to retrieve the stones.

It was not uncommon for people to confuse the peridot with the emerald. It is believed that Cleopatra's prized emerald collection may have actually indeed been a collection of peridot stones. And the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in the Cologne Cathedral in Germany was thought to be adorned with 200 carats worth of emeralds, but they are actually peridots.

Legends of the Peridot

Ancients considered the peridot to be a springtime stone and a gift from Mother Nature. Josephine received a peridot as a gift from Napoleon to prove to her that his love was undying and that he admired her extensively. Being that the peridot is a stone that represents light and beauty, it is believed that clear-minded people or those who call themselves spirituals should wear the stone. Also, it is thought that someone with many problems can't understand the stone's natural beauty.

When the stone is put into a necklace, the wearer is protected against having negative emotions. Putting the string of stones at the base of the neck, as opposed to hanging longer in front, would give the wearer a soothing effect. The healing effect that the peridot supposedly has on the body is to encourage liver and gallbladder function.

The Cut

Peridots are difficult to work with for gem-cutters. The raw stone can crack easily because there is usually tension inside the crystal, so care must be taken when cutting the stone. Since the peridot is a crystal, it is best cut in faceted shapes or in table cuts such as round, antique, or oval shapes. If there are more inclusions, cabochons are made to give the stone a more beautiful, shiny look. Coarse inclusions should be removed by the cutter, making it a more beautiful and better-quality stone when cut. Once this is done, it is a durable precious stone to wear as jewelry.

The peridot will add wonderful color to any jewelry collection. The beautiful green hue gives great individual style to all skin tones and complexions. Any piece of jewelry with peridot's stunning shade of green, with its fresh and light natural earth tone, enriches any wearer with an August birthday.

[caption id="attachment_497" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Photo by derrico_jewelry Caption: This peridot has been cut, polished, and placed into a beautiful ring with a diamond sett Photo by derrico_jewelry Caption: This peridot has been cut, polished, and placed into a beautiful ring with a diamond sett[/caption]