The birthstone for August is the beautiful Peridot. Although it may not be familiar to many it’s still one to discover as it has lots of meaning and magic which makes this birthstone come to life.
What is the Peridot?
The Peridot is a gemstone that’s beautiful appearance is a result of some extreme conditions; the gem is found in rocks that are created by volcanoes but there have also been some rare cases where the Peridot has been formed from meteors that have landed on earth.
The Peridot actually only comes in one colour – green, it does however have a few different shades of green making it very unique compared to other gemstones, which in some cases come in lots of different colours. The Peridot’s colour intensity depends on the amount of iron that’s present in its structure. A wonderful feature of the Peridot’s colour is that due to its green hue being vivid under soft light, Ancient Romans referred to it as the Evening Emerald, because of its similarity in colour and its deep hues.
Olivine vs Peridot
A common question, however, the Peridot is a variety of Olivine, Olivine is actually a common mineral which you can discover the Peridot within. The Peridot is the gemstone used from within the rock-forming minerals of Olivine.
Where was the Peridot discovered?
The first records of the Peridot’s existence dates back almost 4000 years ago! It’s said that crusaders visited St. John’s Island which is now referred to as the ‘Egyptian Island of Zabargard’ and presented the gem to Europe. There are many historians who believe that the ‘Emeralds’ worn by Cleopatra were actually Peridot.
Another interesting point about the Peridot is that it’s formed in volcanoes and is carefully removed from volcanic basalt sands, because the gemstone is difficult to see in daylight, the Peridot would usually be mined at night by using a soft light such as the moon or candlelight, making it much easier to find the gem this way.
Some cultures considered the Peridot as sacred, you may even find that Catholic Bishops still wear Peridot and Amethyst jewellery which they believe symbolises purity. Throughout history the Peridot had been an important piece in the breastplate of the High Priest of Judah; this breastplate contained twelve gemstones which over time have become the birthstones we know today.
Peridot Birthstone Meaning & Magic
The August birthstone has captured peoples wonder and imagination throughout history, giving it a wealthy amount of beliefs, names and powers. As most gemstones and crystals are used for healing, the Peridot is no exception. Peridot was thought of as a healer for the whole body, rather than specific system of the body. By wearing a Peridot, people believed it would help to create a clear mind and bring calmness, helping to heal depression and mental illness.
If you were a pirate, you would have worn a Peridot to protect you from evil spirits, however, for this to work you would have attached the Peridot to donkey hair and also worn the gem on your left wrist. If you wanted to keep nightmares away, having the Peridot under your pillow would have granted this.
What is the difference between Peridot and Emerald?
As the Peridot and the Emerald look fairly similar and can be confused with each other, we’ve put together a small guide to help you identify the difference, so next time you come across an antique piece of jewellery or you’re looking for a special gift you can be sure on whether you’ve discovered an Emerald or a Peridot.
The difference in Colour
The Peridot is much clearer and lighter in colour, in terms of tones and overall shade which appears transparent. You’ll find that the Peridot has olive green shades with hints of gold and has a velvety appearance rather than a sparkle which you’ll find in an Emerald.
Emeralds have a much deeper green colour and will appear darker. Under artificial light you will be able to see all of the inclusions and fractures within the stone.
The scale of hardness
A good way of knowing whether a gem is an Emerald or a Peridot is down to its hardness. Peridot is a 6.5 – 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness and can scratch easy, where as Emeralds are a 7.8 – 8 which makes them a much stronger gemstone.
One thing you will discover is the difference in price; the Emerald is much more expensive than the Peridot. This is perfect if you’re looking for a green gemstone but have a certain budget, the Peridot is still a beautiful stone even if it is much cheaper than an Emerald.
how to care for your Peridot
Like all precious gems, your jewellery should be taken care of; this means trying not to knock or scratch your jewellery against hard surfaces which can damage the gem and scratch or even remove the gem. We always recommend taking some time to clean your jewellery regularly, whether this is a professional clean or cleaning at home, with mild soaps and warm water – this will help keep your jewellery in good shape so it will last much longer.
It’s always advised to store any jewellery in a jewellery box or a soft surface where your jewellery is separated, avoiding any jewellery scratching against each other. This is more important for the Peridot as it is more prone to scratching.
August Birthstone Buying Guide
If you’re looking to purchase a Peridot piece of jewellery, this August birthstone is perfect for brides and birthdays, because of the beliefs the Peridot holds and that it promotes happiness towards relationships, it’s a perfect gift for friends and loved ones. The wonderful gemstone is also the official gemstone of the first wedding anniversary.