Those lucky people celebrating birthdays in August have a choice of two birthstones, peridot and sardonyx. Peridot is the more traditional option, but over the years, sardonyx has become more popular as an alternative stone for birthstone jewelry.
Peridot: Green Goddess of Stones
Peridot is a lovely green most of the time, though you can also find it in shades of brown. The lighter greens are the most popular and they go beautifully with diamonds in jewelry, while olive green gems are also prized. The shade of green in each stone depends on how much iron is contained in the rock. A ring with a peridot center stone and several lovely diamonds set around it is the perfect gift for anyone born in this month.
The gem has unique beginnings, too. Unlike most stones that are mined out of the ground, peridot is brought up by volcanoes first. You can find these “tears of Pele” in Arizona, China, Pakistan and Myanmar today, but they were originally spit up from the depths by volcanoes. Interestingly, some peridot gems have actually been found in meteorites! These meteorites are called Pallasite meteorites and are riddled with olivine crystals set in metal . . . almost like a natural piece of jewelry.
Protection Against Nightmares
Many people believe that peridot is a powerful stone, thanks to its origins. They wear the stone to help keep bad dreams away and also to give the wearer a terrific year. This makes it a great gift . . . who doesn’t want a wonderful year? The stone is also thought to represent power and influence.
Sardonyx: Striped Onyx
As evidenced by the name, sardonyx is a type of onyx. It is, however, striped, usually with red brown and white. This stone was commonly used by Greeks and Romans during battles. They would etch images of gods like Mars on the stones to give them courage and to bring victory.
Sardonyx is most commonly found in India, where the most beautiful stones are mined. It is also actively mined in Brazil, Germany, the US and Czechoslovakia, although it can be found in hundreds of countries.
Since these stones are striped and come in a range of hues, the cut is particularly important and every single piece is unique. You’ll want to choose carefully so that you get a piece with the colors and striations that you like best.
Caring for Your Sardonyx or Peridot Jewelry
Both these stones are semi-hard, so they should not be placed with hard stones like diamonds, which could scratch them. It’s actually best to keep all your different stones separate so they don’t damage each other. To clean both types of jewelry, you can either use an ultrasonic cleaner or warm soapy water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. A jeweler can also clean your pieces for you without harming them.
Anyone born in August has a delightful choice between the banded beauty of sardonyx and the gentle greens of peridot . . . both make very nice jewelry. Whether you want to gift peridot earrings or a sardonyx pendant, your gift is sure to be appreciated. Don’t forget, you can always buy jewelry for yourself, instead of waiting for someone else to do it for you.