August is a month that shares two equally stunning birthstones, peridot and spinel. Just like their names, both stones are unique and colorful.
All About Peridot
Peridot is a vibrant gem that has a bright green or yellow-green hue. Many people confuse the stones with emerald and topaz because they can vary a great deal in color. The stone is green because of the mineral itself, not from impurities inside of it like many other brightly colored gemstones. Peridot stones are only a 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, so when they are cut they can crack easily.
In ancient times, peridot was thought to symbolize good fortune and wealth and longevity. Peridot is formed deep in the earth’s mantle and typically surfaced by volcanic eruptions and activity. As a result, Hawaiians believed peridot was the tears of Pele, a volcanic goddess who controls lava, and that it could protect against harm.
Peridot could be found in jewelry that priests wore dating back to the second century BCE, as well as chalices and churches throughout Europe. Priests and religious officials thought that the stone could be used to protect against the devil and evil spirits. Germany’s Cologne Cathedral features 200-carat peridot throughout one shrine, though it was believed to be emerald at the time.
All About Spinel
Spinel is another beautiful stone that is frequently mistaken for sapphire or ruby depending on the color. The most common color of spinel is a vibrant red, but it can also be harvested in hot pink, bright orange, pale pink, black, purple and deep, rich blue. Today’s spinel is found in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia. While it can be confused with ruby and sapphire to the untrained eye, it has a lower Mohs hardness scale rating, which is one of the primary differentiators.
Many of the most notable sapphires and rubies throughout history were actually spinel. The Timur Ruby placed in the Crown of Jewels of England is actually spinel, and the same is true of the Black Prince’s Ruby. Many different monarchs throughout the globe had crowns, jewelry and household items accented with spinel stones. They believed that spinel could provide the wearer with a boost of energy and protection.
Find Out the Value of Your August Gemstones
Whether you have a family ring you are interested in learning the value of or you’re looking to expand your collection, SAZ Gem & Jewelry Appraisal is here to help. For more information, give us a call at 425-785-1871.