August Birthstone

by | Feb 22, 2024 | gemstone designs

Sailing the sparkly sea of August birthstones can feel a tad overwhelming, but don’t worry – we’ve got your back. We understand that feeling of indecision because let’s face it, who hasn’t been at a crossroads when choosing something meaningful? That’s why we rolled up our sleeves to explore the rich stories and unique allure behind these gems for you.

Our blog is like a treasure map, revealing each stone’s history, symbolic meaning, and allure to help you find that perfect piece effortlessly. So lean in and let’s uncover which of these dazzling beauties resonates with your spirit!

Key Takeaways

  • August boasts three unique birthstones: peridot with its lime green color symbolizes good fortune, sardonyx showcases red and white bands representing courage, and spinel comes in a rainbow of colors often confused with rubies and sapphires.
  • The history of these gemstones is as rich as their colors; peridot was treasured in ancient Egypt, sardonyx was worn by Roman soldiers for protection, and spinel has been part of the British Crown Jewels mistaken for a ruby.
  • Each August birthstone carries its symbolism. Peridot is linked to strength and vitality, sardonyx to integrity and virtuous conduct, while spinel is believed to encourage positivity and inspiration.
  • The value of these stones varies based on factors like rarity, size, cut, and color. Peridot’s bright green hue can command high prices while quality spinels are comparable to other precious gems. Meanwhile unique banding increases the worth of sardonyx.
  • While traditionally peridot is considered the main birthstone for August due to historical precedence, all three—peridot, sardonyx, and spinel—are recognized today giving individuals a variety of choices that match personal styles or beliefs.

The Three August Birthstones

A collection of peridot, sardonyx, and spinel gemstones arranged in a natural outdoor setting.

From the vibrant green of peridot to the striking red and white bands of sardonyx to the dazzling array of colors in spinel. August offers a variety of birthstones for those born in this month.

Each stone has its own unique attributes and historical significance.


Peridot, known for its signature lime green color, is one of the traditional birthstones for August. This vibrant gemstone captures the essence of summer’s end with a sparkle that rivals the afternoon sun.

Found deep in the earth’s crust or brought to the surface by volcanic activity, peridots are formed under extreme conditions. Their unique shade comes from iron—a common element—giving each stone a glow that varies from yellowish-green to olive.

We cherish peridot not just for its beauty but also as a symbol of good fortune and peace. According to ancient beliefs, wearing this semi-precious gemstone brings happiness and wards off evil spirits.

Historically set into gold, it adorned everything from royal crowns to talismans. Even today, we see it sparkling on modern engagement rings as an eye-catching alternative to diamonds or blue topaz.

Let’s continue our journey through August birthstones by turning our attention toward sardonyx—an equally fascinating yet distinctly different gem.


Sardonyx blends the layers of chalcedony with different shades of red through browns and whites. This stone has captivated people for centuries, gracing signets and cameos worn by ancient Romans who admired its ability to protect them during battles.

Its bands illustrate a natural artistry, each layer telling a story from where it lay resting on the earth. Not just aesthetically pleasing, sardonyx serves as a symbol of courage and happiness.

We appreciate Sardonyx for more than its history; its value lies in both rarity and charm. Gem professionals often seek out this fine gem due to its unique color scheme that stands out from other precious stones like rubies or garnets.

Delving into historical jewelry, one can see how sardonyx was used ingeniously alongside gold and silver to craft masterpieces worth preserving across ages. Moving forward, we explore another vibrant member of the August birthstones family – Spinel.


Spinel dazzles us with its array of colors, from bold reds to deep blues. It’s a gemstone that often surprises with its striking similarity to both rubies and sapphires, once fooling even the most expert eyes in history.

The British Crown Jewels feature what was thought to be a large ruby. However, modern gemology has since revealed it as a spinel.

As we explore spinel’s value, we discover that high-quality specimens fetch impressive prices on par with other precious gems. Its brilliance and hardness make it not only beautiful but also durable for everyday wear.

Recognized officially as an August birthstone by the International Gem Society (IGS), spinel provides another vibrant choice for those celebrating their birthdays in late summer.

Historical Significance of August Birthstones

A photo of raw peridot crystals on a rocky outcrop surrounded by lush greenery.

Peridot has a rich history, with ancient civilizations like Egypt and Greece valuing its beauty. Sardonyx has been used for centuries in cameos and wax seals. While spinel was often mistaken for other gemstones due to its similarity in appearance.

Peridot History: Germany, England & Egypt

An ancient Egyptian queen adorned in peridot jewelry posing in a regal palace setting in a highly detailed portrait.

Peridot has a rich historical significance in Germany, England, and Egypt. In Germany, peridot mining dates back to the 2nd millennium BC on Zabargad Island in the Red Sea. Egyptian miners unearthed this gemstone also known as “evening emerald,” which Egyptians used for jewelry making and decoratively carved objects.

The stone’s striking green color captured the fascination of English royalty during the medieval period, leading to a surge in its popularity as a prized gemstone.

In England, peridot adorned many churches and cathedrals during medieval times. Cleopatra is believed to have been an avid collector of Peridots from the island of Zabargad – thought by some scholars to be Topazios – but was probably actually Peridot designed with hardened lava flows inside basalt rocks.

Sardonyx History: Cameos, Courtesans & Wax Seals

A regal woman wearing a sardonyx cameo necklace stands in a vintage parlor.

Transitioning from the rich history of peridot to the elegant allure of sardonyx, we delve into a world where this stunning August birthstone was sought after for its cameo engravings and wax seal impressions.

Sardonyx has been cherished throughout time as a stone used by courtesans in ancient Rome, a symbol of protection and strength by warriors, and even an emblematic gem featured on high priest’s breastplates.

Its unique striped bands have captivated civilizations across ages, transforming it into not only an ornamental jewelry piece but also a powerful talisman believed to bring good fortune to its wearer.

Symbolism and Value of August Birthstones

A collection of beautiful August birthstones displayed on green leaves, with a variety of people and outfits.

The symbolism and value of August’s birthstones are deeply rooted in history. Each stone holds its own unique significance, making them cherished gems for those born in this month. Their distinct colors, properties, and cultural significance add to their overall appeal and value.

Peridot Birthstone History & Symbolism

A peridot gemstone surrounded by volcanic rock formations in a bustling natural setting.

The history of peridot dates back to ancient Egypt, where it was called the “gem of the sun.” Cleopatra herself was said to have adored this vibrant green stone. The symbolism associated with peridot centers around prosperity, growth, and well-being.

Its verdant color is believed to bring a sense of renewal and energy, making it an ideal birthstone for August. Furthermore, as peridot is formed under extreme conditions in the Earth’s mantle and brought to the surface through volcanic activity, it represents resilience and inner strength.

Value of Peridot

Peridot holds significant value due to its rarity and unique color. This gemstone is highly sought after by collectors and jewelry enthusiasts because of its stunning olive-green hue, which ranges from yellowish-green to brownish-green.

The value of peridot is also influenced by the size and cut of the stone, with larger, well-cut stones commanding higher prices in the market.

This beautiful gem has been treasured for centuries and continues to be cherished today for its historical significance, cultural symbolism, and vibrant appearance. Peridot’s allure makes it a prized addition to any jewelry collection or as an exquisite standalone piece that exudes elegance and sophistication.

Spinel Birthstone History & Symbolism

Spinel, a captivating gemstone, has a rich history and symbolism. The stone’s name is derived from the Latin word “spina,” meaning thorn, due to its pointed crystal formations. Throughout history, spinel was often mistaken for other precious stones like rubies and sapphires due to their similar appearance.

This led to some of the world’s most famous “rubies” turning out to be spinels upon closer examination, including the Black Prince’s Ruby in England’s Imperial State Crown.

Symbolically, spinel has been associated with energy renewal and vitality throughout various cultures. It is believed to bring positivity and inspiration while dispelling negative thoughts.

Value of Spinel

The close-up photo showcases a stunning, multi-colored spinel gemstone in a jewelry setting.

Spinel holds significant value in the gemstone world due to its exceptional brilliance and durability. This gemstone’s worth is determined by factors such as color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.

Well-cut spinels with vivid hues like red, pink, or blue fetch higher prices in the market. The value of spinel has been rising steadily as it gains recognition for its beauty and rarity among discerning collectors and jewelry enthusiasts.

Sardonyx Birthstone History & Symbolism

A woman wearing a sardonyx gemstone necklace in a historic library, captured in detailed portrait photography.

Sardonyx is a gemstone with a rich historical significance. Its name comes from the Greek word “sard” meaning reddish-brown and “onyx” meaning veined gem, owing to its beautiful banded appearance.

Sardonyx has been valued since ancient times, often used in engraved gems and signet rings. In Roman civilization, it was associated with courage and protection. While in the Middle Ages, it was believed to bring happiness and stability.

Sardonyx holds symbolism related to strength, protection, and good fortune. It is thought to promote integrity and encourage virtuous conduct. Additionally, this birthstone is linked with enhancing self-control and resilience during challenging times.

Value of Sardonyx

A woman wearing a sardonyx necklace stands in a museum surrounded by ancient artifacts.

Sardonyx holds significant value as an August birthstone due to its unique banding of different colors, making it a popular choice for cameos and inlays. The distinct layers create exquisite designs when carved or polished, adding to its allure and increasing its desirability among gemstone enthusiasts.

Sardonyx is not only valued for its aesthetic appeal but also for the belief that it brings courage, strength, and protection to those who wear it. Its historical significance in jewelry-making and symbolism has contributed to its enduring popularity throughout the centuries.

The value of sardonyx extends beyond its physical appearance. It holds cultural and symbolic importance across various civilizations. Whether incorporated into jewelry or cherished as a talisman, sardonyx remains an esteemed gemstone with timeless significance.


A woman wearing a stunning peridot necklace surrounded by lush greenery in various outfits and hairstyles.

In conclusion, August birthstones hold a rich history and symbolism. They are treasured for their unique qualities and have been cherished throughout the ages. Exploring the three birthstones for August reveals a fascinating world of color, tradition, and significance that continues to captivate us today.

Whether it’s the lime green allure of peridot, the striking bands of sardonyx, or the vibrant hues of spinel, each stone has its own story to tell.

If you’re captivated by the beauty of birthstones and want to discover more, explore the wonders of the September birthstone next.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the August birthstone?

The August birthstone is peridot, a beautiful gem-quality stone known for its bright green color, which has been cherished since ancient times.

2. Are there any other stones associated with August?

Yes, alongside peridot, sardonyx and spinel are also considered to be birthstones for August.

3. Can I find other gemstones in August’s color palette?

Absolutely! You might also enjoy yellow sapphire and citrine as they share similar warm hues with the traditional August birthstone.

4. Is Peridot linked to any historical figures or myths?

Indeed, some cultures link peridot to Mars, the Roman god of war. It was also believed to be included in the high priest’s breastplate described in biblical texts.

5. Where can I see unique examples of peridot around the world?

You could visit places like Papakolea Beach in Hawaii where you may find olivine crystals – a mineral that includes peridots – originating from volcanic activity.

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About the Author

Matt O'Desky

I grew up in Chicago where we always had a “Diamond District” – an area of town with a slew of buildings filled with dozens of private jewelry wholesalers and upstairs diamond dealers.

When I moved to Texas, and realized there were few if any private jewelers, and I knew what I should do: Deliver a far more personalized experience, in a far more relaxed and enjoyable environment than any department store jeweler could possibly offer.

And show my clients obviously better diamonds at clearly better prices.

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