Friday, July 29, 2011

August Birthstones - Fact and Legends!

Peridot Briolette Beads
Let's explore the amazing world of birthstones and specifically the birthstones for August.  The modern Birthstone of August is Peridot with it's tantalizing vivid lemon/green hue.   Who couldn't be just a little envious of those born in August that can lay claim to it as their own!  The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that the root of the word Peridot was an alteration of Anglo-Norman pedoretés (classical Latin pæderot-), actually a kind of opal, rather than the Arabic word faridat, meaning "gem".  This gives one an idea of the importance of Peridot as it was once known to be synonymous with gems.  Peridot is one of the few gems that comes in only one color, green.  The green can vary from an olive green, to a lemon green to a brownish green depending on the quantity of iron in the stone crystalline structure.  The olive green is considered the most valuable.  The Peridot from Pakistan is particularly glorious in color.  It s a brilliant lime green that glows with intensity!  Hawaiian natives discovered Peridot crystals in the black sands on the big Island of Hawaii, explaining their presence beneath the volcano as tears shed by Pele, the goddess of the volcano.  In older times the source of the mine for Peridot was lost and gemstones for jewelry were taken from ancient Egyptian sacred objects and used.  The Egyptians drank an energizing drink called Soma from Peridot drinking cups.  This beverage and the fact that it was drunk from a Peridot flagon was believed to draw them closer to Isis, the Goddess of nature.  So around the world this gem that seemed to be alive with the fires of the volcano from which it often originates has been highly regarded and held as sacred.  One of the most Romantic names given to Peridot is Evening Emerald!  To me Peridot is the color of early tender spring with all the hope and promise of new beginnings.  So it would seem appropriate to me to wear or give as new projects or relationships begin, even before flowering.  Giving Peridot signifies vitality within the relationship and a promise of continued growth in the years to come.  An exquisite sentiment for our August people or for anyone!

Red Sardonyx
Black Sardonyx Pendant

The second or traditional Birthstone for August is the Sardonyx.  This gemstone is a combination of colors, usually red and white but just as stunning is the black and white.  It has been used since ancient time as a carving material.  The carving is generally referred to as intaglios or counter-relief.  This is an amazing quartz gemstone that affords the opportunity to show great mastery of the carver as the two layers were perfect to show dimension and detail.  In more recent times cameos have been carved from Sardonyx.  Sardonyx was used by the ancient Egyptians as a talisman to protect against evil and infections.  To me Sardonyx is Drama!  It's variegated colors calls attention to itself like no other.  If you feel the need for drama this is the stone for you! This gemstone is symbolic of happiness within a friendship or relationship when given as a gift.

If neither one of the intriguing gemstones is for you there are others to be chosen.  They are from the Mystical birthstone chart Diamond or from the Ayervedic birthstone chart Sapphire.

Click on the Peridot, Sardonyx, Diamond or Sapphire to view a selection of those Gemstones.

Sylvia C. Rose-Johnson

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