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August's Birthstones: The Dual Delights of Peridot & Spinel
08. August Geburtsstein - Peridot
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The two traditional August birthstones are the stunning peridot and spinel. Peridot is a yellow-green gemstone while spinel comes in various colors, often mistaken for other gems.

The month was named August in 8 BC after Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, chosen by him to commemorate his past triumphs during August. Previously, it was named Sextilis, meaning “sixth,” when March began the year.

Many ancient festivals held during August involved harvests, safety, and prayers for the changing season to be peaceful.

August is associated with abundance, protection, and regeneration. Many of these traits are seen in August birthstones, too!

Today, we’ll dive into the history, meanings, powers, and value factors of the August birthstones peridot and spinel. We’ll also touch on some alternative birthstones and gift ideas!

august birthstones spinel and peridotPictured above: Orange spinel ring

Historical & Cultural Significance of August Birthstones

Technically, August has three birthstones: peridot, spinel, and sardonyx.

Why are there 3 birthstones for August? For one, not all lists have three August birthstones. Secondly, birthstones have changed over time.

So, when did the August birthstone change?

Way back in the 1st and 5th centuries AD, early birthstone lists were inspired from Biblical lists of 12 gemstones. In these lists, the August birthstone was either carnelian or sardonyx.

Tiffany & Co released a pamphlet of birthstone poems in 1870 with sardonyx for August.

The first standardized list was created by the National Association of Jewellers (now Jewellers of America) in 1912. This list had sardonyx as the primary August birthstone, with peridot as an alternative.

In 1937, the National Association of Goldsmiths released a list with reversed priority — peridot primary, sardonyx alternative.

Later, the 1912 list was altered when the American Gem Trade Association collaborated with Jewellers of America. One of the changes was adding spinel for August in 2016.

That’s why we’ll focus on peridot and spinel in today’s guide.

With the birthstone history covered, we’ll dive into these gem’s individual history next.

ancient peridot intaglio of cleopatra from hellenistic eraPictured above: Peridot intaglio portrait of Cleopatra II, between circa 175 and circa 115 BC (Hellenistic-Ptolemaic) | Image credit: Walters Art Museum, Public domain

Peridot’s Rich History in Ancient Cultures

Peridot’s history begins in ancient Egypt.

The earliest records of peridot mining go back to 1500 BC, when ancient Egyptians found the August birthstone on Topazios (now called St. John’s Island or Zabargad).

Cleopatra believed peridot was protective against evil forces, and Egyptian priests drank from peridot-encrusted goblets to communicate with gods of nature.

Ancient Hawaiian legends connect peridot to Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes. Some myths say peridots are Pele’s tears. Others claim the birthstones are healing gifts from Pele.

Historically, peridot has been mixed up with many stones.

The early name “chrysolite” may be partly to blame. “Chrysolite” and “topaz” were used for chrysoberyl, peridot, and prehnite stones from Topazios.

Another centuries-long confusion was between peridot vs emerald.

In fact, ancient Romans called peridot “Evening Emerald.” Some historians believe Cleopatra’s emerald collection was actually peridots.

Other famous examples of peridots mistaken for emeralds include:

  • The 200-carat gems on the Three Holy Kings shrine in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral

  • French Empress Joséphine Bonaparte’s necklace gifted by her Emperor husband, Napoleon — Napoleon happened to be born in August!

Yet no gem takes the title of “imposter” more than spinel.

timur ruby spinel in 1800s paintingPictured above: Detail of the Timur ruby from a painting of Maharaja Sher Singh, by August Schoefft, ca.1841–42 | Image credit: August Schoefft, Public domain

Spinel’s Intriguing Historical Connections & Confusions

Much of spinel’s history involves being mistaken for precious gemstones, particularly sapphire and ruby.

Historically, “ruby” was often used for all red gemstones. When imported rubies were introduced to Europe in the Middle Ages, spinels from Afghanistan were labeled “balas rubies.”

Until the 1800s, European royals were vying for “Balas rubies,” even though some medieval scholars categorized them as distinct from true rubies.

Notable examples of spinels mistaken for rubies are the Black Prince’s Ruby and Timur Ruby.

The Black Prince’s Ruby was first owned by 14th-century Granada prince Abu Said Faraj. Eventually, the “Black Prince” Edward of Woodstock got it. It eventually became the centerstone of the Imperial State Crown used at Queen Victoria’s 1838 coronation.

The Timur Ruby (pictured above) was named after Timurid ruler Timur, mistakenly believed to have taken it while invading Delhi in 1398. Ownership passed among various Mughal and Sikh rulers until the East India Company took it in 1849.

They gifted it to Queen Victoria in 1851. She had it set in a Garrards necklace in 1853.

Luckily, spinels have slowly gained recognition as beautiful gemstones and versatile August birthstones.

green peridot rough crystal with needle inclusionsPictured above: Peridot rough with needle-like inclusions

Geological Marvel: The Origins of Peridot and Spinel

Starting with peridot, this August birthstone is a magnesium iron silicate and the gemstone form of olivine (sometimes called chrysotile).

Peridot is often found in peridotites. More notably, however, some peridot crystals are extraterrestrial, found in ancient stony-iron meteorites called pallasites and comet dust.

Today, most peridot crystals come from Arizona (USA), Myanmar, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Myanmar and Egypt produce the largest facetable peridots.

Moving on to spinel, this August birthstone is a magnesium aluminum oxide in the spinel subgroup of isometric aluminum oxides. Other stones in this group include magnetite and gahnite, but spinel is the only group member commonly used in jewelry.

Although spinels form in host rocks, miners usually find them in alluvial deposits, where water has eroded the rock and brought the gems downstream, often rounding the crystals along the way.

Spinel birthstones are found worldwide, but the main sources for gem-quality specimens are Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

bright green peridot gemstone faceted ovalPictured above: Faceted peridot gemstone

Shades of Green and Beyond: Peridot's Radiance

Peridot is one of few gemstones defined by its green coloring, but this August birthstone’s colors actually range from pure green to yellow-green to brownish-green.

Why is the August birthstone green? Peridot is idiochromatic, so its green coloring comes from the ferrous iron (Fe2+) present in its mineral formula.

Ferric iron (Fe3+) can lend yellow undertones, while chromium can brighten the green hues. The ideal iron content is 12 to 15 percent — anything higher leads to browner, less valuable colors.

Many peridot gems are identified by their origin:

  • Changbai, China: Bright lime green

  • Hunan, China: More yellow-green

  • Myanmar: Bright medium to dark green & oily

  • Sondmore, Norway: Paler lime-green

  • Kashmir, Pakistan: Apple- or lime-green, gold undertones

  • Zabargad, Egypt: Rich medium-green

As far as optical effects, peridots very rarely exhibit chatoyancy (the “cat’s eye” effect) or asterism (the “star” effect). Additionally, this August birthstone’s high birefringence can result in facet-doubling and fuzziness.

violet blue spinel gemstone facetedPictured above: Faceted violet spinel

The Many Colors of Spinel

The spinel August birthstone colors are vast, including almost every color in the rainbow and shades in between. Most spinel gemstones are red, pink, orange, lilac, and blue.

The impurities behind this birthstone’s colors are:

  • Chromium, ferric iron, and/or vanadium – red, magenta, purple

  • Cobalt and/or ferrous iron – blue, bluish-purple, purple

  • Vanadium – orange, orange-red

  • Ferrous & ferric iron charge transfer – green

  • Magnesium aluminum oxide – black

Certain impurities and colors have led to different varieties and trade names — read more about these in our Spinel Info Guide.

Some Myanmar spinels display asterism. More rarely, spinels can be color-changing, from grayish-blue or violet in sunlight to purple or reddish-violet under incandescence.

faceted red spinel birthstone ringPictured above: Red spinel ring

Evaluating Quality: Peridot and Spinel Characteristics

The quality of peridot and spinel birthstones is graded on color, clarity, cut, and carat weight, along with any treatments done.


Peridot: Pure, vibrant grass-green peridots are usually most valuable, followed by moderately saturated yellow-green coloring. Yellow undertones are most common. Brown undertones lower value.

Spinel: In order, the rarest and most valuable spinels are red, cobalt-blue, bright pink, and bright orange.

More affordable (but still beautiful) options are shades of purple like lavender, bluish-purple, and violet. Higher saturation is rarer and more valuable.


Clarity describes the degree of visible inclusions, which lowers a stone’s transparency and value. Both peridot and spinel have Type II clarity, meaning high-quality specimens are usually eye-clean (no visible inclusions without magnification).

Peridot: Under magnification, many peridot gems have “lily pad” inclusions, making the stone harder to cut. Fewer inclusions are ideal.

Spinel: Many spinels have intriguing, distinctive rows of octahedral crystal inclusions. Aligned rutile needles cause the valuable “star” effect.

purple star spinel cabochonPictured above: Purple star spinel cabochon


Most peridot and spinel August birthstones are faceted. Star or cat’s eye specimens must be cut as cabochons.

Peridot: Gem cutters must consider peridot’s birefringence, clarity, and color when choosing faceted cuts. Checkerboard cuts can mask inclusions, but round, pear, and oval brilliant shapes are most popular.

Spinel: The most common faceted spinel cuts are oval, round, and cushion shapes, which maximize spinel’s brilliance. High-quality spinel material may be cut into non-calibrated sizes.

Carat Weight

Peridot: Gem-quality peridot rough is rarely over 3 carats, with most gems under 1 carat. The price-per-carat for gems over 3 carats is significantly higher.

Spinel: Most spinels today are under 5 carats. Gems over 5 carats have significantly higher price-per-carat rates, especially blue, red, and pink spinels.


Peridot: Treatments are rare for peridot, though some are metal-foiled to enhance color and durability.

Spinel: Most natural spinels are untreated. Rarely, some are heated and fracture-filled for better clarity. Various diffusion treatments may be done to create artificial colors like cobalt-blue.

colored spinels carved into leaves around faceted sapphiresPictured above: Carved spinels around faceted sapphires

Cultural Significance and Beliefs

Peridot and spinel aren’t only beautiful — these August birthstones are also significant metaphysically.


Historically, peridot was often connected to light and protection.

Ancient Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun,” and wore it as protection from “terrors of the night.” Some ancients thought peridot came from a solar explosion.

The 16th-century writer Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa claimed holding peridot to the sun would make it reflect a golden star that healed breathing problems.

Some believe peridot dispelled nightmares, madness, and memory loss. Others claim its “inner radiance” brought mental clarity and spiritual awareness.

Today, the peridot August birthstone symbolizes renewal, protection, and harmony.


For spinel, this August birthstone’s meaning is tied to love and rejuvenation.

As healing stones, spinels are believed to promote passion, devotion, and happiness, along with decreasing anxiety and balancing emotions.

Metaphysical nicknames for spinel include:

  • Stone of Hope

  • Stone of Joy

  • Stone of Revitalization

  • Stone of Immortality

Spiritually, some use spinel for boosting intuition and communication with celestial realms. People in Myanmar say spinel crystals are nat thwe, meaning “polished by the spirits.”

The August birthstone is also used for opening the root chakra and re-energizing the wearer.

Ethical Sourcing and Sustainability

Rising awareness around conflict diamonds may lead conscious consumers to wonder about the ethics and sustainability of peridot and spinel mining.

Partial responsibility is on jewelers, who can choose to buy from smaller, independently owned and vetted mines who are transparent about their supply chain. The other responsibility is on buyers, who can choose to only buy August birthstones from vetted, transparent jewelers.

Luckily, roughly 80 to 95 percent of peridot gem material is exclusively mined by Apache tribe members on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona, USA, an independent operation open to visitors.

Many jewelers opt for spinels from Tanzania and Sri Lanka, where mining practices are transparent and not associated with human rights violations.

Many buyers have turned to synthetic versions of August birthstones, which have the same chemical and physical properties as natural material but are lab-created.

In fact, synthetic spinels are among the most common lab-created gems. Synthetic peridot is less common.

striped sardonyx cabochon alternative august birthstonePictured above: Sardonyx cabochon

Alternative August Birthstones

As mentioned earlier, many lists include a third August birthstone, being sardonyx, a chalcedony variety comprised of sard and onyx layers, or carnelian, a similar chalcedony variety.

Spinel itself is often a simulant of other gems, but peridot has many affordable simulants, like:

Astrologically, what is the birthstone for Virgo in August? Among the traditional birthstones, earth-sign Virgos may prefer a grassy-green peridot.

What is the birthstone for Leo? August-born Leos might prefer the passion of spinel, especially fiery red spinel.

faceted green peridot birthstone earrings with diamondsPictured above: Faceted peridot earrings

Personalized August Birthstone Gifts

An August birthstone gift is a thoughtful celebration of your loved one’s life. Once you choose the gem, it’s time to pick the best August birthstone jewelry or accessory for it.

Here are some ideas:

  • Stackable August birthstone ring

  • Birthstone necklace with monogram pendant of their initial

  • Tungsten ring with embedded birthstone

  • Stud birthstone earrings in their favorite shape

  • Carved birthstone decor

  • August birthstone keychain

What matters most is that your gift is meaningful and comes from the heart!

Which August Birthstone Do You Adore?

Spinel and peridot may seem different, but they’re more alike than you’d think. Both represent light and renewal, and both have been mistaken for other gems. Along with sardonyx, these August birthstones offer a range of possibilities for celebrating anyone born at the end of summer!

Find traditional and alternative August birthstones from our hundreds of gemstones available!

August Geburtsstein Peridot Jeder Monat des Jahres hat einen eigenen Geburtsstein, und einige haben das Glück, mehrere zu haben! August ist einer dieser Monate und einer von nur drei Monaten im Jahr mit drei einzigartigen Edelsteinen. Was sind die Geburtssteine für August?

In diesem Geburtssteinführer für August teilen wir die Bedeutung, Geschichte und Symbolik hinter drei wunderschönen Edelsteinen.

Bist du bereit, etwas über August-Geburtssteine zu erfahren? Lesen Sie weiter, während wir die Liste durchgehen.

Was sind die Geburtssteine für August?

Die drei Geburtssteine für August sind Peridot, Spinell und Sardonyx. Während sie denselben Geburtsmonat haben, ist jeder dieser Edelsteine ein Unikat. Lass uns erforschen!

Peridot - Der offizielle Geburtsstein von August

Peridot ist ein Edelstein , dessen Farbe von gelbgrün bis limonengrün variiert. Seine Färbung ist auf ein Mineral namens Olivin zurückzuführen. Interessanterweise ist dieser Edelstein deshalb nur in Grün erhältlich.

Natürlich werden Sie im grünen Spektrum auf eine Vielzahl von Schattierungen und Farbtönen stoßen. Letztendlich hängt die Färbung des Peridots davon ab, wie viel Eisen in der Kristallstruktur des Edelsteins vorhanden ist.

Von allen Peridotvarianten ist tiefes Olivgrün das wertvollste und wertvollste. Verständlicherweise, wenn man bedenkt, dass es in Schmuckstücken wunderschön aussieht!

Olivin ist in der Lava, die in den Erdmantel fließt, weit verbreitet. Wenn die Lava hart wird, steigt sie an die Erdoberfläche. Olivine reist auch mit Meteoriten aus dem Weltraum zur Erde. Ziemlich ordentlich, oder?

Was bedeutet Peridot?

Peridot Geburtsstein Bedeutung

Die Geschichte und Symbolik des Peridots des August-Geburtssteins sind faszinierend. Peridots Ursprünge gehen auf Topazios zurück, eine Insel im Roten Meer, die bis ins 2. Jahrhundert vor Christus zurückreicht. Der Name Peridot stammt von Faridat, dem arabischen Wort für Edelstein.

Als Schutzstein schmückten sich alte Menschen in diesem grünen Juwel, um böse Geister und Nachtangst zu bekämpfen.

Seit Jahrhunderten verwechseln die Menschen Peridot mit anderen Edelsteinen wie Topas und Smaragd. Zum Beispiel hat der Kölner Dom in Deutschland ein heiliges Heiligtum der Drei Könige, das mit Peridot geschmückt ist. Die meisten glaubten jedoch, die Juwelen seien Smaragde, bis das Gegenteil bewiesen war.

Peridot ist einer der drei Geburtssteine im August und auch das feierliche Juwel zum 16-jährigen Jubiläum.

Werfen wir einen Blick auf Spinell, den neuesten offiziellen Geburtsstein für August.

Spinell - die neueste Ergänzung

Der Geburtsstein des zweiten August ist das farbenfrohe Spinelljuwel. Während es schon seit Jahrhunderten gibt, wurde es erst kürzlich als Edelstein des dritten August anerkannt.

Das Wort selbst übersetzt aus dem Lateinischen für Dorn, Spina. Spinell ist ein lustiger Geburtsstein, da er in verschiedenen Farben erhältlich ist, von Orange über Violett bis Pink! Wie Sie sich vorstellen können, ist dies ein erstklassiger Geburtsstein für August, da Sie ihn an Ihre Lieblingsfarbe anpassen können.

Wie Peridot verwechseln Menschen Spinell trotz ihrer chemischen Unterschiede häufig mit anderen Juwelen, einschließlich Rubinen.

Das liegt daran, dass ein roter Spinell einem rubinroten Edelstein auffallend ähnlich sieht. Weil die Farben des Spinells so lebendig sind, wird der blaue Spinell oft mit einem blauen Saphir-Edelstein verwechselt .

August Birthstone List - Peridot Spinell und Sardonyx Gem Rock Auktionen

Spinell Geburtsstein Bedeutung

Spinell stammt aus verschiedenen Quellen, darunter Sri Lanka, Tansania, Vietnam, Myanmar und Pakistan. Was Spinell so schön macht, ist seine reiche und lebendige Färbung. Jede Farbe dieses wunderschönen Edelsteins ist reich gesättigt, von leuchtendem Rosa über sattes Rot bis hin zu Königsblau.

Seit Generationen bietet Spinell eine natürliche Heilung für Entzündungen und Blutkrankheiten. Spinellheilende Eigenschaften tragen auch dazu bei, negative Emotionen zu lindern und Harmonie und Frieden zu fördern.

Sardonyx - Der Geburtsstein des alten August

Von allen drei Geburtssteinen im August ist Sardonyx mit über 4.000 Jahren der älteste. Sardonyx, ein alter Geburtsstein im August, besteht chemisch aus zwei Quarzvarianten: Sard und Onyx.

Füge die beiden zusammen und du bekommst Sardonyx! Dieser Edelstein ist so alt wie die Zivilisation selbst. Tatsächlich wurde Sardonyx während des Römischen Reiches in Siegelringen verwendet, die von Adeligen und Königen getragen wurden. Diese Ringe dienten als Stempel oder Unterschriften prominenter Persönlichkeiten, um ihre Briefe zu unterschreiben, zu versiegeln und zuzustellen.

Sardonyx ist aufgrund seiner Muster und Farben ein einzigartiger Geburtsstein. Der Körper des Edelsteins erscheint in Braun-, Rot- und Orangetönen mit weißen oder schwarzen Onyxstreifen.

Sardonyx funktionierte wunderbar, da heißes Wachs leicht daran haftete und somit die erste Wahl für einen Siegelring war. Ein weiteres großartiges Merkmal von Sardonyx ist, dass es ein großartiges Material zum Schnitzen von Kameen für Schmuck ist.

Die genaue Farbabweichung des Steins stammt aus Brasilien, der Tschechischen Republik, Deutschland, Uruguay, Madagaskar und den USA und hängt von seiner Herkunft ab. Wenn Sie Abwechslung lieben, werden Sie die Farben und Muster dieses einzigartigen Geburtssteins im August lieben!

Sardonyx Bedeutung

Da die Geschichte in Religion und Politik verwurzelt ist, ist es keine Überraschung, dass Sardonyx eine spirituelle Bedeutung hat. Es wird angenommen, dass das Tragen dieses Geburtssteins im August einem Menschen geistige Stärke und Schutz vor Unglück verleiht.

Im Laufe der Zeit hat sich die Symbolik dieses Steins weiterentwickelt, um Mut, Stabilität, Glück und gesunde Kommunikation darzustellen.

Wir haben die drei Geburtssteine im August behandelt, aber Sie fragen sich vielleicht immer noch: Warum gibt es so viele?

Warum hat August drei Geburtssteine?

Die Wahrheit ist, dass diese drei Geburtssteine nicht allgemein anerkannt sind. Während Sardonyx das älteste der drei ist, wird es oft zugunsten der neueren Ergänzungen Peridot und Spinell von der Liste gestrichen.

Tatsächlich hatte August bis vor einigen Jahren nur zwei Geburtssteine. Zuvor war Sardonyx der wichtigste Geburtsstein für August.

Warum die Ergänzungen?

Derzeit ist der offizielle Geburtsstein für August Peridot, wobei Spinell und Sardonyx sekundäre Optionen sind. Der Grund, warum es drei gibt, ist, dass es mehrere Geburtssteinkarten gibt.

Die moderne Geburtssteinkarte erkennt Peridot als offiziellen August-Geburtsstein. Sardonyx ist jedoch die erste Wahl in der alten Tabelle. Der jüngste Neuzugang im Diagramm ist Spinell, der den dritten anerkannten Zusatz zum modernen Diagramm darstellt. Und so kam August zu drei Geburtssteinen!

Dies sind hervorragende Neuigkeiten für Geburtstage im August, da die Möglichkeiten endlos sind, insbesondere angesichts der einzigartigen Farben und Muster, die diese drei Juwelen bieten.

Hast du einen Lieblingsgeburtsstein für August? Zeit, es Ihrer Geburtstagsliste hinzuzufügen! Benötigen Sie Inspiration? Stöbern Sie monatlich in unserer Sammlung wunderschöner Geburtssteine!


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