You might expect August’s birthstone to be something fiery because it’s the month of summer heat and blazing sun. Surprisingly, the August birthstone peridot is the contrary – it’s a lustrous gemstone with a lime green color. Peridot is elegant and rare, making it a very special gemstone for August born babies!
Origin and Symbolism
Legend says that peridot originated from ancient Egypt with a nickname of “Gem of the Sun.” The famous Egyptian queen Cleopatra had a precious collection of the oldest peridots, which were likely mistaken as emeralds. Today, peridot is the national gem of Egypt.
Others also believe that peridot’s name has a Greek root perdiona, meaning “giving plenty.” In Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Goddess Pele, the goddess of volcanoes and lava. By associations, peridot often represents prosperity and power.
Peridot is formed inside of the earth’s mantle, a lot deeper than other gems. The only gemstone that can be found even deeper than peridot is diamonds. Since peridot is about 20-50 miles underneath the earth’s crust, only volcanic activities would push the gem to the surface naturally.
Most peridot comes from the San Carlos Indian Reservation in Arizona, while the rest can be found in China, Myanmar, and Pakistan.
Despite its varying shades, peridot only comes in one color – green. Peridot’s green color comes from its mineral composition, instead of trace impurities like many other gems, so it is one of the very few gemstones that only exists in one color. The shades, however, can vary from lime green, olive green, to brownish green. The most expensive peridot usually comes in a pure lime green color without any yellow or brown hues.