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August Birthstone (Peridot, Spinel, and Sardonyx) Meaning, Color, and History

The August birthstone selections are peridot, spinel, and sardonyx, symbolizing strength, resilience, and integrity. Each of these gemstones is celebrated for its unique historical significance and metaphysical properties, influenced by their distinct colors and crystal formations. Individuals born in August can choose from these diverse and vibrant gems, each offering a blend of style and symbolic traits.

August birthstone meaning, color, and history
A summary of the August birthstones’ meaning, color, and historical significance

Peridot is known for its striking green hue and is revered for its association with light and positive energy. This gemstone is linked to ancient Egypt and is thought to bring good fortune and peace. Spinel has a wide spectrum of colors ranging from deep reds to vibrant blues and is admired for its resilience and beauty.

Spinel was once mistaken for other precious stones, but its true identity is now celebrated for its brilliance and strength. Sardonyx, a banded variety of onyx, displays a unique combination of layered colors, symbolizing protection and stability. Historically used in Roman and Greek art, sardonyx continues to be valued for its eloquence and historical charm.

Recognizing the evolving appreciation of gemstones, the Jewelers of America included these three in their standardized list, reflecting the diverse personalities and tastes of those born in August. These gemstones are more than just ornamental because they symbolize the strength, adaptability, and integrity that define this late summer month.

Discover the meanings, colors, and rich histories of peridot, spinel, and sardonyx, and explore how these enchanting August birthstones can enhance your life with their distinctive qualities.

What does the August birthstone mean?

Each August birthstone brings its unique meaning and symbolism. Firstly, peridot is associated with renewal and vitality. This gemstone is believed to bring abundance and prosperity, mirroring the flourishing of nature in August. It’s also linked to light, signifying clarity and dispelling negativity. Peridot’s bright color and clear appearance symbolize positive energy and growth, appealing to those seeking to invigorate their lives.

Secondly, August’s spinel birthstone represents resilience and variety. Spinel is available in various colors and is admired for its reflective brilliance and durability. It is historically mistaken for other precious stones and symbolizes the strength of character and the beauty of authenticity. Spinel boasts a variety of colors, from deep reds to vibrant blues, representing the diversity of human emotions and experiences, encouraging wearers to embrace all aspects of life with resilience and grace.

Thirdly, sardonyx has distinctive layers of sard and onyx, causing it to be celebrated for its symbolism of courage and protection. It was used in ancient times as a stone of strength and stability and is believed to promote integrity and virtuous conduct. Its banded appearance is a metaphor for life’s various layers and complexities, encouraging the wearer to remain steadfast and grounded.

August’s birthstones collectively offer a range of energies and attributes, from the rejuvenating and prosperity-bringing peridot and the resilient, authentic spinel to the protective and grounding sardonyx. Each stone embodies aspects of August’s themes, representing the dynamic nature of those born in this month and offering a connection to their inherent qualities and aspirations.

Infographic describing the August birthstones
An overview of the August birthstones’ meaning and symbolism

What is the difference between modern and traditional August birthstones?

Modern and traditional August birthstones are differentiated by their historical recognition and diversity. Sardonyx has been a long-standing August birthstone, and its presence as an August stone pre-dates the official 1912 list. It was first recorded in an anonymous poem that joins August with the banded stone. Peridot was recognized in the 1912 list and is celebrated for its unique green luster and associations with light and prosperity.

However, the modern list of August birthstones has expanded to include spinel, a gemstone valued for its wide color range and brilliance, often mistaken for other precious stones like rubies. The addition of spinel to the list reflects a contemporary appreciation for gemstone variety and aligns with the evolving tastes and personalities of those born in August, offering a broader spectrum of choices that resonate with modern sensibilities and styles.

What are the alternate birthstones for August?

There are three alternate birthstones for August: sardonyx, diamonds, and spinel. Firstly, Sardonyx is a banded variety of onyx and typically features brown, red, or white stripes. This alternative birthstone is typified by strength, protection, and courage. Sardonyx has been historically used in cameos and is often considered a protective stone.

Secondly, spinel is an August birthstone alternative that is most distinguishable by its vibrant red and pink hues, but modern variations can also be found in blue, violet, and black colors. The primary meanings of the spinel birthstone are revitalization, energy, and renewal. Finally, diamonds represent the Tibetan and guardian angel stones for people born in August. They symbolize purity, invincibility, and the enduring quality of love.

Is there an August zodiac birthstone?

Yes, there are two August zodiac birthstones from peridot for Leo and sapphire for Virgo. Peridot, known for its vibrant green hue, resonates with Leos, who are often characterized by their bold and radiant personalities. This gemstone is believed to amplify confidence and assertiveness, qualities intrinsic to Leo’s fiery and charismatic nature. The bright and uplifting energy of peridot mirrors Leo’s love for the spotlight and their natural leadership qualities.

The birthstone for Virgo is sapphire, a gemstone celebrated for its deep blue color, symbolizing wisdom, integrity, and calm. Virgos, known for their meticulous, analytical, and often reserved nature, find a harmonious connection with sapphire. This gemstone enhances Virgo’s pursuit of knowledge and desire for tranquility and mental clarity. The grounding and serene qualities of sapphire support Virgo’s practical and thoughtful approach to life, bringing balance and insight to their methodical ways.

What color is August’s birthstone?

Each August birthstone presents a distinct palette of colors influenced by the stone’s composition and formation. The primary August birthstone, peridot, is renowned for its signature lime to olive green color. This distinct hue of peridot is due to the presence of iron within its structure, and the intensity of the green depends on the amount of iron.

Sardonyx, another August birthstone, offers a striking contrast with its layers of reddish-brown and white. This banded appearance is a natural feature of the stone, with the color variations occurring due to different minerals in the layers. A recent addition to the August birthstone list, Spinel boasts a spectrum of colors ranging from deep reds and vibrant pinks to blues, purples, and even black. The diverse colors of spinel result from various impurities within the crystal structure, such as chromium, iron, and cobalt.

What is the August birthstone crystal shape?

Each August birthstone has unique crystalline structures and properties that complement the following four shapes.

  • Emerald: The emerald cut has a rectangular shape and stepped facets. It is a popular choice for peridot, highlighting its clarity and vibrant color.
  • Cushion: Cushion cuts feature rounded corners and larger facets suitable for spinel and sardonyx, enhancing their color depth and brilliance.
  • Round brilliant: Round brilliant cut features multiple facets arranged in a circular shape, maximizing the luster and fire of the gemstone. It is especially effective in enhancing the sparkle of spinel.
  • Oval: Oval cuts have an elongated, rounded shape that is ideal for showcasing the unique coloration and banding of sardonyx and also works well to highlight the clarity and hue of peridot.

The crystal shapes of August birthstones vary with each type. An orthorhombic crystal system characterizes Peridot and displays well-defined, straight forms, striations along its length, and natural etchings, contributing to its bright green hue typically found in granular or irregular shapes. Spinel is a mineral species that adopts octahedral shapes with eight faces and sometimes shows rhombic dodecahedral forms or a mix of cubic and octahedral faces. Sardonyx is a cryptocrystalline variety, distinguished by banded agate patterns in brown, red, or white colors and naturally found in irregular nodules or masses.

What’s the history of the August birthstone?

Each August birthstone has a unique history as a royal adornment, artifact, or symbolic statement. Peridot is renowned for its luminous green color and traces its roots back over 3,500 years to ancient Egypt, where it was mined on Zabargad Island in the Red Sea. For example, Gavin Linsell’s book The Clever Gem Buyer states that peridot was the “gem of the sun” and a favorite of Cleopatra. Moreover, the Romans admired its radiance in artificial light and termed it the “evening emerald.” Throughout various historical periods, including the Baroque and Art Deco eras, peridot has been celebrated for its association with light, protection, and positive energy.

Spinel is acclaimed for its vibrant array of colors and has a fascinating history of being mistaken for rubies and sapphires, leading to its presence in significant royal jewelry. For example, the Black Prince’s Ruby in the British Imperial State Crown is a spinel stone mistaken for a ruby. This confusion highlighted its beauty but masked its true identity, which has recently been recognized and valued for its natural beauty and durability.

August’s sardonyx stone has been valued since ancient times, particularly in Roman and Greek jewelry for cameos and intaglios. Symbolizing strength and protection, this banded variety of onyx was also popular during the Renaissance for its attributed virtues of eloquence and courage. Sardonyx is equally notable, with a history of inspiring social connections. For example, an anonymous poem from 1870 describes sardonyx as a talisman of love and togetherness.

The unique characteristics and historical narratives of August’s gemstones continue to be celebrated. Peridot remains popular with its olivine composition, spinel is distinct for its range of colors and strength, and sardonyx remains treasured for its historical charm and distinctive banding. Each August birthstone combines its diverse appearance, rich history, and deep symbolism to enchant and fascinate jewelry enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.

Where is the August birthstone found?

August birthstones, peridot, sardonyx, and spinel are extracted from various continents, including Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. Peridot is notably sourced from Myanmar and Pakistan in Asia and the United States, particularly Arizona. Additional sources of peridot include China and Vietnam, further extending its Asian connections. Sardonyx is predominantly found in India, situated in Asia. It is also mined in several other countries across different continents, including Brazil and Uruguay in South America, Germany and the Czech Republic in Europe, Madagascar in Africa, and again in the United States in North America.

These varied locations contribute to the unique banding and coloration of sardonyx, making each source distinct in the quality of the stone produced. Spinel has prominent mines in Asia, particularly in Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Myanmar, and Vietnam. It is also found in Tanzania and Madagascar, highlighting its African sources. The diverse locations, such as Sri Lanka’s famed production of vibrant blue and pink spinels and Myanmar’s notable red spinels, underscore the global distribution and wide variety of spinel.

August birthstone chart

Below is a chart that explains the main aspects of August birthstones.

August birthstones
Modern Peridot, spinel, and sardonyx
Traditional Sardonyx, carnelian, moonstone, and topaz
Zodiac Peridot (Leo) and Sapphire (Virgo)
Meaning Renewal, resilience, and courage
Color Green, red, and red with white bands
Historical significance Sparking light and connections

What are the August birthstone personality traits?

The August birthstone personality traits correlate to the type of people born in August. Below are the five archetypal personality traits of the birthstones for August.

  • Optimistic: Mirroring peridot’s vibrant green hue and association with renewal, an optimistic personality radiates positivity and sees growth opportunities in various situations, akin to peridot’s believed properties of refreshing and cleansing negative feelings.
  • Emotionally balanced: Similar to sardonyx’s layered colors symbolizing stability, an emotionally balanced individual maintains composure and resilience amid life’s fluctuations. The harmony from sardonyx’s grounding and protective qualities echoes the month’s numeric equivalent 8 for balance and stability.
  • Vivacious: Reflecting spinel’s diverse and vibrant nature, a vivacious personality is characterized by dynamic energy and enthusiasm, much like spinel’s captivating array of colors and lively brilliance.
  • Resilient: Spinel is renowned for its durability and the ability to withstand various elements. A resilient personality demonstrates the capacity to endure challenges and bounce back from adversities, showcasing strength, and adaptability similar to the enduring qualities of spinel.
  • Integrity: Integrity in a person symbolizes a steadfast adherence to a moral or ethical code. Individuals with integrity, much like the steadfast nature of sardonyx, are characterized by their honesty and strong principles.

Are there benefits to wearing an August birthstone?

Yes, there are three benefits to wearing an August birthstone: alleviating anxiety, boosting gumption, health, integrity, and clear communication. Peridot relieves its wearer of anxious and intrusive thoughts, allowing positive energy and outlooks to surface in their mind. Finding one’s confidence and ability to find their way despite challenges is a vital life lesson. Peridot helps its wearer find their gumption, encouraging them to go after what they desire.

Peridot promotes health and wellness by facilitating optimal gallbladder and liver functioning with a healthy diet and lifestyle habits. For example, The Complete Guide to Crystal Chakra Healing by Philip Permutt explains that peridot connects with the heart chakra to heal. Sardonyx and spinel are known for instilling the wearer with integrity. For example, Roman soldiers wore sardonyx in amulets for bravery, and spinel was worn in royal regalia, suggesting a common theme of integrity and virtue. Sardonyx and spinel promote clear communication symbolized by stability and clarity. They’re known for enhancing expression and understanding while encouraging honesty.

What happens after wearing peridot, spinel, and sardonyx?

There are multiple effects of wearing peridot, spinel, and sardonyx. Firstly, peridot draws positive energy from its green hues associated with spiritual growth and enlightenment. After wearing peridot, your thoughts will be calibrated to positive mentalities, subsequently healing past wounds and depressive attitudes. Therefore, wearing the August birthstone enhances your spiritual journey and intuition. Secondly, wearing spinel makes you more likely to feel revitalized and grounded. Wearing Spinel helps restore energy levels, reduce fatigue, and promote vitality.

Meanwhile, spinel helps stabilize your mood and encourages consistent positive thinking, helping you stay centered and connected to the present moment. Finally, Sardonyx is best known for its ability to elicit strength from its wearer while acting as a protective force against malicious energy. Therefore, after wearing the Sardonyx August birthstone, you’re more likely to feel a sense of courage and self-control, helping you to overcome mental roadblocks and difficult situations.

Who should wear peridot, spinel, and sardonyx?

Peridot, spinel, and sardonyx should be freely worn by anyone who wants to experience protection, extravagance, and courage.  Those who want to remind themselves of peridot’s protective qualities should wear the August gemstone. August’s peridot stone is a lively green hue linked to ancient tales of protection and healing. It was believed to guard against nightmares and bring the wearer power and influence. People who connect with the extravagance of spinel should don the birthstone. Spinel has been mistaken for ruby in historical jewels, lending it an air of royalty and mystique. It was believed to protect the owner from harm, reconcile differences, and have clear communication.

People who need to absorb sardonyx’s courage should wear the gem. Sardonyx is a symbol of strength and was worn by soldiers in ancient Rome for protection. The choice among these gemstones should resonate with your connection to their stories and the qualities they are believed to embody. Whether drawn to Peridot’s protective and healing aspects, spinel’s royal aura and safeguarding nature, or the courage and integrity symbolized by Sardonyx, your selection can reflect the traits and histories you find most compelling.