The modern birthstone for August has always been the yellowish-green peridot....that is until now. The Jewelers of America established the modern birthstone list back in 1912 and has only added new gems to the list twice before. It was updated in 1952 to add alexandrite (June), citrine (November), tourmaline (October) and zircon (December) and again in 2002 when tanzanite was added as a birthstone for December.
Due to popular demand, this month they are adding one more: Spinel, a glassy gem that comes in colors ranging from red, pink, purple, orange, grey, blue and black.
A little about these two gems...
PERIDOT: Small crystals of Peridot are formed in fiery lava ,deep within the mantle of the earth and are brought the the surface by volcanic activity. Though peridot is rarely found in meteors which fall to earth, they are not large enough to be cut into gems. Peridot is treasured in Hawaii as the goddess Pele's tears. Wearing peridot is believed to instill power and influence in the wearer.
The intensity of color depends on the amount of iron present in a Peridot's chemical structure, the more iron it contains the deeper green it will be. The most desirable color of Peridot is deep olive-green with a slight yellowish tint.
SPINEL: The beautiful red spinel, a hard vitreous magnesium aluminium oxide, was once known as the 'balas ruby' and was highly prized by royalty. The most valuable spinel gems are vivid red, cobalt blue, bright pink and bright orange.
Natural spinel is slightly attracted to magnets due to its iron content. Some orange spinel contains chromium, which causes it to be diamagnetic (repelled by a magnet).
Spinel is good for those suffering from stress because it's considered to be a soothing stone with calming energy. It's also thought to encourage renewal and healing. Red spinel is thought to enhance vitality. Both green and pink spinel are said to encourage love and compassion.
Happy Birthday August babies :)