The traditional birthstone for August is PERIDOT, usually pronounced “perry-doh”. The gemstone quality version of the mineral olivine, this stone varies in color from shimmering, light gold-green, through refreshing zesty lime green to brownish-green. The color derives from the presence of traces of iron. Peridot has a long history of starring as a decorative stone. It is mentioned in the bible, under its ancient name of chrysolite, as being one of the stones set in the breastplate of Aaron, brother of Moses and High Priest of the Israelites. Jewelry set with peridots has been found in Egyptian tombs from the early 2nd millennium B.C. The stones mined at that time came from a deposit on a small volcanic island called Zabargad located in the Egyptian Red Sea near Aswan. The ancient Romans, too, enjoyed this gemstone with its radiant green shine which still shimmers and glows from within even in starlight or lamp light, hence its old nickname, “emerald of the evening”.
Peridot is associated with prosperity, growth, dignity and love, and the belief that it has the power to ward away evil and nightmares, bestowing calming peace. Lime green is a cleansing, healing color, and this is the gemstone associated with the 16th wedding anniversary.