August: Peridot


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For almost 2,000 years the original source of August’s birthstone was lost in the mists of history. In fact, the island of Zeberget, today called the Isle of Saint John, was literally lost in banks of fog off the coast of Egypt until the early 1900s, making the yellowish green peridot from the island so rare as to become the almost legendary.

In ancient times, mariners and pirates believed that peridot would glow in the dark whenever it was near buried treasure or hidden gold or silver ore. Medieval alchemists used peridot in amulets to protect the wearer from demons, but by Renaissance times, peridot had become a love stone, worn to attract romance. Eastern mystics recommended peridot to stimulate tissue regeneration. More common uses for peridot were to attract wealth and prosperity, or to ward off stress.

In this century, peridot has become the August birthstone, the 16th anniversary gem, and the zodiac stone for Leo. It has also been alleged to encourage a positive emotional outlook on life, to prevent fear or guilt, and to help develop patience.

Peridot takes a great polish, and it’s easy to match colors in the smaller stones for bracelets, necklace and earrings.