August Birthstone: Peridot


August Birthstone: Peridot is not the first official gemstone of August, as the original gem for August was Sardonyx. When Peridot was added, its beauty and allure made it August's primary birthstone.

The origin of the name "Peridot" is unclear, although scholars believe it is derived from the Arabic word for gem, "faridat". Others believe it is derived from the Greek word "Peridona", which means "giving plenty". This may be why peridot is associated with prosperity and good fortune.

Peridot is the gem-quality of the mineral olivine, which forms in the earth's mantle, rising to the surface through volcanoes, manifesting itself in meteorites.

The signature color of peridot comes from the mineral's composition, not from trace impurities like many other gems, explaining why it basically comes in one color. If the amount of iron is elevated or decreased, peridot can appear a yellowish-green, to olive, to brownish-green hue.

Peridot mainly comes from Arizona, more specifically the San Carlos Reservation, on which the Apache tribe dwells.

Because of an estimated 80-95% of the world's supply of peridot being mined on this Reservation, people born in August find affordable options to wear their stunning and unique green birthstone.

The gem is also mined in Arkansas, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico. Internationally, peridot is found in Australia, Brazil, Burma, China, Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.

Peridot Has a Worldwide History

Peridot jewelry can be traced back to 1000 B.C. During this time, ancient Egyptians called this stone "gem of the sun", believing it would protect them from terrors of the night. Egyptian priests claimed the peridot harnessed the power of nature and implanted it in goblets to communicate with their gods of nature.  In Egypt, peridot was found on the volcanic island of Topazios.

Cleopatra was known for her fascination with gemstones. When visiting nobility left, Cleopatra gifted them large Emeralds with an image of herself carved into them, or what she thought were Emeralds...

Many historians believe Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection may have actually been peridot!

Through the medieval era, people continued to confuse emeralds and peridot.

This gemstone saw a revival in the 1990s when new deposits were discovered in Pakistan, producing some of the finest peridots ever found. Some of these “Kashmir peridots” measured more than 100 carats.

Peridot in the 21st Century

In Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the volcano goddess Pele, who is said to control the flow of lava.

Peridot only measures 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, meaning when raw, it's prone to cracking during cutting. When finished, the gemstone is robust and easy to wear and care for.

The peridot is known as "the Evening Emerald" according to the American Gem Society, because the sparkling hue of the gem illuminates an outfit any time of the day, including nighttime, respectively.

Peridot is said to carry healing properties that protect against evil and nightmares, bringing peace and happiness to those who wear it. Under this belief, babies born in August are guarded by the good fortune of the peridot.

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Ruby: The King of Gems - July Birthstone

The July Ruby

The birthstone of July is the ruby. Because of it's deep red color, the ruby is associated with the energetic vitality of blood. This gem is believed to amplify high self-esteem, heighten intuition, and promote passion, love, emotion, and courage. For centuries, the ruby has been regarded as the "King" of all gems, and is still the most valued gemstone. The mystical hue of the ring is the most prominent feature, which can range from full red to purplish, bluish, even orange-tinted.

Rubies are a type of corundum, a rock-forming mineral with a crystal form of aluminum oxide. Sapphires are closely related to rubies--they are also a form of corundum, but they have titanium and iron in their composition--however, the creation of natural rubies is ambiguous because their exact composition cannot be traced.

The Ruby in History

The word "ruby" comes from the Latin word "rubier", meaning "red".

Rubies were valued in many Asian countries and have been traded since 200 B.C. on China's North Silk Road. Regarded as a gemstone that provided protection, Chinese noblemen embedded rubies in their armor. Rubies were also buried under the foundation of buildings by the Chinese to ensure good fortune. Civilians in India believed rubies could help them find peace with their enemies. Ancient Hindus offered rubies to their god Krishna in hopes to be reborn as emperors. The Bible mentions "the price of wisdom is above rubies". Greek folklores say the warmth of the ruby could melt wax. In Myanmar (Burma), a rich source of rubies dating back to 600 A.D., rubies were believed to bring invincibility to warriors who would implant them in their skin before entering a battle. The ruby was also one of the most precious stones of European royalty. During the Medieval era, Europeans wore rubies for wisdom, health, wealth, and success in love.

The Ruby as a Wedding Symbol

Rubies are becoming an increasingly popular engagement and wedding gem. Those who prefer to adorn this precious symbol of passionate love or those who have a vintage style will forever cherish a ruby engagement ring.

In the picture below, Eva Longoria's engagement ring from 2015 is a beautiful classic design--a round ruby surrounded by diamonds.

Ruby engagement rings are a durable, nontraditional, and romantic choice for those who are drawn to the purity, depth, and meaning of the gem. Since the 17th century, rubies have been paired with diamonds to symbolize love and eternity. Having a strikingly red stone that highlights the love shared between two partners is unique, significant, and a natural symbol of what is shared between partners.

Pigeon Blood Ruby

The name "Pigeon Blood Ruby" is derived from Burma, and comes from the idea that the "perfect" ruby is the same color as the first two drops of blood from the nose of a pigeon that has been killed. The people of Burma referred to these gems as "ko-twe" in their native language, Burmese. Others claim that the "perfect" ruby is the exact color of the pigeon's iris, or the colored center of their eye surrounding the pupil.

The color of these gems was defined very recently. All rubies are red, but have secondary hues that make them not "visually pure" by definition. To be officially deemed a ruby, some sources claim the gem must be at least 51% red. To be considered a Pigeon Blood Ruby, the gem must have undertones achieved by setting a purplish-red ruby in yellow gold so the blue undertones are cancelled, achieveing an intensely red hue. According to the Gemresearch Swisslab AG, on a scale of 1 to 4, Pigeon's Blood Rubies are rated as a 3, or a robust and vivid red hue.

At Boston Designer Jewelry Imports, we have sterling silver ruby Fleur-de-lis dangle earrings. Click on link for more information:

Boston Designer Jewelry Imports