Everyone knows that each month has its own birthstone/s and many of you may know what they are. Those of you familiar with August’s birthstones are aware that peridot and Sardonyx represent the summer month, with the latter stone being the original birthstone and the former being added later on before becoming the month’s primary birthstone. What you may not know is that August is now joining June and December by being the only months with three assigned birthstones. The modern birthstone list was created in 1912 by the American National retail Jewelers Association (or the JA) and has only been through two changes in the past century. This latest change marks the third alteration ever made to the 104-year-old list.
Gemstone lovers who are fond of rubies and sapphires will take to spinel, as it is a stone that is often mistaken for those precious gems. Many famous rubies actually turned out to be spinel. Though the color can be very similar, the octahedral structure and single refraction set it apart from its precious superiors. Additionally, while both rubies and sapphires rank 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness (right after the diamond’s 10 ranking), spinel ranks lower. Spinel is mainly mined in Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. Red is the most desired color for spinel but the blue, pink, and orange varieties are popular as well.
Like all colored gemstones, the more intense the hue, the more intense the price. Therefore, you will get better deals on paler hues such as lavender, pale pink, and mauve. Spinel is considered better quality when there are no apparent inclusions. Oval, pear, cushion, square round, trillion, and octagon are some of the most common shapes for spinel.
Among the most famous spinel stones is the 170-carat red spinel called the “Black Prince Ruby” and the 398-carat red spinel, which is part of the Imperial Crown of Russia.
About Sardonyx and Peridot
Sardonyx and Peridot were the only two August birthstones until now, with peridot being the most popular choice. The first stone is a form of onyx and can easily be recognized by the reddish-brown and white layered banding. Popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans, it was worn in hopes of bringing courage and victory upon its wearers. Sardonyx is often used for forming cameos and intaglios. It is found all around the globe, primarily in India. Unlike Sardonyx, which is matte, Peridot is crystal-like and is believed to host magical powers. Peridot is mainly mined in Arizona but can also be found in China, Pakistan, and Myanmar. The colors range from yellow-green to brown, with the most desirable color being a bright lime or olive green.
Changes in the Birthstone List
The first change ever made to the birthstone list occurred in 1952 when alexandrite, citrine, tourmaline, and zircon were added. The second change took place in 2002 with the addition of tanzanite as December’s third birthstone after turquoise and Zircon. The addition of spinel to August marks the third official addition to the birthstone list.
While there is certainly something special to having a specific stone attached to one’s birth month, not every month is assigned a gem that appeals to those born during those specific four weeks. It is therefore very exciting to know that the birthstone list has another beautiful gemstone and that August babies have yet another stone to choose from, which may just match a little better with their personality.