The Gorgeous Green Peridot
Plus Diamonds, Agates, Sapphires and Carnelian
The Peridot is the stone most commonly thought of as the August birthstone. However, many people do not realize that there are also alternate birthstones that appear on modern, traditional, zodiac and ancient birthstone lists. If you are a woman looking for some variety in your birthstone choices, you might want to consider one of these alternative stones, which have been compiled by Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry. For August, their list includes these alternate birthstones: agates, diamonds, colored sapphires, and carnelian. What do we know about all these gorgeous stones?
What is a Peridot?
Compared with other gemstones, the peridot is unique because it only comes in one color … olive green. However, depending on how much iron is in the stone, the intensity of the color can vary from a pale yellow green to a darker brown green. The most valuable peridots are the ones that are dark olive green in color. Although their colors are slightly different, peridots are often confused with emeralds.
Peridots are mined in theUnited Statesin such diverse locations asNorth Carolina,Arizona,Hawaii,New MexicoandNevada. They are also found in other countries, includingAustralia,China,Brazil,Kenya,Norway,Saudi Arabiaand many others. Egyptian peridots were frequently used in antique jewelry.
According to the almanac, the peridot symbolizes strength. InHawaii, one of the locations where they can be discovered, it was once believed that the green peridots that were sometimes found with volcanic ashes were the tears of Pele, the goddess of the volcano. When a peridot is set in gold, the gem is thought to protect the wearer from nightmares.
Lovely jewelry can be made from this gorgeous stone, and it is available in a variety of jewelry stores as well as online sites like Amazon. (See the ads for birthstone jewelry at the end of this article.)
What are Agates?
Another possible birthstone for the month of August is the agate. Agates are made of crystalline silica, and are often found in locations with ancient volcanoes, including on theislandofCrete. Small agate stones may appear to be one solid color. However, larger stones are often striped or banded. Each stone is unique, which makes for interesting jewelry designs.
What are Diamonds?
Another alternative birthstone for August is the diamond. The word diamond comes from a Greek word which meant unbreakable. This is an appropriate name for this lovely gemstone, since it has the highest hardness score of any stone. Diamonds are made from carbon that has been put under intense pressure at high temperatures for thousands of years. However, scientists have learned to accelerate this process, and new synthetic diamonds are almost impossible to distinguish from natural stones without special equipment.
When most of us think of diamonds, we think of crystal clear stones. However, diamonds do come in other colors, and some of those colors have recently gained in popularity. Among the color choices are champagne (or chocolate) diamonds, as well as blue, pink, green and blue stones. Diamonds have long been prized as a precious stone. If you don’t own a diamond, and you want a birthstone that is a bit different than the peridot, you may want to give the diamond a try. (See the ads for birthstone jewelry at the end of this article.)
What are Sapphires?
Another popular choice in birthstones for August is the sapphire. Most of us commonly think of sapphires as coming in a deep, brilliant shade of blue. However, sapphires are also available in other colors, including pink, orange, green, purple and yellow. If you are looking for a particular color of birthstone, you might see what colored sapphires are available from your jeweler.
Sapphires are almost as hard as diamonds, which makes them ideal for use in jewelry. In fact, they are so hard that they are often found in rock formations, where they are able to survive unscathed because they resist erosion from softer stones. Like diamonds and many other stones today, synthetic sapphires are also available.
What is Carnelian?
Carnelian it is a reddish brown mineral that is often used as a semi-precious gemstone. It is much less expensive than natural diamonds, sapphires and other precious stones. Because it is a natural stone, the color can vary widely from pale orange to nearly black.
In ancientRome, carnelian was engraved with intricate patterns and often used in signet or seal rings that allowed the owner to seal his correspondence in wax with his own identifying design. It worked well, because hot wax will not stick to carnelian.
Today, carnelian is still sometimes used in rings and other jewelry. It can also be carved to create unique pendants.
Choosing the Best Birthstone for Your Loved One
What is the perfect birthstone gift for someone you care about? If you are purchasing a piece of jewelry for someone with an August birthday, and they asked simply for an item of birthstone jewelry, they are almost certainly expecting to get a lovely peridot. However, if they don’t absolutely love their traditional birthstone, you might suggest one of the alternatives. Perhaps a unique agate, a striking carnelian, a champagne colored diamond or a lovely colored sapphire might please them even more.
Where to Buy Birthstone Jewelry
While birthstone jewelry made from precious stones is available in any fine jewelry store, it may be more difficult to find items made of the semi-precious stones like agates and carnelian. In this case, you may need to order what you want from an online retailer like Amazon. You might also be able to find something unique from the online division of a big retailer like Zales.
Buying Jewelry Online
If you are purchasing a stone that is fairly consistent in color, such as a diamond, whatever you order online will almost certainly look very close to the item you receive. However, natural stones like agates, carnelian, colored sapphires and peridots can vary from stone to stone. Consequently, you need to expect the item of jewelry you receive to look a bit different from the item displayed on the website. As long as it arrives in good condition, appreciate the uniqueness of your stone, and relish the fact that no one will ever have one exactly like yours!
Source for alternate birthstone selections: bernardine.com/birthstone
Source for information about specific stones: wikipedia.com
Source for photos of finished birthstone jewelry: amazon.com
Source for meaning of peridots: http://www.almanac.com/content/birthstones-and-their-meanings
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