August's Birthstones – Peridot and Sardonyx

August has two pretty birthstones: the modern birthstone for August is Peridot, a soothing green volcanic gemstone, and the traditional August birthstone is sardonyx.

Tiffany & Co.'s Gregorian Birthstone Poem, published in 1870, has this to say about August's traditional Sardonyx birthstone ...

"Wear a sardonyx or for thee,

No conjugal felicity;

The August-born without this stone,

`Tis said, must live unloved and lone."

Peridot became the modern birthstone for August in 1912 following discussion amongst the members of the American National Association of Jewellers, who wanted an excuse to boost sales of more expensive gemstones.

What is peridot?

Peridot is the gemstone quality variant of the mineral olivine, a beautiful yellow-green crystal formed deep beneath the earth's surface. Most peridot found on earth made its way to the surface in volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, but some arrived here in pallasite meteorites (see image below), which scientists believe may have been formed from an extinct planet that once orbited between Mars and Jupiter.