August Birthstone – What is August Birthstone (Peridot)

August is not all that eventful of a month for many people. Unlike months such as February or July, which are home to special occasions that everyone knows about, August really doesn’t have any sort of fun event during this time of the year for everybody. It is in this seemingly average month, though, that the birthstone Peridot is found.

Peridot is an exotic gemstone that nearly doesn’t get as much attention as its gemstone siblings. Read on to find out more about this unique gemstone and why you should care about it.

August Birthstone Peridot

What is a Peridot?

Peridot, or chrysolite, is a gemstone that is a variant of a mineral known as olivine. Olivine is the most common component of the Earth’s upper mantle, so it isn’t really all that rare. Peridot is an exception, though, as it is much richer in magnesium than most olivine. Peridot is also one of only two gemstones that form below the Earth’s crust. Almost every other gem can be found within the boundaries of the Earth’s crust.

To add to the Peridot’s exotic nature, gem-quality Peridot is incredibly difficult to find due to how easy it can wear off, particularly during transportation from the Earth’s mantle back up to the crust. This makes each Peridot that much more valuable, as all available Peridot has managed to reach the surface relatively unscathed.

Another interesting factoid regarding the Peridot is that the gem is one of the few that actually only come in one color. As we’ve already learned with other birthstones, gems can come in many different colors depending on the elements that are found in the crystal. For Peridot, however, you can only really find it in its signature olive green color. There have been cases where Peridot has appeared with a fuller green than usual, though those exceptions are few and far between.

Peridot is so exotic that samples of the gem have even been collected from pallasite meteorites. It’s also interesting to note that Peridot was discovered very early on, which is surprising for a rock that’s mostly found deep within the Earth’s mantle, unlike most other gemstones. The Peridot truly is the unique gemstone of the twelve birthstones in many aspects.

What does Peridot Signify?

The Peridot is, physically, incredibly unique. But is its symbolic meaning any special? In fact, it is. Since the dawn of human civilization, the Peridot has been used for one primary purpose – healing. You can find records of its use dating thousands of years in the past that detail the ability of Peridot to offer healing and fertility for the user.

A great example of this would be Egyptian records that listed Peridot as a mineral sent from a star in space and carried healing properties. Because of this, Peridot is listed as the country’s national gem and is known locally as the “Gem of the Sun.”

Another well-known use of Peridot was as a good-luck charm or nightmare protector. The Peridot was fixed on gold to amplify the protecting aura on the user so they would have sweet dreams during the night. Similar to how ancient Greeks believed pearls to be the solidified tears of joy of the goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, it was once believed that Peridot was the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. Despite being only in one color, Peridot is often mistaken for emerald due to both sharing similar green hues. Historians had noted how religious treasures, for example, have been confused for emeralds when they were, in fact, Peridot.

Finally, it is believed that those who wore Peridot were blessed with prosperity and good fortune. The gem was challenging to come by in the past, so owning one was a symbol that even more incredible things were yet to come in the future.


Despite not being nearly as popular as something like diamond or emerald, Peridot makes up for its lack of popularity with its unique makeup and nature. It’s an exciting gemstone indeed, with exotic properties that separate it from any other birthstone. Peridot can be hard to come by, but if you are able to get your hands on one, be prepared to enjoy the benefits of prosperity and healing, and fertility.