Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August Birthstones: Peridot, Sardonyx

If fire appears to leap from the vibrant green surface of the Peridot, this may be because this gem is formed as a result of volcanic activity. Many years ago, natives discovered Peridot crystals in the black sands of Hawaii, explaining their presence as tears shed by Pele, the volcano goddess. Throughout history, August's birthstone has been used as a means to connect with nature. Early Egyptian priests drank a stimulating beverage called Soma from cups made of Peridot, believing this practice to draw them closer to Isis, the goddess of nature.

Mojito Earrings

The name Peridot comes from the Arabic word "faridat," meaning gem. Ancient Egyptians called them the "gem of the sun," because of their dazzling brilliance when seen in the desert sun. It was believed that the Peridot glowed with light even as darkness fell, which is why miners were said to have scouted for these gems during the night, marking their location, and returning in the light of day to retrieve them. Perhaps this legendary mining method is the reason that the Peridot is sometimes called "evening emerald."

Chardonnay Grapes Earrings

Peridot is predominantly green in color due to the presence of mineral Olivine and iron. Within that color, though, they cover all the different shades ranging from a spring reminiscent light yellowish green to a much sought after deep velvety green. The golden yellow peridot is called Chrysolite, Olive green gemstones are called Olivine peridots and those that have a bottle green color are simply referred to as Peridot. Early mining for this gem was done on Saint John's Island near Egypt around 1500 BC. The green crystal was considered protective against evil and when set in gold, especially helpful against night terrors. It was ground to powder and used as a remedy for asthma and as a cure for thirst brought on by fever. Gem quality Peridot is found and mined in the United States (Arizona and Hawaii), Brazil, South Africa, St. John's island in Egypt, Norway, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Australia.

The force of nature is alive within a Peridot, making a gift of this gemstone symbolic of vitality. It signifies strength, both individual and within a relationship, as well as the promise of new growth in years ahead. It is associated with the heart chakra.

An alternate birthstone for August, Sardonyx is a variety of onyx which is a form of banded chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz or SiO2) or agate. The name sardonyx derives from the word ‘sard’ and ‘onyx’ relating to the striped or banded appearance of layers of white, grey or black interspersed with reddish brown. This stone was worn as a talisman by the Egyptians to protect against infections and evil. Today it is highly polished and carved into beautiful beads and cameos. Sardonyx is mined in India, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Brazil and Uruguay. Sardonyx is said to calm the mind, aid communication and promote happiness in marriage and relationships.


allhorsestuff said...

your ability to describe the facts of....anything, so beautifly, amazes me. Reading a rounded background of GEMS or Anything you deside to describe and feature, is so pleasurable and interesting! I do believe I may have gotten all A's in school...had YOU been my teacher!
This is my birthstone...and makes petfect sense to me. I CRAVE NATURE- !!!! Being on a creature, my mare, in the vast Oregon landscapes...makes me complete!
Thanks for all your wonderful sharing/research. You are perfectly suited for it, and we all benifit!

fernvalley01 said...

Just gorgeous!

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