Skip to content
August Birthstones: Peridot, Sardonyx, & Spinel

August Birthstones: Peridot, Sardonyx, & Spinel

When it comes to birthday gifts (or personal treats), birthstone jewelry is one of the most popular options. Many people enjoy the sense of connection they have with the gems, as well as appreciate their appearance.

Each month on the calendar is associated with at least one stone, though some are connected to two, or even three. If you want to learn more about the August birthstones, either for yourself or before you give August birthstone jewelry as a gift, here’s what you need to know.

What Is the August Birthstone?

Technically, there isn’t a single August birthstone. Instead, those born during the height of summer have three birthstones, just like June and December.

When most people think of the August birthstone, peridot is likely what comes to mind. However, sardonyx – a stone featuring layers of sard and onyx, each of which is technically chalcedony, a mineral – and spinel, a gemstone, are also birthstones for August.

If you are wondering about the August birthstone meaning, it varies depending on which gem you are discussing. Each of the August birthstones is potentially associated with different ones, and they can further differ depending on the belief system involved.

Sardonyx gemstone

The sardonyx meaning can include aspects of strength and protection. Some also think it promotes courage and balance. Due to some of the colors you find in the mineral, it can be associated with the base – or root – chakra, though it isn’t the most commonly cited stone for it.

For peridot, some think it’s connected to compassion, emotional balance, good cheer, and creativity. Due to its coloring, some relate it to the heart chakra, which can be represented by green or pink. As for the spinel meaning, certain belief systems connect it to hope and revitalization. At times, it’s associated with joy and inspiration.

As with all gemstones, it’s important to understand that any healing or meaning claims are largely unproven. There isn’t any evidence that wearing, holding, or meditating on a stone can improve one’s health or treat any condition. However, the risk of doing so is minimal, if not non-existent, so if wearing or holding a gem improves your mood, confidence, or demeanor, there’s likely no harm.

What Is the August Birthstone Color?

Peridot Birthstone

By Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Just like there isn’t a single August stone, there also isn’t only one color. Each of the birthstones for August has a distinct appearance.

Peridot is possibly the most widely known, mainly because its vibrant green hue is relatively unique. Generally, the color is described as a lime green, though some consider it more of a spring green, olive green, or various other shades of yellow-green.

Due to the peridot’s transparency, when cut, it may have glints of deeper greens or bright yellows, depending on the lighting and the angle. That can cause slightly different hues to emerge, possibly leading to some of the debate.

Additionally, certain pieces may have a bit more yellow or brown than others, causing variances in the stones’ looks. However, peridot is always some shade of bright green, as it comes in no other color.

The sardonyx birthstone color is highly varied. Since it’s made up of two types of chalcedony, it has a striped appearance, usually featuring hues like earthy beiges, brick reds, and creamy whites.

When it comes to the spinel birthstone color, it’s a bit more complex. Spinel comes in a range of colors, including reds, pinks, blues, violets, oranges, yellows, and browns. There are even clear and black versions of this transparent gemstone. However, the vibrant red versions are usually the most desirable.

Spinel Birthstone

By Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

August Birthstone Jewelry

August birthstone jewelry is easy enough to come by, and it is often reasonably affordable. Peridot isn’t the priciest gemstone, so you can find quality necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings that don’t break the bank. Typically, the pieces feature cut stones. However, you may find some designs that use cabochons or beads.

While sardonyx isn’t as commonly sought, and may not be available at chain jewelry stores at all, you can still find it with relative ease. Many craft jewelers use the stone, and it’s popular among people with New Age or similar spiritual beliefs, creating a primary market. In most cases, sardonyx is used for cabochons or beads.

Spinel is typically a cut gemstone and is available in a variety of jewelry designs. But that doesn’t mean cabochons or beads aren’t out there, just that they aren’t as widely used.

In some cases, you may even be able to find jewelry featuring more than one August stone. For example, some birthstones bracelet designs can include different gems together, allowing you to have several in a single piece.

Stones Similar to August Birthstones

Peridot’s color is a bit unique due to its traditional vibrancy. However, some stones may have a similar appearance at times. For example, certain green garnets may get close, as well as green chrysoberyl and prasiolite. At times, green diamonds and green sapphires could be viable alternatives, but their cost tends to be much higher than genuine peridot.

Sardonyx has a distinct layered look, and you usually have to go for the real thing if that’s what you’re trying to find. However, if you’re a bit flexible, there are a few stones that could work as substitutes. For example, red jasper or carnelian could capture the reddish hues you can find in sardonyx. Polish petrified wood may also work, as well as certain pieces of agate.

A slew of stones can resemble spinel, mainly because spinel comes in so many colors. Nearly any transparent gemstone is a possible stand-in, depending on the color you want to find. However, it’s most commonly confused with rubies and sapphires, though there could also be mix-ups between spinel, topaz, garnets, diamonds, and more.

Previous article Sardonyx Gemstone Information
Next article July Birthstone: Ruby