A common problem I've encountered over my past decade in jewelry is when someone wants to wear their birthstone, but doesn't like the one for their month. I've decided to go month by month and offer solutions to the common problems for each birthstone. Of course, I'm starting with the most difficult month! August! Peridot!
Well, here she goes...
Meet Peridot. You can correctly pronounce her "pear-a-doe" or "pear-a-dot," but I've heard more people say it "doe" and more people cringe at hearing "dot," but either is actually correct.
A few more fun facts about peridot:
- It only comes in 1 color: shades ranging from greenish yellow to green (an uncommon characteristic for a gemstone, a quite a limiting factor for it as a birthstone, so we're going to have to get creative!)
- Mohs scale: 6.5-7 makes this a fairly soft stone. It will get scratched if worn in a ring, it also chips easily. You'll want to protect it with a proper setting.
- It's found in meteorites! (Check out these wild examples!)
- Its mineral name is olivine.
- Peridots not from meteors were formed inside the earth and came to the surface from volcanoes.
- Only 2 gemstones are formed deep inside the earth: diamonds and peridots!
- Some peridots are over 4.5 billion years old! As old as our solar system!
SO! What do you do if you're born in August, you want to wear your birthstone, and you don't wan't to sport a bright green gemstone?!
Well... If you want to stick to peridot, it's going to be a green stone, but I have a neat trick for you! Have you ever noticed how the deeper water is, the darker? Peridot does the same thing! If you have small, and low color quality (3mm round or smaller) peridots, you might not even see the green. It will be very pale. Keep this in mind with peridot! If you want a small green stone, peridot would not work well for you and I would suggest tsavorite garnet, green tourmaline, or emeralds. BUT! If you want to wear peridot and skirt around the bright green color, get a piece with a handful of small peridots in it and you might not even notice! Or! Get a "low quality" pale peridot and the bright green will be much more subtle.
Another fun idea! Try mixing peridot with other gemstones to play down the green. I love the way the bright green looks so refreshing next to some blue topaz! Or try mixing it up peacock style with some purple amethyst and blue topaz!
My favorite metal to set peridot in is oxidized sterling silver, and for an even better twist add some yellow gold accents! I haven't yet set peridot in rose gold and I don't know that I would suggest it, but yellow gold brings out the more yellow sparkles and white gold or bright silver will let the truest color of the stone show through.
I really LOVE the way the oxidized silver brings out the gold!
August does have some alternate birthstones, but I wanted to give you a creative option with the traditional stone first! Recently, people have been using sardonyx and spinel as an alternative route for peridot-disliking August babies. Sardonyx is a red a white chalcedony, opaque and quite different from peridot. Spinel comes in a wide range of colors and qualities, giving you a rainbow of choices compared to peridot.
In all honesty, though, if you're wanting to wear your birthstone and you utilize one of the alternatives for August, I can't see anyone recognizing it. Spinel and sardonyx are used in all kinds of jewelry and I've yet to see one used as a birthstone piece, and I've worked with both stones several times.
Like I said, August is a tough one. There's only 1 traditional birthstone and it has the uncommon trait of only coming in 1 color. Since peridots are found in meteors, I see a fun and non-traditional alternative here! Don't want to be too traditional? Wear a meteor instead of a peridot! It would also strike up interesting conversation! I visited the Tellus Museum in Cartersville, Georgia and saw the coolest slice of meteorite embedded with so much peridot that it looked like stained glass!
If you didn't find the solution to your August birthstone dilemma above, you can follow my favorite advice: wear what you love and make it yours! You don't have to stick to any rules concerning birthstones. I've met so many people that won't wear a gemstone because it isn't their birthstone, but that is pure madness! Go for what you gravitate towards! It's always fun to learn about gemstones, and if your birthstone is peridot, I think it's a good idea to know a few fun facts about it, and it might even change your mind about it! It isn't my birthstone, but I want to make myself a piece with a peridot in it after reading this!