The practice of wearing a stone associated with your birth month is a popular and ancient tradition. Most gem scholars concur that this custom was originally inspired by the Breastplate of Aaron, which was set with twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel, also corresponding to the twelve months of the year, and twelve signs of the zodiac. Each stone was thought to have heightened influence during the time of the year to which it was attached, so many people collected all the stones, and wore them in successive order.
Wearing a single birthstone associated with the month you were born is a more recent custom, beginning several centuries ago in either Germany or Poland. The modern birthstone chart was not developed until 1912, when the National Association of Jewelers adopted the official list most people are familiar with today. Either list can guide you to a special piece of jewelry to celebrate the birth of a special someone.
Jewel of Havana carries jewelry featuring many modern and traditional birthstones, including ruby, amethyst, jasper, agate, opal, peridot, turquoise, and lapis lazuli. A birthstone ring, bracelet, necklace or pendant feels special to wear and makes a very personal gift, whether you purchase it for a friend, a loved one -- or for yourself!
Peridot, the August birthstone, has a long history adorning both people and famous architecture. Cologne Cathedral’s shrine to the Three Holy Kings is bedecked with 200 carat peridots. And some historians believe that Cleopatra’s notorious collection of emeralds may have actually been peridot instead. Originally mined on an island owned by Egypt now called Zabargad, in the Red Sea, peridot is also found in China, Tanzania, Myanmar, Vietnam, Pakistan, Norway, Australia and Arizona. Some of the most precious and beautiful specimens of peridot are currently coming from Kashmir.
Peridot was created in the early formation of the Earth. As the earth’s hot magma cooled to igneous rock, peridot came to be. It has also been found in meteorites that have fallen to Earth. Unlike many gemstones, peridot only comes in green -- though its color varies from light yellow to dark olive, and even brownish green. The depth of color is a result of the iron content in the stone.
Though peridot is very old, it is regaining popularity today. Jewel of Havana celebrates peridot in layering necklaces and earrings. With its vibrant green color, it’s the perfect compliment to a summer wardrobe. It is considered the stone of truth, faithfulness and loyalty. It’s energy has many positive effects, including bringing a sense of peace to the wearer, and helping to release ego, anger and jealousy. The person who wears peridot will be helped by its joyful energy in making and keeping friendships.
Care for your peridot the old fashioned way -- with warm, soapy water. Do not clean it in ultrasonic or steam cleaners. It is a relatively soft stone, and can be damaged by sharp blows or scratches. So, take care to protect it, and it will bring you many years of beauty and happiness.
Ana Maria Andricain
Ana is a metal clay certified artist creating handcrafted nature inspired artisan jewelry from her Baton Rouge studio. If you love natural gemstones and metal, welcome home!