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AUGUST BIRTHSTONE

Peridot is the modern gemstone, sardonyx is the traditional, diamond is the mystical, sapphire is the ayurvedic and jade is the alternate  gemstone for August.

Peridot is the accepted birthstone for August. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 16th year of marriage.  Peridot should be a lively lime green, without a brownish or olive cast.  Peridot is the child of volcanic action. Tiny peridot crystals are sometimes combed from the black sands of Hawaii.

Peridots were favored by pirates, considered powerful amulets against all evil, and when set in gold, were said to protect the wearer from the terrors of the night. They had medicinal uses, too. If fashioned into a chalice from which medicines were drunk, they intensified the effects of the drug.

Care should be taken to protect peridot from scratches, sharp blows, household chemicals and extreme temperature changes. Do not use a home ultrasonic machine for cleaning.  The peridot is abundant, and is available in larger sizes. It is found in Burma and the U.S.

The most important source of peridot in the world is the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation near Globe, Arizona, where it is mined by native Americans.  Large sizes are mined in Myanmar (Burma) and peridot is also found in China.

Two thousand years ago, in the Roman empire, peridot was called "olivine."  Italian peridot is olive in color. American peridot is a light yellow-green.  Anciently, large chunks of peridot were found in Hawaii. These large pieces found their way around to the Egyptians, who made small drinking vessels out of them. They were used in rituals, and the priests would drink soma from them. The soma would put them in touch with the nature goddess, Isis. The breast plates of Solomon and the high Priest Aaron were said to carry them among them 12 stones to protect them from wounds and death in battle. These 12 stones were credited with the showing of true spiritual teaching by creating miracles of healing performed by the high priests. Legend has it that King Solomon traded many cedar trees from Lebanon for 12 soma drinking cups and 144 liters of soma. The Egyptians made this trade for ramp logs to build their pyramids at Gisa. King Solomon was said to have been made wise and enlightened by the drinking of soma from the peridot cups.

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