August's Birthstone: Peridot
Presenting in rich green hues, Peridot is the perfect stone to represent the splendor of August. The Egyptian's called Peridot "the gem of the sun," and mined it on Zabargad, an Island in the Red Sea. Some Peridot, however, is even older than the Egyptians; it has been found in pallasite meteorites, leftovers from the birth of our solar system.
Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral olivine, and is found in peridotite rock in the Earth's upper mantle most regularly in volcanic rock. Magnesium and Iron are part of Peridot's chemical composition, but it is the Iron that gives Peridot it's attractive hue. At a 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, Peridot is reliable for everyday wear. It can fracture and chip over time without proper care.
The word "Peridot" comes from the Arabic "faridat," meaning "gem." When the Egyptians were mining Peridot on Zabargad, legend tells that the Island was infested with snakes, making mining difficult, until a pharoah drove them into the sea. Until proper identification was possible, Peridot was often confused with other stones, most notably Topaz.