What is the birthstone for August? The question is in fact more properly asked, what are the birthstones for August? There are all in all nine birthstones of August, the eighth month of the year. What are the different August birthstones? We explore in this article the 9 types of August birthstone.
- Modern: Peridot
- Modern-Britain: Sardonyx
- Traditional: Sardonyx, Carnelian, Moonstone & Topaz
- Ancient: Sardonyx, Carnelian, Alexandrite & Sapphire
- Tibetan: Diamond
- Indian: Ruby
Formerly known as chrysolite, peridot is the modern birthstone for August, both in Britain and in the United States of America. Before the gemstone became the August gemstone, peridot was the main zodiac stone for Libra, which falls partly in the month following August. Peridot is a transparent olive green stone, sometimes drawing very close to yellow. This August birthstone is believed to reduce stress and protect its wearer from negativity.
Wear a sardonyx or for thee,
No conjugal felicity;
The August-born without this stone,
`Tis said, must live unloved and lone.
— Gregorian birthstone poem
Sardonyx is an alternate modern birthstone for August in Britain, and was likewise the modern August birthstone in the U.S. beside peridot until 1912, when the banded gemstone was stricken off the list as August gemstone. Sardonyx is in fact the traditional birthstone of August, and was the ancient August stone in the old Polish and Arabic calendar. Before the gemstone appeared in these ancient calendars as gemstone for August, sardonyx was a zodiac stone for Leo, which falls partly in the month of August.
Sardonyx is the variety of onyx where the black bands are replaced by red, which is composed of sard or dark carnelian, hence the name sard-onyx. This stone for August is indeed an agate of white and red stripes. The August birthstone is believed to boost bravery. See also Sardonyx: Stone of Valor.
Carnelian is another traditional birthstone for August, and was the August birthstone in the old Roman, Italian and Hebrew calendar. Before the gemstone became the birthstone of August in these ancient calendars, carnelian was a zodiac stone for both Virgo and Leo, the two zodiac signs falling partly in the month of August. So close to sard in characteristics that their names are often confused, carnelian is the red variety of chalcedony. This August gemstone is believed to fuel passion and desire. See also Carnelian: Stone of Passion.
Alexandrite is the birthstone for August in the old Russian calendar. This August birthstone is a variety of chrysoberyl (called cat’s eye when yellow) that changes color between day and night. Crystals of chrysoberyl from Russia are known to shift from a shade of green during the day to a reddish hue at night.
Ruby is the birthstone for August in the Hindu calendar. This August birthstone is the red variety of corundum, which would be otherwise called sapphire if occurring in another color. The August gemstone is believed to boost courage and mental power.
Before ruby was the birthstone for August in the Hindu calendar, sapphire was the August birthstone in the old Hindu, also known as Ayurvedic calendar. This August gemstone is corundum occurring in a variety of colors except red, which would be called ruby, but is most popular for its deep blue crystals. Blue sapphire is specifically identified to be a zodiac stone for Virgo, which falls partly in the month of August. The August stone is believed to bring inner peace and counteract depression.
Diamond is the birthstone for August in the old Tibetan calendar. This August birthstone is most popular for its bright white crystals, though the gemstone occurs in a great variety of colors. This highly valuable August gemstone is believed to protect its wearer from misfortune. See —
Moonstone is another traditional birthstone for August. This August birthstone consists of alternate layers of orthoclase and albite, giving the gemstone the appearance of glowing from within. The August stone is believed to chase away anxiety. See also Moonstone: Stone of Security.
Topaz is still another gemstone recorded to be a traditional birthstone for August. This birthstone of August is a transparent gemstone most widely regarded as yellow in color during the Middle Ages. The August birthstone is believed to stimulate optimism and increase strength.
August Birthstone Color
What color is August birthstone? The birthstone color for August is rather not definite. If the august color has to be judged by the modern birthstone for August, peridot, then the August birthstone color would be green, specifically light green.
However, the alternate birthstone of August in Britain, sardonyx, which is also the traditional gemstone for August in the old Polish and Arabic calendar, is popular for its red bands. The other most widely accepted traditional stone for August, carnelian, which hails from old Roman, Italian and Hebrew calendar, is also red. It is apparent that red is the traditional August stone color. This is seconded by the Russian August gemstone, alexandrite, which is half the time red, as well as by ruby, the August birthstone in the Hindu calendar.
Of course, other colors are also seen among the birthstones for August. Sardonyx, moonstone and diamond are white; topaz is yellow; while sapphire occurs in all other colors beside red.
There is a new birthstone for August. Also, in an extensive research on birthstones, I discovered that one of the August stones was never actually prescribed for jewelry, but for a phallic symbol.
You can read about it, as well as the magical powers of all birthstones, in my book Power Birthstone.