August: the month of Peridot and Sardonyx

Thursday August 27th, 2015

Belief in birthstones and the qualities and characteristics which they bring the wearer, such as wisdom, courage and good health, has been renowned across the world since ancient times and it is a concept which is still popular today. At Haywards we believe birthstones can add colour, character and meaning to a piece, but which birthstone is significant to you? For those who are born in August you’re fortunate enough to have two birthstones: peridot and sardonyx.


So why are those born in August lucky enough to have both peridot and sardonyx as birthstones? One factor is due to changing traditions, but the most significant reason is the increased demand for birthstones. Due to their rarity and value birthstones were often difficult to obtain, as a result multiple birthstones were introduced for certain months, allowing more people the chance to acquire them. At Haywards we source all our gemstones specifically for each person, creating gifts which are unique to you and your loved one. Both peridot and sardonyx are beautiful gemstones, with very different colours, characteristics and history; which birthstone resonates with you and your loved one the most?

Nicknamed by the Ancient Egyptians ‘gem of the sun’, peridot comes in a variety of green colours with the most desired peridot colour being a pale green. The first known mining of peridot was by Ancient Egyptians over four thousand years ago from a deposit on a small island in the Red Sea called Zabargad. Those deposits have long been diminished and today peridot deposits are mined in Arizona, China, Myanmar and in the region of Kashmir, which is famous for producing peridots of a rich green colour. Throughout history peridot has been said to dispel evil spirits and protect the wearer from illusion, but in contemporary society it is associated with love and is known to be the perfect gift for a couple’s 16th anniversary. Peridot’s green colour is perfect to compliment a light summer wardrobe, as well as making any piece of jewellery including necklaces, pendants, bracelets, earrings and rings, dazzle.


Despite being a stark contrast to peridot, sardonyx is also an August birthstone, and is a form of onyx with red and white coloured bands rather than black. Throughout history its primary use has been in cameos, with it’s varying red and white coloured layers creating an interesting carving. A gemstone that has long been regarded as a stone of strength and protection, Ancient Greeks and Romans believed carrying sardonyx talismans into battle, engraved with heroes such as Mars or Hercules, guaranteed a glorious victory. Yet in Renaissance Europe people believed that sardonyx gave those making speeches eloquence and confidence. Today sardonyx is mined in many places across the world but it is widely acknowledged that India yields the most precious sardonyx, which is perfect in pieces of jewellery such as pendants and rings.

At Haywards we believe using birthstones is a brilliant way to add colour and personality to a piece of jewellery as well as giving it personal significance. As bespoke jewellers we provide design and practical advice but ultimately it is your choice; which unique birthstone will you choose to create a piece of jewellery which is stunning as well as meaningful to you or your loved one? Make an appointment by calling 2545-4400 or emailing and come into our studio on 233 Hollywood Road to start the bespoke experience now.