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What color is Virgo birthstone August?


The birthstone for the zodiac sign Virgo is peridot. Peridot is known for its beautiful green color, and it is the official birthstone for the month of August. So the Virgo birthstone color for August is green.

What is Peridot?

Peridot is a gem-quality variety of the mineral olivine. It is valued for its distinctive green color, with shades ranging from light yellowish-green to deep olive green. Here are some key facts about peridot:

  • Chemical composition: (Mg,Fe)2SiO4. Magnesium-rich olivine.
  • Color: Green. Ranges from yellowish-green to brownish-green to olive green.
  • Hardness: 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale.
  • Refractive index: 1.65 to 1.69
  • Sources: Arizona (United States), China, Myanmar, Pakistan

Peridot crystals form deep inside the Earth’s mantle and are brought to the surface by volcanic activity. Historically the gem was mined in Egypt and referred to as “topaz” or “topazion”. Today most peridot comes from Arizona in the United States.

History of Peridot

Peridot has been used as a gemstone for thousands of years. Here is some history and lore around this green gem:

  • Ancient Egyptians mined peridot on the island of Zabargad (St. John) around 1500 BC.
  • In ancient times, people believed peridot had the power to ward off evil spirits and nightmares.
  • Peridot was associated with the sun by ancient Romans, who believed it harnessed the sun’s energy.
  • In the Middle Ages, peridot was used by clergy to ward off sin and evil.
  • Napoleon used peridot to assure Josephine of his love and loyalty.

The earliest known source of peridot was the island of Zabargad in the Red Sea, known as the ‘serpentine island’ to ancients because of its peridot deposits. For centuries it was the only source of the gemstone.

August Birthstone

In the United States, peridot is designated as the August birthstone, along with spinel. This corresponds to the astrological sign of Leo.

Month Birthstone(s)
January Garnet
February Amethyst
March Aquamarine, Bloodstone
April Diamond
May Emerald
June Pearl, Alexandrite, Moonstone
July Ruby
August Peridot, Sardonyx
September Sapphire
October Opal, Tourmaline
November Topaz, Citrine
December Turquoise, Blue Topaz

So for those born in August, the glittering green peridot is their traditional birthstone.

Virgo Birthstone

In astrology, those born between August 23 and September 22 are born under the sign of Virgo. For these analytical, detail-oriented folks, peridot is considered their astrological birthstone.

Some key traits of Virgos include:

  • Practical and grounded
  • Excellent organizers
  • Hard workers with keen attention to detail
  • Reliable and dedicated
  • Reserved and introverted
  • Prefer skills and usefulness over fashion and trends

The green peridot is thought to align well with these earthy, stable traits. Its beautiful green vibrancy is said to provide healing and vitality to those born under this sign.

Peridot is not only the modern birthstone for August, but it has been attributed to the month of August for thousands of years, according to ancient Roman, Egyptian, and Hebrew calendars. So it has a strong tie to those born in this summer month.

Properties of Peridot

What makes peridot so special that it was chosen as the August birthstone? Here are some of the noteworthy properties of this lively green gem.


Peridot gets its distinctive green color from trace amounts of iron present in its chemical structure. The intensity and shade of green depends on the amount of iron. Stones from some localities contain enough iron to form a darker olive tone.


Peridot crystals are transparent to translucent. The best quality peridot gems have an even, clear green color without any inclusions or blemishes visible to the eye. Lesser material can have a cloudy or murky appearance.

Hardness and Durability

With a hardness of 6.5 to 7, peridot is relatively soft and can be prone to scratching. It should be worn with some care. But despite its softness, peridot is still quite durable due to its chemical composition. The gem is not subject to cleavage.


Peridot has a beautiful vitreous luster. The flashes of light refracting through clear peridot crystals allows their lovely green hue to sparkle and shine.

Refractive Index

With a refractive index of 1.65 to 1.69, peridot has significant sparkle and dispersive fire.

Peridot Lore and Legends

Throughout history many cultures have embraced myths and legends around peridot gems. Here are some interesting examples:

  • Cleopatra’s Love: According to one story, Cleopatra had tumble peridot gems into her drinks to test the loyalty of associates. The theory was that poisoned wine would not impact the gems, but toxic metals in the goblet might.
  • Heavenly Tears: An ancient Hawaiian legend stated that peridot gems were the tears shed by the volcanic goddess Pele. The peridot stones came from fine lava blown into the night sky and cooled into teardrop shapes.
  • Pirate’s Booty: Shipwrecked Spanish treasures containing peridot gems washed up on the island of Oahu around 1820. At the time, peridot was very rare in Europe and these fortunes opened up commerce around the gem.
  • Chance Discovery: The Apaches were unaware that the arid desert land they inhabited was full of riches. Their tilled soil brought buried peridot crystals to the surface, which they discarded unaware of their value.

Medieval Beliefs

During the medieval era, peridot was believed to hold unique powers relating to health, protection and luck. People developed lore around the gem’s abilities:

  • Wearing peridot was believed to protect against evil, nightmares and enchantments.
  • Set in gold, peridot was said to protect the wearer from the terrors of darkness.
  • Peridot supposedly had the power to ward off evil spirits that haunted the night.
  • Physicians used cups encrusted with peridot to suppress fears and follies.
  • Peridot was believed to strengthen both the eyes and mind.

While these properties are not founded in science, they show the strong mystical allure peridot had in ancient and medieval times.

Caring for Peridot

While peridot is relatively durable, some care should be taken when handling and storing it:

  • Protect peridot from sharp blows which can chip the gem
  • Store peridot separately to prevent scratches from other gems
  • Avoid large temperature changes which can cause fractures
  • Clean using mild soap, water and a soft brush
  • Avoid ultrasonic cleaners and steam cleaners
  • Keep away from acids like chlorine or hydrofluoric

While peridot is slightly softer than many gems, with proper care it makes very wearable jewelry. Its stunning green shades work well in almost any setting.

Value of Peridot

Fine quality peridot gems can be valuable, but small stones are abundant and more widely accessible. Typical pricing for faceted peridot is:

  • Fine stones 1-2 carats – $50 to $200 per carat
  • Gems 3-5 carats – $100 to $350 per carat
  • Over 5 carats – $300 to $500 per carat
  • Larger 10 carat stones – Up to $750 per carat

But be wary of bargains that seem too good to be true. Low prices may reflect inferior quality or even synthetic peridot. Genuine fine peridot has a lovely even green hue without brownish or yellowish tints.

How is Peridot Formed?

Peridot crystals form deep underground where magma cools slowly in the Earth’s mantle. Tectonic shifts bring the gems closer to the surface. Exact methods of formation include:

  • Molten Lava: Explosive volcanoes scatter magma containing peridot into the surrounding terrain.
  • Meteor Impacts: Space debris colliding with Earth can form peridot by altering existing rocks.
  • Erosion: Weathering and erosion over millions of years uncovers peridot crystals.
  • Plate Movement: Over long timeframes, shifting tectonic plates push peridot up from the mantle.

Most gem quality peridot is recovered by advanced mining operations. But some peridot crystals are still found scattered in streams or soils where weathering has naturally exposed them over long timeframes.

Where is Peridot Found?

Historically the island of Zabargad was the only source of peridot, but important deposits have been found worldwide:

  • United States – Arizona; New Mexico; Arkansas
  • China – Hunan; Jiangsu
  • Vietnam – Phan Si Pan region
  • Pakistan – Kashmir; Baluchistan
  • Myanmar – Mogok
  • Norway – Oslo region

Today, the United States is the largest producer of peridot gemstones globally. Both Arizona and New Mexico have abundant deposits locked in veins of igneous rock.

Notable Peridots

Some exceptional named peridots have been excavated over the centuries. These include:

  • The Great Chrysanthemum Diamond – A massive peridot mined in China and shaped into a flower, with a huge 398 carat brown diamond at the center.
  • Gallery Peridot – 277 carats, part of the Smithsonian Museum collection. Found in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
  • The Desmond Wetzel Peridot – 310 carats, set in anArt Deco ring, found in Egypt.
  • Zabargad Peridot – Buried as part of the Crown Jewels in Hanover, Germany. Originally mined in ancient Egypt.
  • Isaiah Peridot – More than 300 carats, one of the largest set in a church window in New York.

These famous large crystals hint at the size peridot stones can achieve. While most cut peridots are under 5 carats, some exceptional gems weigh 100 carats or more.

Synthetic Peridot

Real mined peridot can be expensive in larger sizes, so gem labs can produce synthetic peridot to meet demand. Synthetic versions have the same physical and optical qualities as natural peridot, but they can be sold for more affordable prices.

There are a few ways to distinguish real peridot from lab-created stones:

  • Natural inclusions in real peridot are absent from synthetic
  • Real peridot usually has some irregularities not found in synthetic
  • Advanced testing such as spectroscopy or microscopy can identify natural vs synthetic
  • Reputable sellers will disclose if a stone is lab-created rather than natural

The availability of synthetic peridot gives consumers access to this beautiful green birthstone at lower cost. But natural peridot from the Earth maintains prestige and value.

Other Green Gemstones

Peridot is the classic green gem, but there are some other green-hued gems that compete with the August birthstone:


Emerald is the prized green variety of the mineral beryl. Its verdant green is unparalleled, making it one of the four traditional precious gems. But fine natural emeralds are extremely scarce and costly.

Green Amethyst

Some rare amethyst has a naturally greenish hue. But most commercial green amethyst is produced by heat treating purple amethyst to shift the color towards green.

Green Tourmaline

Green varieties of tourmaline can mimic the green shades of peridot. But tourmaline lacks the glossy vitreous luster of peridot.

Green Garnet

Tsavorite, one of the many garnet varieties, can display a rich green color similar to emerald. But tsavorite lacks the subtle yellowish-green hues prized in peridot.

Green Quartz

Prasiolite is a naturally green variety of quartz, sometimes called green amethyst. Lower hardness and different luster distinguish it from peridot.

So while other green gems exist, none quite match the unique green majesty of the peridot birthstone.


In summary, the traditional birthstone color for the zodiac sign Virgo in August is green. Specifically the green mineral peridot, ranging from olive to lime hues. Its beautiful green tones, astrological significance, and affordability make it a fitting gem for those born under the sign of Virgo. Peridot’s long history spans from ancient Egyptian treasure to modern majestic gems. For those who love green, the dazzling peridot is a must. So those born in August are fortunate to call this verdant jewel their own.