The Folklore of Sardonyx

Sardonyx combines alternating layers of sard and onyx to create a reddish zebra-striped gemstone with white bands. It is one of three of August’s birthstones.

sardonyx gemstone

Used as a stone of strength and protection in ancient times, sardonyx is associated with courage, happiness, and clear communication. Ancients believed that placing a sardonyx gemstone at each corner of a house would grant protection against evil.

Amulets and talismans made of sardonyx were thought to give the wearer a boost of energy. Ancient Romans would carve Mars—the god of war—or Hercules into the gemstone to promote courage.

Sardonyx was used in the Middle Ages to counteract the supposedly negative effects of onyx. It was believed that the latter gemstone brought out anxiety, sadness, and anger—and even demons. They felt sardonyx could balance it out.

Religious texts also reference sardonyx. For example, it’s used as the first foundation stone in the walls of New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation.

Legend has it that sardonyx can help with depression, willpower, and confidence. It can help one find integrity, meaning, and happiness. Those who practice yoga have found it helps with meditation.

If you’re looking for sardonyx jewelry for yourself or for someone with an August birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of sardonyx and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Peridot

Peridot—one of three August birthstones—is a lime green stone that has many links to nature. It has often been confused with topaz and emerald.

Peridot jewelry, include silver earrings, a necklace on silver chain, and two rings displayed on white acrylic desk

Legends have connected this gemstone to the sun, believing that it brought energy and happiness to the owner. In Oahu, Hawaii, small pieces of peridot wash onshore near volcanic areas. This gemstone is made of olivine, which is found in lava rocks. Ancient Hawaiian folklore told stories of the gems being tears from the goddess of elements, Pele. In fact, sometimes when it rained, the gemstones will fall from the sky.

In ancient Egypt, Cleopatra loved peridot for its beauty. She also believed it could keep dark, evil spirits away. Egyptian priests believed that it harnessed the power of nature, so they used goblets encrusted with peridot to commune with their nature gods.

In ancient times, people believed that peridot was brought to our world by a sun’s explosion—and they weren’t far off. Some peridot crystals have been found in rare pallasite meteorites that are 4.5 billion years old.

German occult writer Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa said in the early 1500s if you held peridot to the sun, a golden star would shine from it to heal any respiratory ailments. Apothecary shops kept the gemstone in powdered form to use as an antidote to insomnia, bleeding, madness, and nightmares. It was also believed to help with a range of other things, from improving memory to easing labor and birth.

For thousands of years, peridot beads and talismans were worn for protection and to promote love, happiness, and wealth. When paired with gold, they believed the effects intensified.

If you’re looking for peridot jewelry for yourself or for someone with an August birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of peridot and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.