July 31, 2014

The Gemstone of August

By Eloise Graham

Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August. But what exactly is peridot and how do you pronounce it? Pronunciation: pear-i-dough or pear-e-dot with the accent on the pear. Either one is correct.

What it is seems to be a little more complicated. Peridot is a gem quality olivine. Olivine is a silicate mineral made up of magnesium, iron, silicone and oxygen. Specifically (Mg or Fe)2SiO4 for you chemistry buffs out there!

Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color, an olive/lime green. Whether there is a higher content on iron or magnesium doesn’t seem to alter the color very much. It still remains a hue of the olive, yellowish, lime green color. Other gemstones may have multiple colors depending on the content of some of the minerals. Topaz, most of us think as an amber or dark yellow gem, can also come in a brilliant aqua tone. Sapphire is not always the brilliant blue we think of. Sapphires can also come in a brilliant yellow, pink or red. But peridot is always a light, clear olive/lime green.

August has a couple of obscure national days, but we should celebrate them!

First is: August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day.

By proclamation by the President of the United States of America, Proclamation 5847 — National Senior Citizens Day, 1988.

On August 19, 1988 President Reagan started the proclamation with: “Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today, and gives us ample reason this year to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land. …”

Second is: August 26th is Women’s Equality Day.

This date commemorates the August 26, 1920, when votes to women became a part of the U.S. Constitution. To celebrate Women’s Equality Day, learn how Social Security treats men and women equally by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/women.

Filed Under: History