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How to Add August Birthstones & Birth Flowers to Your Wedding

August has 5 birthstones and birth flowers which gives you oodles of opportunities to include these in your wedding! Read on to find out about these unique gems and flowers!

Newlyweds in the grove at the Ainsworth House

Hey, Christie!

David and I are getting married later this year at Ainsworth House & Gardens! We are so excited!!!

Thank you for all the help you’ve given us in planning our special day! You are the best!!!!!

OK, could you help me with one last question?

On our wedding bands, each of us will have a center diamond flanked by smaller (5 or 10 pt. stones) of our parents’ birth gems to honor them. I have found my mom’s December birthstones of turquoise, blue zircon, and smoky topaz but I can’t find much on my dad’s birthstones. He was born in August. Could you help me?

Thanks!

–Kay, Confounded in Canby, Oregon

Hey, Kay!

You two are such a joy to work with! We are so happy you selected Ainsworth House & Gardens for your wedding!

You came to the right person to ask about August: Like your dad, August is my birth month too! It’s a fabulous birth month!

What is the history of August?

When renaming July and August for themselves, Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar each filched a day from February so that their months would be longer!

 
Newlyweds holding hands at Wedding Event
California Poppy

What are the birthstones for August?

  • Peridot

  • Spinel

  • Sardonyx.

What are the birth flowers for August?

  • Gladiolus

  • Poppy.

 

August Birthstones: Peridot, Spinel, Sardonyx.

Peridot

The peridot is a paradox: Formed under the most extreme pressures and locations, peridot is mined from meteorites which crash into the Earth’s crust and from rivers of molten lava roaring  from deep within the Earth up to the surface. Whether you are looking at peridot from the depths of unexplored outer space or the depths within the Earth’s mantle, peridot is a fabulous choice for your rings!

Peridot from PriceScope.com
peridots

Colors of Peridot

The gem is often a gorgeous translucent yellowish green or greenish yellow with grass green peridots being the most valuable.

Because of its green color, peridot is often confused with emerald and topaz.

How was “peridot” named?

On the Red Sea island of Topazios, peridot is found.  The Arabic word, “faridat” meaning “gem” is the root word for what we call “peridot.”

Quick facts about peridot:

  • The peridot has been highly valued since ancient times. As early as the second century B.C.E., peridot shone in priests’ vestments and adornments.

  • Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, thought she had an extensive collection of emeralds. In reality, they were peridots!

  • In medieval times, peridot decorated churches and chalices throughout Europe.

Gem 2000: peridot
  • In Cologne, Germany’s cathedral, there is a shrine to the Three Holy Kings. For many years, people thought that the 200 carats of gems decorating the shrine were elegant emeralds. Surprise! Those gems are beautiful peridots!

  • About 80-95% of today’s supply of peridot comes from the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona. Buried within the rivers of cooled lava from innumerable extinct volcanoes, peridot is mined!

  • If you celebrate your Peridot Wedding Anniversary, you’ve been married 16 years!

  • Peridot Beach, Hawaii, is named because the sand shimmers in the loveliest shade of peridot green!

peridots

How was peridot used? What does it mean?

For centuries, peridot was used as a protective talisman.

People wore the stone in jewelry or carried small stones in their pockets to give themselves strength.

At night, it was placed near the sleeper to shield the person from “terrors of the night” and other malcontent, evil spirits.

Peridot symbolizes or means love, loyalty, faithfulness, and truth.

Spinel

In deep red, spinel is often mistaken for ruby. Less expensive than a ruby, savvy consumers often opt for a larger spinel.

How was “spinel” named?

“Spinel” is derived from the Latin word, “spina,” meaning “thorn” and refers to the shape of spinel’s crystals.

red oval Spinel (Sarosi by TimelessGems.com)
oval pink Spinel GoldBirdJewels.com

Colors of Spinels

Spinels come in many of the colors of the rainbow including delicate pink, vibrant red, intense orange, brilliant blue, tantalizing teal, enchanting violet, and rich purple. 

 

What does a spinel symbolize?

Devotion, great passion, and longevity

It was thought that a red spinel could promote harmony by alleviating anger.

How did the ancients use spinels?

Red spinels were used to treat blood or  inflammatory diseases.

Quick facts about spinels:

  • A spinel is the traditional gift to someone celebrating their 22nd. wedding anniversary.

  • Spinels are found today in Pakistan, Tajikistan, Viet Nam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. In certain parts of the world, newly mined spinels are so lustrous that the gems are called “spirit polished.”

MoreGems.com blue Spinel necklace set in gold

Like peridot, which was confused with emeralds, the spinel has been confused with the ruby.

One famous misidentification of spinel dates back to 1367 and the underpayment of a huge debt.

Edward, the Black Prince of England, earned the nickname because the armor he wore into battle was black instead of the usual silver color.

How did Edward get a 170 carat red gem?

Edward was quite a warrior and he won a battle fighting for Peter, king of Castile. In gratitude, Peter paid him with what the Spanish king called a ruby…a large 170 ct. deep red ruby which had been owned by a number of Moorish sultans and Spanish kings in the past.

Not so fast, Sneaky Pete, it’s not a valuable ruby: In the 1700s, the gem was re-classified correctly as a spinel.

Where can you find it today? The deep red gem is set in Great Britain’s Imperial State Crown! You’ll have to go to the Tower of London to get a gander at the crown.

Sardonyx

Dating back more than 4,000 years, the sardonyx was the original birth gem for August.

Why is some sardonyx striped?

Sardonyx is a combination of two stones: sard (which is dark orange to brownish red or brown) and onyx, a black or white stone.

Sardonyx often has layers (or stripes) of white or black with dark orange or brown.

Sardonyx Kappy;s Fine Jewelry
CapeCodCrystals.com green sardonyx

How did the ancients use sardonyx?

Ancient Roman soldiers wore sardonyx rings with the carved image of Mars, the god of war, to protect them during battle.

What does it mean?

Sardonyx represents courage, the strength of spiritual life, happiness, and clear communication which brings stability to married couples and business partners. 

Where is sardonyx found?

India, United States, Brazil, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

Quick facts about Sardonyx:

  • Since hot wax didn’t stick to sardonyx, it was a popular choice for ancient Roman seals and signet rings.

  • In the Bible, sardonyx was one of the gems selected to adorn the High Priest’s breastplate.

  • Dating back to ancient times, the bands of color in sardonyx made it popular for carefully carved cameos and intaglios.

green sardonyx stones Cape Cod Crystals
red gladiolus Pixabay

August Birth Month Flowers: Gladiolus & Poppy

Gladiolus

Like July’s birth flower, larkspur, the gladiolus is a tall flower with a vibrant pop of color.

Colors of glads:

 Blooming in white, yellow, pink, purple, and sometimes a rather interesting shade of green, glads are incredibly gorgeous. With their generous size, it takes very few glads to make an extraordinarily strong floral, joyful summer statement.

Native to southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa, there are over 300 species of this flower.

How was the name “gladiolus” derived?

In Latin “gladius” means “sword.” 

It is the root word for both of  our English words “gladiator” and “gladiolus.”

The flower’s name refers to its shape which looks like a sword. 

For this reason, it is often called “the sword lily.”

Fun fact: Roman gladiators wore flowers around their necks during competition; the winners were covered in glads thrown adoringly by the crowd.  

We think this was the look Russell Crowe was going for in Gladiator.

Just kidding…

 

pink gladious from Pixabay
gladiolus vase PXBY

What does a gladiolus mean? 

Love, love at first sight, faithfulness, strength, positive moral character, intelligence, victory, healing, honor, and remembrance.

Specific colors have specific meanings:

  • White—purity and innocence

  • Yellow—joy and friendship

  • Pink—compassion

  • Red—romance, love, passion

  • Purple—beauty and good fortune.

Quick facts about glads:

  • In Victorian times, some thought a gladiolus could pierce a person’s heart with love. (We think it was actually the chocolates that came with the flowers…)

 

  • In the mid-1700s, the first South African glads were brought to Europe. In the early 1800s, the British began enthusiastically cultivating the flowers to develop fresh flowers perfect for English gardens.

  • By 1910, glads had become so popular in the US that the American Gladiolus Society formed in Boston.

  • For a 40th. wedding anniversary, the glad is the traditional gift.

Poppy

How was the name “poppy” derived?

From the Latin, “pappa” meaning “milk,” the poppy derives its name. Mystified yet? The name relates to the fact that when cut, certain poppies produce a white, milky substance.  

What does a poppy mean?

Remembrance, peace, sleep

It is thought that poppies will help you remember fondly those who have passed.

Where do poppies grow naturally?

Poppies flourish in the temperate climates of North America, Eurasia, and Africa. In California, fields of blooming poppies brighten the land each spring.

 
California Poppy
California Poppy

What are some popular species of poppies?

  • California Poppy in orange, yellow, and white.

  • Iceland Poppy in white, yellow, orange, and pink. 

  • Oriental Poppy has black center with a dramatic color on the petals’ edge (white, pink, red, or orange).

Quick facts about the Poppy:

  • The glorious orange California Poppy is the state flower of California. (With that name, it would make no sense if it was the state flower of another state such as Maine).

  • In ancient Greek mythology, the poppy was sacred to Demeter, goddess of agriculture. Blooming poppies were a sign that there would be an abundant harvest.

  • “In Flanders Fields,” a poem written in 1915 by John McCrae, remembers the  sacrifice of those who fought in World War I.  Nine years ago, artists created over 888,000 ceramic red poppies to honor those who died. These were installed in the moat of the Tower of London. 

California Poppy
red poppy PXBY
  • A red poppy is often worn on November 11 (Remembrance Day) in the United Kingdom by those honoring military personnel killed during war.

  • In 1920, the American Legion adopted the red poppy as its the official flower. Members  distribute paper poppies around Memorial Day to raise funds to support active-duty military members and veterans.

Any of the August birthstones could be added to your rings or other jewelry.

Any of the August birth flowers could be included in your bouquets, floral arrangements, or corsages/boutonnieres.

If you have any other questions, please reach out to me.

Your friend in the wedding business,

Christie Shyne

Yellow Iceland poppy Pixabay

Title image is courtesy of Pexels.com.

The wedding images are from the Ainsworth House & Gardens  Wedding Gallery on our website. 

California poppy images are courtesy of Pixabay.com. 

Single peridot image courtesy of PriceScope.com. 

Multiple peridots photo courtesy of Pixabay.com.

Round peridot image courtesy of Gems 2000. 

Red spinel image courtesy of Sarosi by Timeless Gems.

Pink spinel image courtesy of Moriarty’s Gem Art. 

Blue spinel necklace image couresy of Moriarty’s Gem Art. 

Orange sardonyx stones image courtesy of Kappy’s Fine Jewelry.

Two images of green sardonyx are courtesy of Cape Cod Crystals. 

Gladiolus and poppy photos are all courtesy of Pixabay.com.

 

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