Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday's Trivia: Peridot and Sardonyx

Lucky August babies! There are two birthstones for this month and you get to choose:  peridot and sardonyx

About Peridot:   This beautiful  green stone is formed deep inside Earth and comes to its surface through volcanoes. It is sometimes called an evening emerald because it appears darker or greener in artificial light. Peridot has claims of being a host magical powers, healing and is said to bring the wearer power and influence.  The gemstone can be a bright lime green, olive green or even have a bit of brown to its color.


The other birthstone for August is Sardonyx. It is a form of onyx with layers of reddish brown and white. This stone was very popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans.  Romans soldiers thought this stone would bring courage and victory by wearing, into battle, a talisman engraved with images of heroes such as Mars or Hercules.  It is now often used in cameos (raised) and intaglios (opposite of cameos).

One of the most famous sardonyx stone was in a gold ring which was carved with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England.  The Queen gave the ring to the Earl of Essex as a token of friendship.  She told him that she would always be available to help him if he would but ask. Later, the Earl was imprisoned for treason and was sentenced to be beheaded. The Earl tried to send the ring to his Queen but instead the ring came into ownership by Lady Nottingham, whose husband was an enemy of the Earl of Essex.  The Queen allowed his execution because she thought that the Earl was too proud to ask for her help. Years later, the of Lady Nottingham  confessed on her death bed and the Queen learned the truth.  This left her heart-broken.


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