August Birthday Babes: Do You Know the Crazy-Cool Place Your Birthstone Comes From?

If you count August as your birthday month, you already know about the fabulously pale green peridot that you claim as your birthstone (and P.S.—happy birthday!). The soft color hides a steely beginning though: “They come from volcanoes and meteorites,” jewelry designer Jennifer Alfano explained to me. “In Hawaii, the peridot represents Pele, the goddess of volcanoes and fire. Today most of them come from Arizona though.”

Jennifer Alfano Petite Greek Key Pendants, $1,375,

If wearing birthstone jewelry reminds you of your elementary-school days, stop: It’s totally chic. “They’ve been relegated to ‘cute,’ but what’s cute about a peridot set in 18-karat gold, or a sapphire or ruby for that matter?” she asked. “They’re gorgeous, beautiful gems that we use in other jewelry. I like to mix them with other pendants or charms on a necklace.”

Whether it’s your birthday month or you just like the stone, Jennifer suggests wearing them with specific colors to really make the color pop. “[Peridots] are such a clear color, they’re nice with something light to show it off, like a white T-shirt or another pastel. They look good with blues too, like a denim shirt.”

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