Juicy-hued spinels and peridots are sure to delight lucky Leos
Verdant peridots and scarlet spinels make a special gift for an August birthday. With a lush apple-green hue, peridot is formed in the extreme heat of the Earth’s mantle and delivered to the surface through volcanic movement (or, in very rare cases, in meteorites that have crash-landed from space). Indeed, according to Hawaiian lore, peridots are the hardened tears of Pele, goddess of fire and lightning, and the stone is regularly found in cooled lava flows and along coastlines on the island. The ancient Egyptians dubbed peridot the ‘gem of the sun’, believing it to boost positivity and protect against evil spirits, especially when mounted in gold.
Spinels, too, have been been the subject of mistaken identity throughout history. For centuries, these ‘great imposters’ were believed to be rubies – the most famous example being the ‘Black Prince’s Ruby’ in the Imperial State Crown, which is actually a spectacular 170-carat spinel. Nevertheless, these beautiful gems have been adored by royalty across the world – they possess exceptional brilliance and richness thanks to a high refractive index, and can be found in a rainbow of shades from palest pink through to deep blue and black (though lipstick red is still a popular choice).
Whichever jewel you choose, here are a few of our favourite pieces to delight someone you love.