Spinel and Sardonyx jewellery: August’s lesser known birthstones

August, the middle month of Summer, hopefully highlighted by good weather and lots of fun being had outdoors. 

Not exactly renowned for its birthstones though. Whilst some may know that peridot is the primary birthstone for August, not many will know about Spinel and Sardonyx, as well as the brilliant jewellery that can be made from them.

The astrology behind August’s birthstones

Whether or not you believe in them, Zodiacs are the reasoning behind birthstones. According to astrology, in August the sun progresses from fiery Leo to earthy Virgo, which means that people’s emotions need to be tempered and pacified. Whilst peridot is the main birthstone of August because of its ability to fuel relaxation and calm your emotions; black spinel is famous for it’s supposed ability to repel negativity and heal the body, and sardonyx stones are said to boost happiness and dispel melancholy.


Black spinel is a very mysterious gemstone. Its name is fascinating, with the etymology of the stone has not been 100% confirmed. Some believe that the name comes from the Latin word “Spinella” which stands for “little thorn,” whereas others speculate that it comes from the Greek word “Spinos” which translates sparkle or spark. Wherever the name comes from, the stone that has the name can be used to create some stunning jewellery.

Black Spinel jewellery

Due to the properties of black spinel, specifically its hardness, it is incredibly versatile. This means it can be used for all sorts of jewellery including necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, and other amazing ornaments. The stone has been used by some of the world’s most famous jewellery designers such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Chanel.

18-karat gold and black spinel necklace
18-karat gold and black spinel necklace

Whilst emeralds, sapphires, and rubies might look amazing when wearing specific colours; black spinel and its colour will go with everything. Whether it is a simple, black spinel bracelet that contrasts a baby-pink top, or a black spinel necklace lying against a light-coloured sundress; the difference in colours can give you a very elegant look. 

Black spinel necklace
Black spinel necklace

Or if you prefer a more monochrome look, these black spinel pieces match really well with a cute LBD.


Grand Sardonyx pendant

The history of the stone

The name sardonyx comes from the greek word “sard” and “onux”, which literally translates as , reddish brown fingernail. In reality, they are wonderful stones with great character; a blend of earthy colours. 

The gemstones have a long history. Years ago it was widely believed that sardonyx would make its wearer “as brave and daring as what it was carved into.” Due to its properties, sardonyx was often used for seals in ancient Rome, because it never sticks to wax. It wasn’t just for practical purposes though. The great General Publius Cornelius Scipio often wore sardonyx jewellery, and Roman soldiers wore it with pride. They tended to wear stones that were engraved with a picture of Mars, The God of War, believing the stone would bring courage, fearlessness, and victory to them. 

Sardonyx Jewellery

Sardonyx and pearl necklace
Sardonyx and pearl necklace

Sardonyx is a very versatile stone, and can be made into just about any piece of jewellery you desire. The hardness of a sardonyx stone is what gives its versatility when creating jewellery, and its strength once a piece has been made. 

Pendants, fine rings, earrings and necklaces are all very popular. They are very distinct because Sardonyx is an earthy gemstone, which is rather rare.

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