This article is part of our Birthstone Rings series, where we share the beautiful and varied ways our customers have featured birthstones in their rings.
The official list of birthstones has only changed three times in over a century since the modern list was selected by the Jewelers of America. So we were thrilled by their decision to add spinel as an alternative birthstone for August in 2016. Which means there are now two official birthstones: peridot and spinel. And, with no offense intended to peridot, we're thrilled that there's a wonderful alternative, since we've heard over and over from our customers that peridot's distinctive apple green color is just not for everyone. Not to mention that we absolutely love spinel — in fact, it's our CEO's favorite gem!
Spinel is durable and earns a "Very Good" wearability rating, while peridot is a bit more prone to scratching and gets a slightly lower durability grade. Both are good choices, but you can expect peridot to require occasional replacement or re-polishing. Peridot is very affordable and its distinctive bright green color makes for an eye-catching center stone. Spinel, by contrast, comes in a huge array of colors and prices vary widely for those colors. From the stark, modern monochrome of black and gray spinel to vivid blues, pinks, purples, and reds, the addition of spinel as a birthstone option has given August birthdays a rainbow of color options to choose from.
What do we recommend? Well, we may be a bit biased, but based on the durability and breadth of color options, we recommend spinel for an August birthstone ring. But, for those who love the eye-catching green of peridot, it continues to be an excellent option.
We may recommend spinel, but we're still going to start with some beautiful peridot rings. It's been the symbol of August for over a century, and we still love the many peridot rings we've made for our customers.
This first ring uses a kite setting, meaning the princess cut peridot is set on an angle, two of its points along the length of the finger. This orientation fits perfectly in a twisting, bypass-style setting. We set a few diamonds along the rose gold band with a bar setting, which reinforces the more modern styling of the ring.
Here, the warmth of a gold setting brings out more of the grassy yellow hues in the center peridot. The ring's design is nature-inspired and sculptural, drawing inspiration from a dogwood branch and flower, which, this customer told us, his partner particularly loves. He asked us to avoid accent gems so that the sculptural design details could speak. He chose peridot for its yellow-green colors, closely matching the heart of a dogwood flower.
Aiming for something unique and colorful, this customer's guidance sent us down the path to a modern cluster setting, with tons of bright colors and shapes balancing for a whimsical, unusual setting. Peridot anchors the look, with a scattering of other colors tucked into the understated twist of a white gold band.
If her birthstone is also her favorite gem, your decision is easy! And that was exactly the case for this customer, who knew that peridot would be the perfect choice for his partner. His birthstone, topaz, balanced out the design, creating a striking triangular setting inspired by the Triforce symbol from the Legend of Zelda, one of her favorite video games.
Spinel may not be a commonly known gem in every household, but we're hoping that changes. It's a wonderful option for those who love ruby and black diamond and sapphire, with its beautiful red and black and blue hues. This first one shows off a striking pink spinel. It's Portuguese cut means it has more facets than a typical round brilliant, which brings out more sparkle and scintillation as the ring moves in the light. It's set in a rope band that lassos around it, creating something akin to a halo with the braided white gold around the center stone.
And here's an unusual option that we love: a gray spinel. One of the most popular gems we see surfacing on numerous Pinterest boards is a striking gray moissanite, which briefly appeared and just as quickly disappeared from the market. For those who love that striking look, gray spinel may be the perfect choice. Here, it combines with pear cut side diamonds and a minimal white gold setting for an understated, modern ring.