AGTA, JA Add Spinel as Official August Birthstone

The gemstone will join peridot to be become the second birthstone for the month

The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and Jewelers of America (JA) have added spinel as an official birthstone for the month of August.

“At certain moments in history, when there is a strong call from gem enthusiasts to expand the list of official birthstones, Jewelers of America believes in recognizing the importance of historically significant gemstones and giving gemstone lovers a choice that suits their preferences,” said JA president and CEO David Bonaparte in a statement.

Currently, peridot is the only official birthstone for August. JA will roll out a public relations and marketing campaign promoting the new gemstone directed at consumers in July.

“Ancient gemstone merchants revered spinel, and it was widely sought after by royalty,” said AGTA CEO Douglas Hucker. “It was then known as Balas ruby. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that we developed the technology acumen necessary to distinguish spinel as a separate mineral from ruby. We are very excited to announce it as the newest member of the official birthstone list.”

The modern birthstone list was officially created in 1912 by the American National Retail Jewelers Association, now known as JA. It was first updated in 1952, adding alexandrite, citrine, tourmaline, and zircon as birthstones, and again in 2002, when tanzanite was made an additional December birthstone.

“Spinel is an incredible gemstone that has garnered respect for centuries, and it is enjoying surging popularity because of its stunning range of colors,” said AGTA president Jeffrey Bilgore.

(Photo courtesy of AGTA)

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