Birthstones have always captivated humans. The most expensive diamonds are now in museums like the Smithsonian.
Chrysolite, the August birthstone, is peridot. Peridot is stunning, but gem collectors prefer emerald. Clear, olive-toned specimens are typically made into pricey jewelry.
Unlike other gemstones, peridot shimmers even under artificial lights. This makes it "the evening emerald."
Amethyst is one of the few birthstones found at souvenir shops and small crystal and mineral businesses. Its Mohs hardness is 7, like quartz, making it suitable for jewelry.
Large crystals are worth thousands, although it's cheaper than most gemstones. Deep red-purple crystals are valued.
Silica-based topaz comes in several colors. Its 8-hardness makes it suitable for most jewelry, and it's cheaper than other birthstones.
The most valuable topaz specimens are naturally brilliant, highly colored, and large. India, Pakistan, Russia, and China mine topaz, although Brazil is the biggest producer.