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Fun With Challenges > August 2016 Birthstone Challenge

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message 1: by Jaret (new)

Jaret | 210 comments Welcome to the August birthstone challenge. This month we have another twofer, peridot and sardonyx.

Peridot is said to host magical powers and healing properties to protect against nightmares and to bring the wearer power, influence, and a wonderful year. As peridot is a gemstone that forms deep inside the earth and brought to the surface by volcanoes, in Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes.

Today, most of the peridot supply comes from Arizona; other sources are China, Myanmar, and Pakistan. This gemstone comes in several color variations ranging from yellowish green to brown, but the most popular are the bright lime greens and olive greens. Some of the finest peridot stones are called “evening emeralds” because they appear greener under artificial light.

Peridot is among the oldest known gemstones. The “topaz” on the breastplate of Aaron, High Priest of the Hebrews in the Old Testament, was believed to actually be peridot. The peridot was regarded since ancient times as the symbol of the sun. The Greeks believed that it brought royal dignity upon its wearer.

Peridots were a prized gem late in the Ottoman Empire (1300-1918). Turkish Sultans collected what is believed to be the world’s largest collection. The gold throne in Istanbul’s Topkapi museum is decorated with 955 peridot cabochons (gems or beads cut in convex form and highly polished) up to 1 inch across, and there are also peridots used as turban ornaments and on jeweled boxes. The largest stone is believed to be a 310 carat gem that belongs to the Smithsonian. A 192 carat stone of fine clear olive-green is part of the Russian crown jewels, in the Kremlin.

Sardonyx is a form of onyx and is recognized by its layers of reddish-brown and white banding. It was popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans who carried into battle talismans of sardonyx engraved with images of heroes such as Mars or Hercules, believing that this would bring courage and victory.

The best stones are found in India. They are also found in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Brazil, and Uruguay. In the United States, sardonyx can be found in the Lake Superior region and in Oregon.

Cameos and intaglios are often carved from sardonyx. Cameos are figures carved on a stone, where the white layer appears as relief, and the colored layer is the background. Intaglios are the reverse of cameos. They are incised figures on the stone, where the stone is carved through the dark layer to reveal the light layer.

Roman soldiers wore sardonyx talismans (objects bearing a sign of astrological influence to guard from evil and bring good fortune) engraved with heroes such as Hercules or Mars, god of war. They believed that the stone would make the wearer as brave and daring as the figured carved on it. During the Renaissance, sardonyx was believed to bring eloquence upon the wearer and was regarded with great value by public speakers and orators.

This gemstone is found throughout the world. The most attractive specimens are found in India, but material also is mined in Czechoslovakia, Brazil, Uruguay, Germany, and in the United States.

For this month:

1. Read a book with a green cover OR a brown cover OR a cover that includes stripes.

2. Read a book that features a character with power and influence.

3. Read a fictional book in which a real person (currently alive or historic) makes a “cameo” appearance.


message 2: by Jaret (last edited Aug 02, 2016 12:53PM) (new)


message 3: by Jaret (last edited Aug 25, 2016 08:14AM) (new)

Jaret | 210 comments Read (3/3)

1. Read a book with a green cover OR a brown cover OR a cover that includes stripes. Blind Alley by Iris Johansen 2.5 stars Blind Alley (Eve Duncan, #5) by Iris Johansen

2. Read a book that features a character with power and influence. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie 4 stars The victim was a prominent businessman in his community

3. Read a fictional book in which a real person (currently alive or historic) makes a “cameo” appearance. Roma by Steven Saylor 4 stars many historical characters, including Julius Caesar, make an appearance


message 4: by Carol (last edited Aug 04, 2016 09:03AM) (new)

Carol | 2529 comments August Birthstone Challenge
2/3

✔ 1. Read a book with a green cover OR a brown cover OR a cover that includes stripes.
The Interrogation by Thomas H. Cook - 8/4/16 - 4.5★'s - The Interrogation by Thomas H. Cook

✔ 2. Read a book that features a character with power and influence. Hour Game by David Baldacci - Battles family had money and power - 8/1/16 - 5★'s

3. Read a fictional book in which a real person (currently alive or historic) makes a “cameo” appearance.


message 5: by Olivermagnus (last edited Aug 26, 2016 01:37PM) (new)

 Olivermagnus (lynda214) August Birthstone Challenge

COMPLETED: 3 of 3

✔ 1. Read a book with a green cover OR a brown cover OR a cover that includes stripes.
Unreasonable Doubt (Constable Molly Smith #8) by Vicki Delany
Unreasonable Doubt by Vicki Delany - 8/13/16 - 4.5 Stars

2. Read a book that features a character with power and influence.
The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook - 3.5 Stars - 8/5/16

3. Read a fictional book in which a real person (currently alive or historic) makes a “cameo” appearance.
The Black Widow by Daniel Silva - 8/11/16 - 5 Stars


message 6: by Book Concierge (last edited Aug 21, 2016 02:43PM) (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 2821 comments Mod
August Birthstone Challenge
Begins: 01Aug / Ends: 31Aug16


2 completed

1. Read a book with a green cover - La's Orchestra Saves the World  by Alexander McCall Smith ✔ - 16Aug16

2. Read a book that features a character with power and influence - Philippe in Murder in Belleville ✔ – 09Aug16

3. Read a fictional book in which a real person (currently alive or historic) makes a “cameo” appearance.


message 7: by Tanya D (last edited Jul 27, 2016 06:02PM) (new)

Tanya D (tdrosebud) | 12 comments Read 0/3

1. Read a book with a green cover OR a brown cover OR a cover that includes stripes.

2. Read a book that features a character with power and influence.

3. Read a fictional book in which a real person (currently alive or historic) makes a “cameo” appearance.


message 8: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn Lott | 368 comments August Birthstone Challenge

0 completed

1. Read a book with a green cover OR a brown cover OR a cover that includes stripes.

2. Read a book that features a character with power and influence.

3. Read a fictional book in which a real person (currently alive or historic) makes a “cameo” appearance.


message 9: by JennH (last edited Aug 17, 2016 07:04AM) (new)

JennH | 218 comments August 2016 Birthstone Challenge

√1. Read a book with a green cover OR a brown cover OR a cover that includes stripes.
Golden Malicious by Sheila Connolly 8/13/16 3 1/2 stars Golden Malicious (Orchard, #7) by Sheila Connolly

2. Read a book that features a character with power and influence.

√3. Read a fictional book in which a real person (currently alive or historic) makes a “cameo” appearance.
The BFG by Roald Dahl 8/16/16 4 stars - Queen Elizabeth II of England


message 10: by Diana S (new)

Diana S | 491 comments Mod
August Birthstone Challenge
Books Read: 0/3

1. Read a book with a green cover OR a brown cover OR a cover that includes stripes.

2. Read a book that features a character with power and influence.

3. Read a fictional book in which a real person (currently alive or historic) makes a “cameo” appearance.


message 11: by Connie (last edited Aug 23, 2016 11:01AM) (new)

Connie D | 265 comments August Birthstone Challenge
Books Read: 2/3

1. Read a book with a green cover OR a brown cover OR a cover that includes stripes.
King Solomon's Mines (Allan Quatermain, #1) by H. Rider Haggard King Solomon's Mines by Rider Haggard. 3.5 stars. 8/5/16

2. Read a book that features a character with power and influence. Even though Pete doesn't always realize it, as a DHS social worker he does have power and influence.
Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson 4 stars. 8/2/16


3. Read a fictional book in which a real person (currently alive or historic) makes a “cameo” appearance.

This doesn't really count because it's not non-fiction, but there are real famous people who enter the picture, namely Mao Tse Tung, Madame Mao, and Deng Xiaoping.
Wild Swans Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang 4.5 stars. 8/23/16


message 12: by Brenda (last edited Aug 02, 2016 10:20AM) (new)

Brenda H (brendahsd) | 6 comments August Birthstone Challenge
Books Read: 0/3

1. Read a book with a green cover OR a brown cover OR a cover that includes stripes.

2. Read a book that features a character with power and influence.

3. Read a fictional book in which a real person (currently alive or historic) makes a “cameo” appearance.
The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2) by Bernard Cornwell


message 13: by Licha-Olivia (last edited Aug 04, 2016 07:42PM) (new)

Licha-Olivia | 278 comments August 2016 Birthstone Challenge

1. Read a book with a green cover OR a brown cover OR a cover that includes stripes.

2. Read a book that features a character with power and influence.

3. Read a fictional book in which a real person (currently alive or historic) makes a “cameo” appearance.


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