November Birthstone: Topaz and Citrine
Good news for lovers of variety as well as fall’s rich colors… the birthstones for November are beautiful Topaz and Citrine!
Topaz, aka ‘Imperial Topaz’ or ‘Precious Topaz’, ranges in color from pink to a rich golden brown. Topaz was given the name ‘Imperial’ in the 19th century when the Tsars of Russia claimed exclusive rights to wear and own the brilliant pink stones mined in the Russian Empire. Some particularly fine specimens even show red dichroism—the term for a gemstone that shows flashes of different color as you tilt and move the stone. The larger topaz family actually has an exceptionally wide color range that, besides brown, includes various tones and saturations of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink, and purple.
TOPAZ: MEANING & ANCIENT LORE
- It is believed that the name Topaz comes from the Greek island of Topazios, now called Zabargad. This island is actually a source of fine peridot, which was frequently mistaken for topaz.
- Golden topaz appears in many legends… said to be emblematic of the Egyptian sun god, Ra, it could grant men virility, and enhance the wisdom and judgement of people who wore it.
- In India, wearing a topaz gem over one’s heart is meant to grant long life, good health and beauty.
Citrine, or the yellow to brown variety of Quartz, is the other birthstone for November. It comes in a variety of brilliant yellow to reddish brown shades, and is much more abundant — enormous, high quality stones are readily available for people who love the sublime autumnal colors of this beautiful gem. The rarest and most desirable citrine is the darker brown/red version called Madeira Citrine, after Madeira, Spain.
CITRINE: MEANING & ANCIENT LORE
- The name Citrine derives from the French Citron, or lemon.
- Citrine is the gemstone most associated with the astrological sign, Virgo.
- Citrine is also known as “the success stone” because it is believed to be associated with prosperity and abundance; many companies keep citrine crystals in their cash registers believing it will attract wealth and success to their business.
- Citrine is the traditional gift for a 13th wedding anniversary.
Questions about topaz or citrine? Text us at 408-446-2900 or use our Contact Form.
BUYER’S GUIDE: TOPAZ
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: COLOR
Imperial Topaz is priced based on intensity of color, size, and clarity. Natural, unheated pink topaz is by far the rarest, but rich golden brown specimens can be “pinkened” with careful heat treatment.
BUYER’S GUIDE: CITRINE
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: COLOR
Citrine is quite rare in nature—most citrine quartz is created by heating naturally occurring amethyst. This treatment is so common, though, that it doesn’t affect the value of the stone.
CARE & CLEANING OF YOUR TOPAZ JEWELRY
Imperial Topaz is rated a 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Remember to bring your fine jewelry in at least twice a year for stone/setting checking and professional cleaning — not only is it a great excuse for us to see you and say hello, it will also keep your cherished pieces in tip-top shape! Topaz jewelry may be safely cleaned at home with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Click here for our step-by-step guide to cleaning jewelry at home.
CARE & CLEANING OF YOUR CITRINE JEWELRY
Citrine, at 7.5 on Moh’s mineral hardness scale, is hardy enough for everyday wear so long as care is shown, especially with rings. Citrine jewelry may be safely cleaned at home with warm soapy water and a soft brush.
Source: GIA (Gemological Institute of America)