People born in November have the opportunity to wear two different birthstones. Topaz and Citrine are both beautiful. This is due to the yellow and gold color being associated with the month of November. This color is displayed in both stones and was confused throughout history. This is why November babies get the choice of either stone. Some say that Citrine brings about healing and Topaz brings about strength. Whether or not you believe the lore associated with gemstones, you may be interested in learning more about them.
Both Citrine and Topaz make for gorgeous jewelry, though citrine is usually more affordable and easier to find. You’ll certainly want to consider a birthstone piece for the one you love, whether special celebration, birthday, or anniversary. When wearing a birthstone in addition to Celtic jewelry, there is even more symbolism involved. Things like the mother’s pendant or a Claddagh ring, you can give a gift that tells a story of times past. For instance, the most common symbol found on today’s Irish and Celtic designs is the Claddagh Symbol. (You can check out our Claddagh Birthstone Collection here.)
Due to its composition, Topaz is considered a silicate mineral. It is primarily composed of aluminum and flourine. Topaz is a clear stone but impurities can cause the numerous colors we see today. There are such types as Mystic Topaz, Blue Topaz, Orange Topaz, and Imperial Topaz. Colorless Topaz can be heated to create the blue gems you are used to seeing. Most blue Topaz doesn’t happen naturally. The most valuable are deep orange and pink Referred to as Imperial Topaz. Imperial Topaz was popular with the Russian Czars of the 1800s.
The History of Topaz
It was once believed that Topaz goes back to a tiny island in the Red Sea. It was called Topazos. The Romans collected stones there. The gems collected there were actually modern-day Peridot and not Topaz. Another believed origin is from can be found in the ancient Indian Language, Sanskrit. Topas or Topaz translates to fire in Sanskrit.
Before we had the knowledge and technology we have today, any golden gemstone was just referred to as Topaz. Golden Citrine and Smoky Quartz were considered Topaz even though they were totally different. Just looking at them with the naked eye it can be very hard to tell the difference. Despite this, Topaz has become valued by jewelry experts for its beauty and color options.
Brazil is the main producer of Topaz. It is also found in other places including Russia, Australia, Nigeria, Germany, Mexico Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and the United States. In the US it is found in mainly California, Utah, and New Hampshire.
Topaz is a rather hard and durable gem that measures 8 on the Mohs scale. It can be prone to chipping or cracking but its perfect cleavage (when cut correctly) makes very wearable and beautiful jewelry. Topaz is also said by some to be a soothing stone that has been said to eliminate nightmares, calm tempers, and cure madness.
During the European Renaissance people believed that Topaz could calm anger and break spells. Hindus considered Topaz as sacred, believing if you had a pendant of it, it would bring wisdom and longevity. African shamans used it in their healing rituals and also treated the stone as sacred.
Topaz has become much more affordable and widely available since its discovery in Brazil in the mid-1800s. In the 1960s processes became commonplace to turn colorless topaz blue. This variety has since flooded the market, making it extremely affordable. Blue topaz became the gemstone for Texas In 1969, however it is not mined there. Utah also adopted topaz that same year as its gemstone.
The most famous topaz is a colorless topaz of 1,680 carats that is in the crown of the Portuguese royals. It was once believed to be the largest diamond, but it was eventually revealed that it was not a diamond at all, but Topaz.
Topaz is the gift for the fourth and twenty-third anniversaries. Blue Topaz is typically given on the fourth anniversary and Imperial Topaz is usually given on the twenty-third anniversary. When worn as a necklace, topaz was thought to drive away sad feelings and improve intellect of its wearer. If you are born in November and opt to wear Topaz jewelry as a birthstone, it has been said that it will create positive change. You’ll be more faithful to family and friends. You will be more honest and you will exhibit bravery in times of need.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, wears topaz. Her very beautiful white Topaz earrings are called the Hope Egg. They were designed by Links of London. The Duchess of Cambridge also has Citrine drop earrings that were designed by Kiki McDonough. Kate has appeared in blue Topaz and white Topaz and earrings by McDonough on various occasions.
Topaz Buying Tips
Topaz is an excellent gift choice for those with birthdays in November and can be judged along the same parameters as diamonds. Colorless topaz is increasingly popular as an inexpensive diamond alternative.
If you plan to purchase Topaz, keep in mind that this gem is usually treated with to produce colors, most often blue. Since the processes used are close to how it occurs in nature, it is very hard to tell whether a stone has undergone this treatment process or not.
Imperial topaz is the most highly prized for its intense reddish orange color. These will be more expensive, and one should also keep in mind that these can also be treated with heat to enhance the pink and red hues.
Topaz crystals have yielded some of the largest gemstones ever cut. Mines in Brazil produced the world’s largest cut blue topaz, Brazilian Princess, weighing over 21,000 carats. The largest cut yellow topaz was also discovered there, the American Golden Topaz, weighing approximately 23,000 carats.
Though Topaz is typically considered the official birthstone of November, there is more than one birthstone in the month, called Citrine. While some months may have birthstones that look totally different from each other, Topaz and Citrine are often confused due to being so hard to tell apart. Citrine is a quartz gemstone, however, in golden shades from a pale yellow color to a deep brownish orange. The name citrine comes from the word ‘citrin’, an old French word meaning lemon. Citrine appears frequently in engagement rings that are Art Deco.
November’s second birthstone, Citrine has had a mistaken identity often in history. Most of the citrine you can buy is made by heat treating other varieties of quartz.
Brazil supplies a large quantity of Citrine. Other sources include Russia, Madagascar, the United States (specifically North Carolina, Colorado, and California) Spain, Bolivia, and France. Different colors of citrine come from different areas. On the Mohs scale, it has a hardness of 7. This makes it so that citrine is durable against scratches and everyday wear. This means it can make large and wearable jewelry.
Citrine is also known as the “healing quartz.” Citrine is said to promote vitality and energy to its wearer. Citrine creates wealth, abundance, and prosperity according to the Chinese feng shui philosophy. This means November birthstones will make excellent love offerings to the special person in your life.
The History of Citrine
Citrine quartz has been worn since ancient times. Citrine was first recorded in English as early as 1385. However, since Citrine looked so much like Topaz, these two gems birthstones shared a history of being misidentified very often.
Quartz and Topaz are actually unrelated minerals. But before these differences were clear, many cultures called citrine (the yellow variety of quartz) by other names like gold topaz, Madeira or Spanish topaz which obviously contributed to the confusion.
Throughout history, people believed that Citrine had similar powers to Topaz, including the ability to alleviate anger, as well as manifest desires, such as prosperity.The Egyptians used citrine often in talismans, while the ancient Greeks carved iconic images out of them. Roman priests wore them as rings. Chinese legends suggest that citrine is a “Stone of Success”, and that should only be given to generous people. Ancient emperors thought that they would increase intellectual capabilities and broadening the mind, which would be quite helpful to a ruler. The gemstone is attributed to two different Gods of the past, one being Demeter, the Greek goddess who is linked with productivity and harvests, as well as Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess connected to power and war.
Mineralogists realized in the 1700s that amethyst and smoky quartz could be heat treated to produce lemon and golden Citrine, which created a large amount of affordable treated gems that could be purchased.
Once Citrine was identified and determined to not be Topaz, it appeared as women’s jewelry as well as men’s cufflinks and rings and became very commonplace. Today, it is a frequently purchased yellow gemstone and remains affordable.
Citrine Buying Tips
Whether shopping for the thirteenth anniversary, twenty-third anniversary, or a November birthday, citrine is one of the most affordable and abundant gemstones and this makes even fine, large gems are priced modestly.
These gems can be evaluated by the same factors as diamonds. Because the majority of citrine gems on the market have been heated treated it takes an expert to detect these enhancements.
The finest citrine gems are saturated with yellow, orange, and reddish hues, while stones of lower value appear pale or smoky. Earth-tones of amber brown are also increasingly popular.
Consider birthstone jewelry with things like the mother’s pendant or a Claddagh ring, and you can give a gift that has mystery and lore that will be treasured always. Please check out our Birthstone Collection.
Initially published on Nov 2, 2018