Citrine or Topaz – November Birthstone

Once again, we find that there are two gemstones identified as being associated with November birthdays. The November birthstone twins include the warm colour of Citrine is said to be a gift from the sun and it’s believed to be a healing gemstone. Topaz is most desired in its rich orange Imperial Topaz colour but it is found in a variety of rich colours like blue, pink and yellow.

Citrine or Topaz - November Birthstone
November Birthstones

November’s birthstones, Topaz and Citrine, are both known for their calming energies, bringing warmth and fortune to those who wear them.

Topaz and Citrine look so similar, in fact, that they’ve often been mistaken for one another throughout history. They are actually unrelated minerals, and topaz occurs in a wide spectrum of colours far beyond yellow.

Both of November’s birthstones are fairly abundant and affordably priced, even in large sizes, which means everyone can find a way to fit Topaz and Citrine into their budget.

Learn more about each November birthstone by reading on.

Citrine – November Birthstone 1

November’s first birthstone, Citrine, is a variety of quartz that ranges in colour from a pale yellow to a brownish orange. It takes its name from the French word for lemon, citron, because of these fruit-inspired shades.

Crystals of Noevmber Birthstone, Citrine
Crystals of November Birthstone, Citrine

The pale yellow colour of Citrine closely resembles some colours of Topaz, (see below), which explains why November’s two birthstones have been so easily confused throughout history.

Citrine’s yellow shades are caused by traces of iron in quartz crystals. This occurs rarely in nature, so most Citrine on the market is made by heat treating other varieties of quartz—usually the more common, less expensive purple amethyst and smoky quartz—to produce golden gems.

Brazil is the largest supplier of Citrine. Other sources include Spain, Bolivia, France, Russia, Madagascar and the U.S. (Colorado, North Carolina and California). Different geographical areas produce different shades of Citrine.

With a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, Citrine is durable against scratches and everyday wear-and-tear—making it a lovely option for large, wearable jewellery.

Citrine is sometimes known as the “healing quartz” for its ability to comfort, soothe and calm. It can release negative feelings, spark imagination and manifest fresh beginnings. It’s even called the “merchant’s stone” for its tendency to attract wealth and prosperity.

Topaz – November Birthstone 2

Through much of history, all yellow gemstones were known as Topaz and all Topaz was thought to be yellow. But real Topaz is actually available in many colours, and it is not related in any way to the gems that originally carried the name.

The name topaz comes from the Island of Topazios, the ancient Greek name for St. John’s Island in the Red Sea.  It is very likely that the yellow stones that were mined there probably were not Topaz, it gave it’s name to most yellowish stones.

Pure topaz is colourless, but it can become tinted by impurities to take on almost any colour of the rainbow. Precious topaz, ranging in colour from brownish orange to yellow, is often mistaken for “smokey quartz” or “citrine quartz,” respectively—although quartz and topaz are completely unrelated minerals.

November Birthstone - Colours of Topaz
November Birthstone – Colours of Topaz

The most prized colour is Imperial topaz, which features a vibrant orange hue with pink undertones. Blue topaz, although increasingly abundant in the market, very rarely occurs naturally and is more usually created by irradiation treatment.

The largest producer of quality topaz is Brazil. Other sources include Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Australia, Nigeria, Germany, Mexico and the U.S., mainly California, Utah and New Hampshire.

Topaz is a rather hard and durable gem measuring 8 on the Mohs scale. Its perfect cleavage can make it prone to chipping or cracking, but when cut correctly, topaz makes very wearable jewellery.

Topaz is a soothing stone that has been said to calm tempers, cure madness and eliminate nightmares.

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