If you were born in November, you have two birthstones to pick from—topaz and citrine. Both gemstones come in a range of beautiful colors and look so similar they’re often mistaken for one another. Here is a look at the history, meaning, and sources of these November birthstones as well as tips on caring for them.
Topaz History and Meaning
Historically, topaz was thought to be only yellow. However, this birthstone comes in many colors, including light blue, orange, pink, violet, brown, and red. There is even colorless topaz. Blue stones are rare in nature and usually created by heating and irradiating the stone. Imperial topaz, which is pink to orange, is named for its use by Russian czars and imperial families in the 19th century.
Topaz was a prized gemstone in ancient Greece and in Europe during the Renaissance. Its name is derived from the Greek word tapazos (which is also what the ancient Greeks called St. John’s Island in the Red Sea), while some believe it originates from tapas, a Sanskrit word. In India, people have worn topaz over several centuries, believing it symbolized a long life, beauty, and intelligence when worn above the heart. A symbolism of love, affection, and strength is associated with topaz as well.
Where Is Topaz Found?
It is most often found in Brazil, in the state of Minas Gerais. Topaz has been mined here for over 200 years. It is also produced in several other countries, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Russia, Nigeria, Australia, Mexico, and the United States.
A hard silicate mineral, topaz is ranked 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Topaz jewelry is very durable and can be worn while enjoying many different activities. The best way to clean it is with warm, soapy water. Avoid steam cleaning or ultrasonic cleaners, as these methods can damage the gemstone.
Citrine History and Meaning
Citrine, which is made of quartz, ranges in color from pale yellow to brownish orange. Although its name is thought to come from the word citron, the French word for lemon, citrine has been prized in Greece, Rome, and Egypt for millennia. The ancient Greeks carved ornaments out of citrine, while the mineral appeared in Scottish jewelry during the Victorian era. Today, citrine is usually created by heat treating amethyst and is often given as a 13th wedding anniversary gift.
Citrine is thought to have a calming effect and soothe tempers. It is also believed to promote energy and vitality and is thus known as “healing quartz”. In addition, the gemstone is associated with health, wealth, happiness, and abundance as well as good vibes that removes negativity.
Where Is Citrine Found?
Citrine is most often mined in countries like Bolivia, Mexico, Madagascar, Spain, and Uruguay. Brazil is the largest source of amethyst treated to achieve a citrine color. The Anahi mine in Bolivia, the largest freshwater wetland in the world, is a major source of natural citrine.
Having a Mohs hardness of 7, citrine is quite resistant to scratches. There are few concerns of damaging citrine jewelry due to normal daily activities. Cleaning it is most safely done with warm, soapy water. But be cautious with steam cleaning; citrine can crack under high heat.
Contact Jeweler’s Touch
Whether you’re shopping for an engagement ring, necklace, bracelet, or earrings, we can help you find a November birthstone gift. Our Placentia jewelry store is open during the pandemic and serving customers in Orange County. Clients in Yorba Linda, Brea, Anaheim, Fullerton, and La Habra rely on Jeweler’s Touch for our exceptional customer service, diverse inventory, and custom design services. Call us at 714-579-1616 to learn more.