November birthstone

For November babies, the American Gem Trade Association prepared a unique gift to choose between two birthstone options: topaz and citrine. So, your task is to pick and learn how to combine these jewels correctly!
Our short guide for each November birthstone option
Actually, it can be rather tricky. Topaz and citrine look like twins, frequently being taken for one another. Also, the colors of these two alternatives for birthstone November have the warm amber color, associated with the sweetest and coziest things in life: brown honey, black tea, and yellow fallen leaves. At the same time, both gemstones have a cooler tone option, reminding the color of November rain that predicts winter coming soon.
Are you wondering how to distinguish topaz and citrine correctly? Read our overview to see how to make an informed decision about your birthstone jewelry!
Topaz, the most affordable birthstone November
According to the etymology of the Sanskrit word “tapas,” topaz means “fire.” Alternatively, the Greek word Topazios refers to the name of St. John’s Island – the place yellow topaz was first mined. Since then, topaz appeared in many places and had many colors, not only a fiery option.
Because of that, it’s hard to determine one and only topaz color. The jewel can be too different: its range includes blue, colorless, yellow, pink, violet, and brown varieties. Still, the most common appearance of topaz is golden, yellow, and brownish.
What’s interesting about topaz? Read below!
In Ancient Egypt, the golden yellow topaz was a symbol of Ra, the god of the sun. Many amulets feature this precious gem. In their turn, people in Ancient Greece believed that topaz could make them invisible.
In India, it was common to wear topaz near the heart for a better life, look, and mental abilities.
According to the legends, topaz has the power to dissipate bewitchment. That’s because the gemstone itself casts a spell on you! And to prove this belief, mystics showed how topaz cools bowling water instantly.
In medieval times, the cocktail made of topaz powder and wine was taken for better sleep and asthma treatment. Besides, seeing this birthstone in a dream means that your sharp problem will soon be solved. Also, the gemstone is powerful enough to prevent death. With such incredible abilities, royals and clerics became big fans of topaz.
Naturally, topaz is colorless. At the same time, it almost always contains impurities of a different amount, painting this gemstone in any shade of a rainbow. In this line, the blue color is a special case: it’s very rare in nature. So, people learned to achieve it artificially by applying heat and irradiation on a colorless gemstone. Once discovered, this method increased the previously rare supply of topaz of deep blue hue dramatically.
Among the key powers of topaz, it promises love, affection, intelligence, patience, and empowerment to its owner. In addition, this November birthstone allays anger, cures depression, and boosts efficiency. Some people even used this gemstone to treat fever! Finally, dropping yellow topaz in wine for three days and then putting this liquid on the eyes was believed to improve eyesight.
The fanciest topaz is titled Imperial. This is a gemstone of intense orange color with a pink hint. Once discovered, Imperial Topaz was taken for a red crystal. Soon, it became a favorite gemstone for Russian Tsars. They even claimed ownership over Imperial Topaz, being fallen in love with its unusual glassy brilliance.
One of the most famous topazes is “Blaze Imperial Topaz” of 97.45-carat weight. It’s kept in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago now. Another example is Braganza Diamond – the jewel that was considered as a diamond till 1680. Also, the most recognizable yellow topaz was the part of the Portuguese crown. The largest cut topaz ever was found in Brazil. It has a yellow color and 4.5785kg of weight. It took the entire two years to cut and polish this topaz! These days, it is saved in the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.
Kate Middleton is a celebrity admirer of earrings that feature topaz. She even wears them on her engagement photos with Prince William.
Mining of topaz generally happens in magmatic rocks and hydrothermal veins in many countries. The most popular place to find a high-quality topaz of all the varieties is Minas Gerais, the mine in Brazil. It stores many traditional yellow topazes that can later gain colder hue. In its turn, Pakistan is the birthplace for red and pink topazes. Also, the gemstone is mined Sri Lanka, Australia, and Nigeria. In the U.S., there is an entire Topaz Mountain! Finally, Russia and Brazil are the countries where you can find Imperial Topaz.
Citrine, a birthstone November alternative
Citrine is a variety of quartz and a gemstone with one of the richest usage histories in birthstone jewelry. Originally, the word ‘citrine’ comes from French, meaning lemon. Having the same yellow color, this birthstone for November people shines bright through the dark. Being known as “Light Maker,” citrine is a perfect choice for a protection talisman, spreading luxuriant energy around.
Here is the selection of the most juicy facts about citrine:
In Feng Shui culture, citrine is a gemstone that is capable of accumulating success for its owner.
Citrine is an essential part of traditional Scottish jewelry during the Victorian era. You can spot it on their swords and dirks.
According to the immemorial beliefs, wearing citrine is a great protection method from poisonous animals and cloven hoof.
People across cultures called citrine “healing quartz.” Among the systems assisted by this birthstone for November, it normalizes kidneys, lungs, and blood circulation.
While topaz is commonly associated with passion and intensity, citrine has a milder meaning. In particular, the perks facilitated by citrine include peace and creativity.
In contemporary times, citrine is not only a birthstone for November but also a “merchant’s stone” or “the success stone.” That’s because citrine attracts money, good fortune, and the financial well-being of any owner.
Citrine was confused with a topaz so often that people have started calling it “Madeira topaz.”
One of the most beautiful features of citrine is its ability to sparkle like a rainbow from inside.
The amount of both citrines and amethysts available was the highest possible during the Victorian era.
In the 1920s, citrine became a jewelry hit. Top celebrities like Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford wore it frequently. These days, it’s loved too: Kate Middleton recently appeared in pear-dropped citrine earrings designed by Kiki McDonough.
The main citrine mines are situated in Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Madagascar. Frequently, an amethyst is affected by heat to get citrine color in Latin America. On the border of Brazil and Bolivia, The Anahi mine is the source of unique gemstones that combine an amethyst and a citrine in one crystal titled ametrine. In terms of color, this birthstone November comes in fiery yellow or brownish hues.
What’s hidden behind your birthstone
In chemical terms, topaz is aluminum fluoro-hydroxy silicate, the most durable mineral among all the silicates possible. In nature, you can find topaz in different sizes and colors: from tiny red crystals to colorless rocks. Cutting of this birthstone is standardized. It requires making the basal cleavage, calling for both all the mastery of jeweler and extreme care from the wearer.
Citrine is a variety of quartz, mostly appearing in pale yellow and brown shades. Actually, it’s hard to distinguish it from other jewels at first sight. In citrine, the intensity of a yellow color depends on the amount of iron in it. Due to its unique internal composition, a natural citrine is a rare pick. What is commonly presented as this birthstone for November is actually an amethyst or smoky quartz that was heated to become yellow. So, always check the parameters of your citrine before buying it!
How to store and wear your birthstone jewelry
To understand better the specifics of choosing and keeping your jewelry with birthstone November safe, follow these simple recommendations:
  • The birthstone jewelry options for topaz are wide, including rings, earrings, bracelets, brooches, necklaces, and pendants. At the same time, the gemstone itself is rare and, thus, expensive. So, be ready to see plenty of costly options on the market!
  • The hardness of topaz is 8 Mohs. That’s a great indicator for wearing this gemstone daily. However, pay attention to the cut – that's what makes topaz birthstone jewelry really worthy and durable. Also, store your topaz separately from diamonds and sapphires – these gemstones can scratch your jewel.
  • Don’t apply ultrasonic cleaners or strong blow on topaz – that's too risky. Because of the basal cleavage in this birthstone of November, it’s important to keep it in a protective setting. Also, the low toughness of topaz calls for increased attention to this fragile jewel.
  • Use warm soapy water to clean topaz birthstone. Also, don’t wear this special November gemstone in the circumstances of high heat or dramatic temperature changes.
  • If you keep your yellow or brown topaz jewelry too long under the light or sun, the color of this birthstone may fade.
  • Citrine has around 8 Mohs of durability, with some examples that can even reach the maximum indicator of 10 Mohs. Thus, citrine is strong enough to preserve its form and shade as your routine piece of jewelry. Also, this birthstone jewelry can stand an ultrasonic cleaning machine – but beware that high heat is not applied. It may destroy the gemstone.
  • Citrine is highly popular and affordable these days. The contemporary jewelry market offers a wide variety of shapes and sizes for this gemstone. Check Art Deco engagement rings - they are really beautiful examples of citrine jewelry to start your search.
If you have some questions about the jewels, don’t hesitate to ask Diamond Registry experts! We’re eager to help people make informed decisions about the jewelry and find the best diamonds for a reasonable price!
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