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November Birthstones: Topaz & Citrine

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November Birthstones: Topaz & Citrine

November is another month with two birthstones: citrine and topaz. With these two gems, you have a wide variety of colors to choose from. Citrine comes in yellow and orange shades, while topaz has colors from across the rainbow. These two are also very affordable compared to many other birthstone gems; the most challenging part will be choosing what gem and color you prefer!

Topaz

Topaz comes in a wide variety of colors, though one of the most popular shades is blue. Most blue topaz is not natural; it’s a permanent effect of treating colorless topaz with irradiation and extreme heat to change its hue. Blue topaz has a variety of names, depending on its shade. The lighter shades are known as Sky Blue, while the darker ones have names such as Swiss Blue, London Blue, and Maxi Blue. Yellow topaz was particularly popular in Ancient Egypt; many pieces of ancient jewelry feature this gemstone. It was associated with the Sun God, Ra because of its vibrant color.

The name topaz comes from the island of Topazios, given by Ancient Greeks. Topaz was never actually found on this island; peridot was. The two were often mistaken in ancient times and the Greek island name stuck with real topaz.

This gemstone has a wide variety of meanings and beliefs surrounding it. Ancient Greeks associated the gem with strength, while in the Middle Ages, it was believed to protect the wearer against dark magic. Some people still wear a topaz amulet on their arms to protect themselves from dark forces. Generally, topaz is believed to contribute to a sense of calm and help to get rid of nightmares as well as symbolizing love and affection.

It ranks as an 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, though its toughness is not very good, which means it can easily break when hit at the right angle. Putting topaz in rings is generally not a good idea, so it’s much more ideal for a pendant.

Citrine

The second gemstone of November is citrine. This gem is a member of the quartz family and has a much more limited selection of color than topaz. It most commonly comes in yellow or orange tones of which the best known color is the Madeira Citrine; it has a golden-yellow color.

When this gem was first officially adopted by gemologists in 1556, it was simply referred to as “yellow quartz.” Its new name likely comes from Latin “citrus” for citrus tree or French “citrin” for lemon-colored. In the past, citrine has been confused with other gems, particularly topaz.

One of the most popular uses for citrine was in jewelry and tools around the world. During the 17th century in Scotland, the gem was often used to decorate the handles of weapons. It eventually became more popular in jewelry because Queen Victoria loved the vibrancy of the gemstone. In the 20th century, citrine was especially popular with the Art Deco movement. During this time, citrine was used in everything from jewelry to interior design features. Many believe that citrine can help boost people’s mood; its bright yellow color is reminiscent of sunshine.

Citrine ranks as a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, but is fairly tough, which makes it ideal for daily wear. You can get this stone in a wide variety of pieces and feel assured that it will hold up well.

If you’re looking for pieces with either of these gemstones, stop by Vanscoy, Maurer & Bash Diamond Jewelers in Lancaster, PA. We have a wide variety of gemstone jewelry in store and that we can order to fit your preferences.