November Birthstone: Ultimate Guide to Topaz & Citrine
People born in November have the privilege of two different eye-catching birthstones: topaz and citrine. Both are absolutely gorgeous and very reasonably priced because they’re quite plentiful. If you are looking for a November birthstone, you will be happy to know that you very likely can afford a topaz or citrine in any size you want. Whether it is for stud earrings or other birthstone jewelry, with this guide you’ll find what you are looking for.
The Difference Between a Topaz November Birthstone & Citrine November Birthstone
Topaz comes in a lot of different colors, whereas citrines are confined to the warm shades of yellow and orange. Both carry the meaning of calming energies and the have the ability to attract warmth and wealth to the wearer.
Citrine, another November birthstone, is a form of quartz that ranges in color from pale yellow to burnt orange. The lemony inspired shades of the citron fruit inspired the name.
Historically, all yellow to brownish orange gemstones were labeled topaz and people thought every topaz was yellow. However, we now know that topaz comes in many different colors. And the topaz stone of today is probably not at all related to the “topaz” stones of yesteryear.
The Meaning of Topaz Birthstone
The name topaz comes from the original Greek name “Topazios” of the Red Sea Island of St. John. Topazios, after the famous yellow gemstones that people mined there in ancient times. Ironically these stones were probably not topaz, but these yellow colored stones still got stuck with the name.
Ancient Greeks believed that wearing topaz could make you invisible. They also thought topaz had the power to calm anger and balance the wearer emotionally. The gem also symbolizes love, strength, and honor and was thought to bring wisdom as well as longevity.
November Birthstone Topaz Color Range
Topaz is colorless in its purest form. But with impurities, it can become any imaginable color, which means it can range in color from yellow to burnt orange. Yellow topaz is commonly mistaken for citrine quartz and burnt orange topaz is commonly mistaken for smoky quartz, even though topaz and quartz are different minerals.
The most expensive topaz is the Imperial topaz due to its flaming orange color with undertones of pink. Blue topaz, while more plentiful in the marketplace these days, hardly ever occurs naturally. The truth is that the blue color usually results from special treatment.
When to Give a November Birthstone Topaz
Because Topaz is a November birthstone, people commonly give it to someone with a November birthday. It is also a great gift for someone on their 19th wedding anniversary. Blue topaz is usually ideal in honor of a 4th wedding anniversary and Imperial topaz on the 23rd anniversary.
Topaz is an exceedingly durable and hard gemstone, with an 8 on the Mohs scale. Due to a perfect cleavage, it can chip or crack easily. But a well cut stone will be very wearable and last a good long time.
Where to Buy a Topaz?
Now that people recognize that topaz exist in many different colors, it has become more plentiful, and thus quite inexpensive. It’s also judged by the same criteria as diamonds. Lately, people have been buying colorless topaz gems as an affordable alternative to diamonds.
When you’re shopping for a topaz, it’s important to know that these gemstones are frequently irradiated to change their color. The desired color is most often blue. This process is very similar to how topaz naturally forms in the earth, making it nearly impossible to determine whether the stone had been mined or irradiated. For a high-quality topaz, we recommend that you shop with an American Gem Society jeweler.
Imperial topaz is in a class of its own due to its richly colored vibrant orange. Brown, orange and yellow gemstones are more plentiful and thus more affordable. Jewelers sometimes enhance the red and pink hues on these stones by treating them with heat.
Topaz is available in many different colors, which means you can find one to fit almost anyone’s style. This is why a topaz makes such a wonderful gift of fine jewelry, birthstone or not!
About the Second Birthstone Citrine
The other November birthstone is citrine, a type of quartz that ranges in color from pale yellow to warm honey orange. The French word “citrine” derives from the lemon shades of the citron fruit. Citrine scores a 7 in hardness on the Mohs scale, so it is very durable and resistant to scratches that come with everyday wear. This makes it a great choice for large, flamboyant pieces you wear all the time.
November Birthstone Citrine Color
A pale-yellow citrine looks nearly identical to a pale-yellow topaz, which is why these two gemstones have historically been mistaken for one another.
Citrine’s yellow hues occur naturally when traces of iron infiltrate quartz crystals, however, this rarely happens. This is why most pale-yellow citrine gemstones available on the market have been heat-treated to make them this color. These are other types of quartz, typically the more prevalent and less expensive smoky quartz or purple amethyst.
The Meaning of a Citrine
Another name for citrine is “healing quartz,” due to the legend that it will infuse the wearer with energy and vitality. And, if you believe in the Chinese philosophy of feng shui, citrine can attract abundance and wealth. Although we cannot promise that everyone wearing citrine will attract these things, we highly recommend Fire Citrine™ earrings as a birthday gift for Scorpios born in November.
Where to Buy a Citrine?
Citrine is among the least expensive and plentiful gemstones available. You can find beautiful large citrines at very reasonable prices, making them affordable for most people.
Jewelers assess Citrines in much the same way as diamonds. However, most have undergone heat treatments, which only an expert can detect. This is why we recommend you only shop with a jeweler belonging to the American Gem Society, someone you can trust. This way you can get the best gemstone for your money.
The highest quality citrine stones are very vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red, whereas the lesser quality gemstones look faded or smokey. Citrine in amber brown earth tones has also become quite popular.
Since these vibrant colored citrine gemstones rarely occur in nature, most are the result of heating less desirable types of quartz, like smokey quartz or amethyst. This is why most citrines being sold today have undergone heat treatments to make them more beautiful.
You can easily find citrine as large as 20 carats. And because the price doesn’t go sky high with increases in carat weight like it does with diamonds, large citrines are quite affordable.
Because citrines are so plentiful, and heat treatments can transform lesser quality citrines into beautiful vibrant yellow ones, you can find this November birthstone within your budget.