November Birthstone: Topaz and Citrine [2020 Updated]
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When we come to November, there is a perfect harmony of two particular gemstones. They are topaz and citrine. Topaz was considered as the November birthstone for a long time. In recent days, citrine has been taken into consideration as a November birthstone. Citrine is the acceptable birthstone for November.
Before the onset of the 20th century, any stone with yellow color was labeled as Topaz. But after the 20th century, the world of Gemology segregated the topaz from golden topaz and the rest as the yellow stones. So, recently golden topaz is distinct from the traditional topaz. However, Citrine is a modern variant that is much more prevalent as November birthstone because of its easy affordability and availability. Both Topaz and Citrine are excellently durable as jewelry material, but Citrine is a readily available option.
Citrine features Hexagonal crystallography and comes in multiple shades like yellow, deep orange, red-orange, brownish-orange, and so on. It scores seven on the Mohs scale of hardness, whereas Topaz scores eight on this scale. Citrine is found globally, namely Bolivia, Madagascar, Congo, Namibia, Russia, Peru, etc.
Citrine is quite an affordable gemstone and is an excellent choice for your finger rings, pendants, and much more. The dazzling yellow color looks superb and is vividly eye-catching. Topaz and Citrine both represent wellness in all aspects. It could be health and wealth. Traditional astrology and Feng shui believe that citrine creates positive vibes around the wearer and instills in the wearer vitality and energy.
The name Citrine comes from the French word Citrine, which means lemon. The word citrus creates a bright, sunny, and golden image in front of us filled with energy, frolic activities, and livelihood. These are precisely the qualities that are associated with the stone Citrine.
The traditional November birthstone is one of the hardest silicates found on Earth, and it is beautiful beyond explanation. Topaz comes in multiple shades right from colorless to yellow, brown, and even in pink or violet shades. The naturally occurring topaz are mostly colorless and faintly yellow, whereas the colored Topaz is mainly created through treatment. Topaz symbolizes two core values, namely Fidelity and Promise. Topaz is all about the promise. The promise of being together, the promise of being faithful and loyal. But the most important trait associated with Topaz is intelligence. If you wear the Topaz, it is believed that you are bestowed with an enormous wealth of intelligence.
So, in a nutshell, both the November birthstones represent Positive vibes, Wellness, Intelligence, and Vitality with the ultimate goal of promoting happiness in the wearer’s life. If you are born in November and feel like your life is becoming mundane, then get some warm vibes in your life with the golden yellow hues of November birthstones. Both the November Birthstones are perfect for creating a warm look and adding extra charm to your life and style.
Topaz- The Gemstone of Fire Energy and Passion
History of Topaz
There are various historical lores associated with the traditional November birthstone – Topaz. The word Topaz comes from the Greek name Topazois that is the name of an ancient island in the Red Sea. This place is now called Zabargad. But you may be surprised to know that this place never produced any Topaz. Instead, this island was the store of another gemstone called peridot. The ancient Greeks confused Peridot with Topaz. Another school of mineralogists considers that the origin of the word Topaz is from the Indian Sanskrit word Tapaz which means fire. This fire often implies the warmth of vitality, livelihood, and will power.
Topaz was immensely popular in Greece because the Greeks believed that Topaz as an excellent source of strength. Topaz gained immense fame during the renaissance period because of its estimated power to break various malicious curses and spells. Many women worldwide wear topaz even today with the idea that Topaz is highly efficient in restoring youthfulness, beauty, and intelligence. In the latter half 19th century, Topaz was a favorite of the Russian Royals, and they even restricted its use to the royal family because they believed in the immense power of the stone. One of the famous superstitions revolving around Topaz says that it cures Lunacy. Ancient Europeans also believed that topaz generates body heat, and they use dot carry topaz along with themselves whenever traveling to any cold area.
Availability of Topaz
Topaz generally occurs in such geographical pockets where Rhyolite lava flows. The topaz mountains are found in the South American Region of Chivinar and Utah. The largest commercial producer of Topaz is Brazil. The Brazilian pegmatites are the mother of clear topaz. It is also one of the largest topaz of naturally occurring superior colorless topaz. The other areas across the globe where topaz is found include Russia (Ilmensky mountains).
Sri Lanka, Germany, Pakistan, Norway, Sweden, Japan are the top producers of Topaz. Texas (particularly Masdon County) is exceptionally well known for a colorless, light blue transition colored Topaz. Vast reserves of Blue Topaz are also found in Zimbabwe. Topaz is widely available in almost all the regions across the Earth, so there is no unique region attributed to the precise Topaz land. Nowadays, synthetic Topaz is also available, but nobody goes in for synthetic ones because of the stone’s huge natural availability.
Types of Topaz
The most exclusive name associated with Topaz is indeed Imperial Topaz. Other than that, there are multiple Topaz types known by their commercial terms in the jewelry market. Let us have a look at them:-
This is the most precious form of Topaz. The golden yellow color that is the identity of Topaz is characteristic of this very stone. The color may range from yellow to lighter shades of orange and even brown at times.
It is a colorless form of Topaz. It is one of the purest forms and resembles natural white quartz.
This is a purely commercial type of topaz stone featuring a rainbow color. The color is not natural and is synthetically produced by metal deposition over the original Topaz. The name of this gemstone is after the company that created this gemstone first – Azotic. The bright color and unique shade of this stone make it the top-selling product in the gem market. It is perfect for fashionable jewelry.
This one is also a synthetically produced topaz that features rainbow-like multi-color shades. The production process is quite similar to the azotic topaz—the color results from thin metallic film deposition over the gemstone.
It is another famous topaz variety and is a symbol of friendship due to the orange color of the stone. Though orange is not the primary color tone of the stone; instead, it is brown. The exact color could either be a combination of orange and brown or pink and brown.
London Blue Topaz
London blue color refers to a unique blue tone that is slightly darker than sky blue and marginally lighter than swiss blue topaz. It is an intermediate shade.
Swiss Blue Topaz
The typical sky blue topaz. It has a tone lighter than the London Blue Topaz.
There are plenty of discussions regarding this Topaz because it is unique in every way. Rutilated Topaz resembles Rutilated quartz. The word rutilated comes from the phrase rutile. This type of quartz has streaks of rutile impurities within it. Rutilated Topaz does not contain rutile impurities, but it features streaks within it, and that is why the name.
Physico-Chemical Properties of Topaz
Topaz belongs to the Silicate family. It is typically an aluminum and fluorine silicate. It scores 8 on the Mohs hardness scale. Topaz is an orthorhombic crystal. A topaz with nil impurities is colorless. It is a prismatic crystal with perfect cleavage and subconchoidal fracture. The transparent diaphaneity and Vitreous luster make it beautiful. Topaz often comprises the white streak.
Naturally occurring topaz is a golden yellow—the color of topaz other than yellow results from the variety of impurities naturally present in the stone. If chromium is present as an impurity, the topaz color may turn to be red or pink. The orange topaz is often considered a friendship symbol. Topaz is generally not a sparkling stone like diamond or sapphire. The cut can bring about a change, but topaz’s natural property features a low refractive index. The topaz with large facets often shines poorly. This igneous rock is tough, but if you apply force on topaz with materials having a hardness greater than its own, topaz can shatter.
Topaz is also quite a hardy stone and can be perfectly used for daily use. The statement pieces of Topaz jewelry are extremely beautiful and pretty. You can adorn finger rings, bangles, or pendants with topaz. Since the white topaz closely resembles the diamond, many people use white topaz and a cheap alternative to diamonds, especially for large statement pieces. They are the official 4th-anniversary gemstones.
Topaz Buying Guide
Here are free quick tips for you to follow while buying a Topaz. Ordinary men do not know the intriguing facts about the gem world. But these tips are the real saviors for you.
Topaz comes in multiple colors, but you must look for the evenness in color tones, whatever color you choose. Genuine topaz always looks vibrant and vivid. You must never buy a blotchy and dull topaz.
The topaz should always look translucent and be free of inclusions. Topaz of most common colors like blue, white, and yellow lack impurities and subsequently blemishes. Therefore, you must buy a crystal clean topaz.
The large topaz pieces are highly-priced, and the topaz with small carat size is inexpensive. Many people choose the large topaz pieces for adorning statement jewelry pieces.
There are two characteristics of Topaz that should be present in a real Topaz, and you must scrutinize the presence of those factors:-
Real Topaz has an extremely slippery surface, and you will be able to feel it with your tactile sensation.
Real Topaz displays pleochroism. That means a topaz will depict different colors when you look at it from different angles.
How to take care of Topaz
There is no hard and fast rule to clean Topaz jewelry. It is relatively simple to clean topaz gemstone. Just soak the topaz stone in warm water and gem cleaner or mild soap mixture. Now rub the jewel very gently with a soft cloth or a very soft toothbrush. Now, rinse the topaz with plain water. After the cleaning is over, dry the topaz thoroughly. For better results, you can opt for ultrasonic and steam cleaning of the topaz at regular intervals.
Citrine- The Yellow Gemstone Stone of Success and Vitality
History of Citrine
Yellow quartz was officially renamed citrine in the year 1556—the resemblance of the stone’s orange-yellow hues. Citrine was not only used in ornaments but also as a potential stone for ornamentation of the weapons for war, as citrine sword handles.
The period of the Renaissance and the intermediate period between the world wars witnessed the high use of citrine stones. This was the era of proliferation of art, and citrine was used extensively in this age. The practice of using citrine in various jewel pieces became prevalent from that time onwards.
Few stones emit off positive vibes only by its look, and citrine is one such thing. The ancient Scottish men attributed citrine as a success stone. It is an essential member of the Quartz family and is indeed a beautiful stone in itself. Citrines were believed to be potential antidotes for snake venom and heartache. Citrine resembles the sun rays’ color and instills vitality and positive vibes in the wearer’s life.
The Duchess of Cambridge – none other than Kate Middleton has a particular liking for citrine, as is evident from her jewelry choice. Her earrings and finger rings often feature white topaz and warmly yellow citrullines. The use of Citrine by the royal ladies is not very new. Even in the Victorian Era, Queen Victoria used to adorn most of her royal jewelry with citrine. So, the soothing yellow color of the citrine has remained a royal favorite since time immemorial. According to beliefs, citrine is the stone that should be embraced on the 13th wedding anniversary.
Availability of Citrine
Citrine is a common quartz gemstone, and there are plenty of zones in the Earth where natural citrine occurs. But natural citrine is less abundant than natural topaz. Citrine is found mainly in Madagascar and Russia. The specific area in which it is located in the Ural Mountains. Heat-treated citrine is of more commercial interest than natural citrine. The lion share of heat-treated citrine comes from Brazil. In Bolivia, there is an impressive natural stone that is a combination of citrine and amethyst. This is known as Ametrine. The dilemma between topaz and citrine is eternal, and for an extended period, citrine was indeed confused with topaz until the science of gemology indicated otherwise.
Types of Citrine
Citrine reminds of the beautiful shades of autumn and gives the warmth of positivity, hopes, and energy. This shades of citrine vary from light straw colors to shades of brown. On a large scale, citrines are yellow quartz. But the shades vary. The price of the gemstones also depends on the saturation of the gemstones. In citrines, the gemstone’s saturation quotient is directly proportional to the cost of citrines.
The most expensive citrines are the ones with a deep saturation that yields orange color. It is mostly found in Brazil.
Citrines from Uruguay are beautiful in terms of looks and highly-priced and extensively used for adorning jewelry.
Madeira Citrine deserves a special mention because it is the most famous citrine in the world. People are almost crazy after this tone. It has a hue of golden-orange to reddish-brown and is excellently vibrant.
A school of gemologists considers the yellow citrine as the real citrine because they feature the exact color as lemons, and since the word citrus stands for lime, this is the meaningful citrine. The irony is, this is not at all a real Citrine. Lemon quartz is colorless and bare, and irradiation is used to impart a lemon-yellow color to it.
Deep orange citrine with a high saturation quotient is known as fire citrine and is very popular for decorating exclusive jewel pieces.
The last type of citrine is called the Palmeria Citrine, a bright and vibrant orange colored citrine.
Physico-Chemical Properties of Citrine
When we talk about the Citrine’s physical and chemical properties, it refers to Quartz’s physical and chemical properties. Citrine is a quartz that has pale yellow color owing to the ferric impurities in it. Naturally occurring citrines are quite rare. The citrines that are abundantly available in the market are heat-treated quartz. Natural citrine has a smoky appearance, but the heat-treated quartz turned citrine has lines within the crystal. Quartz is silicate oxides. They have a conchoidal fracture and are brittle—citrine scores seven on the Mohs Scale of hardness. Citrines, like all other quartz, have transparent to opaque diaphaneity. This has uniaxial optical properties. Quartz is the most abundant material found on Earth’s surface.
Citrine is very strong and durable and can be ideal for incorporating various fancy jewelry pieces. The other reason for citrine’s popularity in the jewel world is its versatility. You can give any cut to citrine. The large chunky pieces can be cut in concave cuts. The classic cuts are also equally common in citrine because it can beautifully show off the gemstone’s vibrance, dispersion, and color.
Since they are strong enough, you can use it for daily wear. Citrine can sit in Pendants, finger rings, bracelets of everyday use. They do not face scratches or mechanical abrasion very often. The metals which complement citrine are gold or silver. They are the official 13th-anniversary gemstones.
Citrine Buying Guide
Multiple factors play a role in buying good quality citrine. They are:-
Citrines should be crystal clear. There are no inherent impurities within quartz, and hence the clarity is optimum. So, they must be perfectly eye clear without specks of cracks and blemishes. The color of citrine should be even and uniform. Never go for citrines that have zonings in terms of color.
Cut and Weight
For citrines, the large chunky pieces are relatively inexpensive. The price of the stones rises with the fineness of cut and also the complexity. Citrines are of the hard quartz variety, and gemologists can shape them in many fancy cuts that enhance the beauty of the stone in itself and the corresponding jewel pieces.
Many people still believe that citrine is nothing but heat-treated amethyst. This is indeed a subject of debate. If we talk about natural transformation, the hues result from natural forces and naturally occurring impurities.
How to take care of Citrine?
Though citrine is quite resistant and ideal for daily use, you need to care for it to ensure Citrines’ long life. You can clean citrine gemstones regularly with a mild soap, gemstone cleaners, and plain water. You can also use very soft-bristled brushes for cleaning the crevices of the gemstone. After the citrine comes in contact while cleaning, you must always dry it properly. There is a large probability that citrines will fade away when exposed to intense sunlight. Hence, you must avoid wearing citrines to beaches or while sunbathing.
Where to buy November Birthstones?
You can purchase authentic Topaz and Citrines from multiple online retailers namely Ritani, Whitelash, Kay, Allen, Amazon, Zales, Blue Nile, and many others. Each of these retailers is exceptionally well known in the world of gems and is trustworthy. The best part of buying gemstones from online retailers is that you get superior gemstones, and they come with a guarantee. These retailers offer innumerable options in terms of cut, carat, and colors of the gems to enhance the jewelry’s look by manifolds.
Both Citrine and Topaz look extremely beautiful. They are featured in various jewelry. The beliefs and lores around both these gemstones are fascinating, and they are perfect as wedding anniversary gifts. So, when are you buying your citrine or topaz statement piece?