Learn the fascinating history, symbolic meaning, and fun trivia about the November birthstones Topaz and Citrine, the classic and alternate gem for Scorpio season.
Table of Contents
|Check out our birthstone articles for each month.|
What Are the November Birthstones?
The two primary gems designated as November’s birthstones are:
- Topaz – A classic, popular gemstone that occurs in a rainbow of colors. A rich “Imperial” golden orange and red to purple are the most prized and valuable hues.
- Citrine – A member of the quartz family, ranging from pale yellow to Madeira-wine amber. It’s an affordable alternative to other yellow gems.
These luminous yellow stones provide a warm, sunny contrast to November’s darker days. Let’s explore the unique properties and history of each November birthstone.
Topaz – The Classic November Gemstone
Topaz is one of the most versatile birthstones, available in an array of captivating colors:
- Blue Topaz – Ranges from pale sky blue to Swiss blue. Some rare dark blue Topaz has hints of green.
- Yellow and Golden Topaz – Canary yellow, sherry yellow, honey gold, Imperial Topaz.
- Pink Topaz – From blush pink to vivid fuchsia and red-orange.
- White Topaz – Colorless or cloudy white. It can be irradiated to turn blue.
This diversity arises because trace impurities tint the gemstone. Iron creates golden hues, chromium makes pink and red tinges, and irradiation alters the structure to blue.
Where Does Topaz Come From?
Historically, the island of Topazios in the Red Sea was thought to be the source of the gem. However, modern topaz supplies come from:
- Brazil – The world’s leading authority, especially the Ouro Preto mines.
- Sri Lanka – Sky blue Topaz and golden orange “Brazilianite.”
- Mexico – Produces pink, champagne, and imperial Topaz crystals.
- Pakistan and Afghanistan – Fine golden yellow and pink topaz.
- Nigeria and Zimbabwe – Rustic raw topaz crystals.
- Australia, Japan, Myanmar, Norway, and Russia – Lesser blue, golden, and white Topaz sources.
Topaz forms in cavities of igneous rocks like pegmatites, rhyolites, and granites. Heating and fluorine vapors interact with the minerals, replacing aluminum with silicon to produce topaz crystals.
Meaning and Symbolism of Topaz
With its stunning range of colors, Topaz has accumulated many mythical associations:
- Yellow Topaz – Linked to wisdom, strength of mind, and learning and believed to promote clairvoyance and dispel bad omens.
- Blue Topaz – Associated with love, affection, good fortune, and sympathy. Thought to calm tempers, enhance communication, and reveal the truth.
- Pink Topaz – Connected to romance, passion, and feminine energies and said to attract affection and intensify emotions.
- Imperial Topaz’s golden orange radiance symbolized the sun god Ra to the ancient Egyptians. It was linked to wealth, status, and personal power.
Topaz was one of the 12 mystical gems on the breastplate of Aaron described in the Bible. Christians saw Topaz’s yellow hue as representing the Golden Jerusalem to come.
Famous Topaz Gems and Jewelry
- The American Golden Topaz weighs an incredible 22,892 carats (4.5 kg) and is the largest faceted gemstone in the world.
- The Capao Mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil, is the source of the Whitney Flame Topaz, which bears the name of its donor, Coralyn Wright Whitney.
Check out The Whitney Flame Topaz, which is currently in the National Museum of Natural History.
- The Braganza is a 1,640-carat topaz gifted to Portuguese royalty and is considered the world’s largest uncut Topaz. It disappeared after the 1910 revolution.
- Crowned European jewels contain large topaz gems, including Queen Victoria’s golden suit.
- Topaz is a popular, affordable gem, often set in vintage-inspired jewelry as a funky boho accent stone.
Fun Facts About Topaz
- The name means “to seek” in Greek, as Topaz was often mined from faraway exotic locales.
- Some medieval beliefs held that Topaz could make its wearer invisible in desperate times.
- The Egyptians called topaz “the stone of Ra,” believing the sun god’s magic colored it.
- Blue Topaz is sometimes irradiated and heated to produce aqua shades to mimic pricier aquamarine gems.
- The world’s largest cut yellow Topaz is The American Golden Topaz, weighing 22,892 carats.
So, in summary, Topaz is one of history’s most treasured gems, found in every color and revered for its beauty and mystical powers. Now, let’s look at November’s alternate birthstone, Golden Citrine.
Citrine – The November Alternate Birthstone
Citrine has been poetically described as encapsulating the warm glow of an autumn sunset. It ranges from pale yellow to deep amber:
- Lemon quartz – Pale yellow Citrine, sometimes heat-treated amethyst.
- Madeira citrine – Warm amber tone named after the fortified wine. Most desirable and valuable shade.
- Fire citrine – Vibrant reddish-orange Citrine. Rare and expensive variety.
So what gives Citrine its sunny yellow and orange hues? Trace amounts of iron within the quartz create the color, ranging from pale to saturated based on iron content.
Where Does Citrine Come From?
- Brazil – Major source of natural Citrine, especially Rio Grande do Sul.
- Bolivia – Significant deposits of dark amber Citrine.
- Madagascar – Sky blue cavansite is heated to become Madagascar citrine.
- Spain – Named source of the gem (citrus = lemon). Historic deposits are mostly depleted.
- Russia – Large smoked citrine geodes, also golden-red Madeira citrine.
- USA – Colorado and North Carolina have modest citrine mines.
As a variety of quartz crystals, citrine forms in fissures and cavities of granite pegmatites. Natural Citrine is rare, so heat-treated amethyst creates much of the world’s affordable citrine gems.
Meaning and Symbolism of Citrine
The bright yellow color of Citrine carries upbeat symbolic meanings:
- Yellow is associated with the sun, light, and warmth. Citrine channels positive energy.
- They are believed to support creativity, productivity, confidence, and willpower.
- Said to manifest wealth and prosperity. Placed near cash registers to bring in more sales.
- Carries attributes of quartz crystals like clarity, amplification, and energy conduction.
- It has a reputation as the “merchant’s stone,” generating business success.
In ancient times, people carried citrine gems as talismans against snake venom and evil thoughts. Citrine crystals were also worn to strengthen the intellect.
Legends and Folklore Around Citrine
- Egyptian pharaohs like King Tut were entombed with citrine jewelry to take into the afterlife.
- Ancient Greeks fashioned citrine gems into intaglio seals to stamp signatures onto essential documents.
- In the Middle Ages, scribes quilled messages with sharpened citrine daggers. The gems were believed to ensure their loyalty.
- During the Black Plague, people carried citrine talismans as protection against the disease.
- Citrine elixirs in medieval pharmacopeia were thought to cure various illnesses and detoxify poisons.
So, Citrine has an extensive folkloric history of uses related to health, business, self-confidence, and spirituality.
Affordable Alternatives to Amber and Yellow Sapphire
While naturally rare, heat-treating amethyst quartz produces cheap citrine gems of any size. This makes Citrine an inexpensive substitute for pricier yellow gems:
Amber – Made from fossilized tree resin, amber can cost $10 per carat for jewelry pieces. Citrine offers the same golden yellow hues at a fraction of the cost.
Yellow Sapphire – Natural sapphires cost over $1000 per carat. Lab versions are still $150+ per carat. Citrine provides the look starting under $10 per carat.
Among the rarest diamond colors, Canary diamonds cost upwards of $50,000 per carat. Citrine delivers dazzling yellow sparkle that’s budget-friendly.
In summary, Citrine offers November birthday babies bright, sunny affordability! Now, let’s look at the rich cultural history of birthstones themselves.
November Birthstones in Jewelry and Fashion
November’s sunny golden hues lend themselves to beautiful jewelry design possibilities. Here are ideas for settings and styling Topaz and Citrine:
Jewelry Settings for Topaz and Citrine
- Pendants – Showcase large gemstones; yellow gold enhances warm tones.
- Statement rings – Cocktail rings with artisan metalwork.
- Earrings – Feature fancy shapes like trillion briolette cuts.
- Bracelets – Vintage themes like retro charms and tennis styles.
- Suites – Mix multiple pieces like necklaces, rings, earrings.
Pairings with Diamonds, Gemstones and Metals
- Diamonds – Add sparkle and accentuate the brilliance.
- Amethyst – Complimentary purple and yellow tones.
- Citrine + Peridot – Pop as stud earrings; refreshing color combo.
- Rose or Yellow Gold – Warm metals harmonize best.
- Vintage looks – Art Deco, Victorian, and Nouveau styles.
Styling Topaz and Citrine Birthstone Jewelry
- Pops of Color – Bright yellow gems make perfect statement accessories.
- Autumn hues – With browns, greens, oranges, and golds.
- Bridal jewelry – Yellow gems offer an alternative to diamonds.
- Boho chic – Funky charm earrings and bracelets.
- Business attire – Tailored yellow gem solitaires or hoops add polish.
High Jewelry Showcases
Haute couture runway shows feature jaw-dropping topaz and citrine creations:
- Cartier – 27.34-carat topaz Pixelage necklace.
- Boucheron – The snake ring. A yellow-gold serpent gently curls around a citrine oval.
- Jolie Citrine Necklace – The exquisite Jolie Citrine Necklace was given to the Smithsonian National Gem Collection in 2015 by actress and philanthropist Angelina Jolie.
So Topaz and Citrine offer timeless sophistication and affordability – ideal for chic November birthday gifts. Next, we’ll explore how to care for these November birthstone treasures.
How to Care for Topaz and Citrine Jewelry
While relatively durable compared to softer gems, Topaz and Citrine require some primary care. Here are tips for keeping them sparkling:
Cleaning Topaz and Citrine
- Use warm water with a small amount of mild dish soap. Gently scrub with a soft brush.
- Ultrasonic cleaners may be used safely for Topaz and Citrine.
- Avoid harsh chemical cleaners, which can erode polish or damage stones.
- For deep cleaning, use an ammonia-based jewelry bath or whitening toothpaste. Rinse thoroughly.
- Protect pieces from sharp blows, pressure, and extremes of temperature.
- Remove jewelry before strenuous activities like exercise, gardening, and housework.
- Store pieces separately to prevent scratching or entanglement.
- Avoid chlorine, acids, and perfume, which can erode Citrine.
Repairs and Resetting Stones
- Have loose stones reset by a jeweler to avoid loss and damage.
- Resize rings and adjust lengths for necklaces to prevent breakage at weak points.
- Identify lost gems by color, cut, and dimensions to aid replacement.
- Repair worn metalwork like prongs protecting stones before issues arise.
Follow these tips, and topaz and citrine jewelry will retain its beauty for decades.
Closing Thoughts on November’s Birthstones
The November birthstones topaz and Citrine offer:
- Sunny yellow and orange hues – Uplifting colors remind us of warmer seasons during fall and winter.
- Affordable options – Large, high-quality gems are available at a reasonable cost compared to many stones.
- Ancient heritage – Historical legends and symbolic meanings associated with health, wisdom, and prosperity.
- Stylish pop – Vibrant gems creating stunning statement pieces and accessories.
Choosing between Topaz and Citrine offers diverse benefits for people born in November. Topaz provides classic popularity across more color varieties. Citrine gives a budget-friendly yellow sparkle. Either makes an excellent birthstone gift.
These bright gems also have additional metaphysical and healing properties. Like other quartzes, Citrines is believed to amplify positive energy. Topaz in blue hues has a relaxing effect, while golden shades bring vibrancy. When cherished as November birthstones, these sunny gems can brighten up the darkest time of year.
Frequently Asked Questions About November Birthstones
What are the birthstones for November?
The traditional birthstones for November are Topaz and Citrine. Topaz occurs in colors like blue, yellow, pink, and red-orange. Citrine is a golden-yellow member of the quartz family.
When were the November birthstones established?
November’s birthstones became standardized in 1912 when the American National Association of Jewelers adopted the list of modern birthstone pairings. But birthstones have been associated with months since ancient times.
Why are there two November birthstones?
Many months have two birthstones – a primary, traditional one dating back centuries and a more recently adopted alternate. The alternate Citrine was added as November’s second birthstone in 1952.
What’s the difference between Topaz and Citrine?
Topaz is an aluminum silicate mineral that can form large gemmy crystals in many colors based on trace impurities. Citrine is a variety of quartz, specifically colored by iron content. Natural Citrine is rare, so most commercial Citrines are heat-treated amethyst.
What colors can Topaz be?
Topaz occurs in blue, yellow, golden orange, pink, red, green, brown, and transparent. Blue Topaz is sometimes irradiated to deepen the color. The most prized and expensive hue is the golden orange Imperial Topaz.
Is Citrine natural or heat-treated?
Nearly all Citrine jewelry is heat-treated amethyst, with very little natural Citrine on the market. But heated Citrine has the same durability and makes an affordable golden birthstone.
Is Citrine or Topaz more expensive?
Top-quality Citrine tends to be less expensive per carat than Topaz. Large, clean topaz gems over 5 carats can run $500-1000+ per carat based on factors like color saturation. Fine citrines usually stay under $100 per carat, except for rare Madeira colors.
What jewelry settings work best for Topaz and Citrine?
November’s birthstones look beautiful in yellow or rose gold settings. Recommended styles include large pendants, cocktail rings, charm bracelets, and embellished statement earrings to showcase the gems. Both stones pair elegantly with diamonds.
How should I care for my topaz/citrine jewelry?
Use mild dish soap and water for cleaning. Ultrasonic cleaning is safe if needed. Avoid harsh chemicals, blows, or pressure. Remove during strenuous activity and check for loose stones. Don’t expose Citrine perfumes or acids, which can damage the surface. Store pieces separately.
What powers are Topaz and Citrine believed to have?
Topaz is associated with wisdom, truth, strength of mind, and protection from bad omens. Blue Topaz calms emotions, while yellow energizes. Citrine carries attributes of prosperity, confidence, creativity, and manifesting wealth through its golden solar colors.
When should I give Topaz or Citrine as a gift?
November’s sunny birthstones make perfect birthday gifts for Scorpios and Sagittarians born in the fall. Topaz and Citrine are also ideal for November wedding anniversaries and can represent 22nd or 23rd wedding gifts. They make affordable, meaningful birthstone jewelry.
I am a professional writer, fashion blogger, and owner of the site https://laoutaris.com. As a salesperson for more than 20 years, I have experience of 10 years in the fashion industry. I consider myself a true fashionista. I am writing daily blog articles about fashion, tools and converters, and everything you need to know about the current fashion trends.
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