November Birthstone Story
November, just like October have two birthstones – Topaz and Citrine. The Topaz, symbolizes love and affection. It is believed to give the wearer increased strength and intellect. Citrine, an alternate November birthstone, is a form of pale yellow to dark amber quartz, which has been used in jewelry for thousands of years.
The name topaz derives from Topazios, the ancient Greek name for St. John’s Island in the Red Sea. The ancient Greeks believed that topaz gave them strength. Some believe the word “topaz” comes from the Sanskrit word tapas, which means “fire“. Topaz was once the name for any yellow gemstone. Today, it describes the mineral aluminum fluoro-hydroxy silicate, the hardest of all silicate minerals. Topaz is found in igneous rocks and sometimes hydrothermal veins.
The ancient Greeks beleived that topaz could make a wearer invisible and that it gives strength. On the other hand ancient Egyptians beleived that the yellow variety of Topaz was a representation of the Sun God Ra because of the intense fiery color.
Topaz found in nature is of a golden brown to yellow color. That is the reason why sometimes can be misplaced with citrine gesmtone. With modern testing techniques it is easy to distinguish between the two minerals. A variety of impurities and treatments may make topaz in other colors, such as wine red, pale gray, reddish-orange, pale green, or pink (rare), and opaque to translucent/transparent. Topaz is most readily found as a beautiful blue color. These gems have undergone a special treatment using irradiation that changes the color of the Topaz from a brown into the bright beautiful blue.
Larest producer of Topaz is Brazil (the state of Minas Gerais), northwestern Pakistan is very known for producing pink Topaz. Precious Topaz is the intense yellow Topaz that is mainly fond in Brazil. Imperial Topaz was originally found as red crystal in Russia and later found in Brazil. These are the most expensive types of Topaz and will demand a high premium. Other countries that produces this stunning gem is Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Namibia, Madagascar, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Flinders Island, Australia, Nigeria and the United States.
Citrine, also known as the “Light Maker,” this unique gemstone has a bright yellow hue, which reflects its equally vibrant energy. It takes its name from the citron fruit, believed to derive from the French word for “lemon” (citron). The gemstone is thought to offer the ability to calm, heal, encourage prosperity. Citrine is often found in association with amethyst, but it is much more rare than its purple cousin.
Citrine is defined as a bright yellow quartz that resembles to the other birthstine of November - Topaz. In its pure form, quartz is colorless and transparent. The colors of citrine are caused by chemical impuruties (iron is the reason why citrine has that color). Citrine rates a 7 on the hardness scale.
The top sources for this November birthstone are Bolivia, Spain, Madagascar, South Africa, France, Russia, Mexico and Uruguay. Most of citrine gems today are derived from Amethyst. Amethyst is heat treated to a citrine color and it is mined mostly in Brazil. Citrine mines are also located in the US in the states of Colorado, North Carolina and California.