If you have a November birthday or are shopping for someone who does, you might be wondering which birthstone is associated with the eleventh month of the year. In this blog, we’ll tell you everything that you need to know about topaz and citrine, the two birthstones for the ambitious Scorpio or enthusiastic Sagittarius in your life.
Topaz Meaning and History
While its true origin is unknown, many people believe that the name topaz derives from the Sanskrit word, “tapas,” meaning fire, or the Greek word, “topazio,” meaning St. John’s Island. Originally, the name topaz was used to describe all yellow gemstones, however, this definition changed over time.
Wherever the name derives from, one thing is for certain, this November birthstone was believed to tout many benefits for centuries. For example, the ancient Greeks thought the gemstone would bring them courage. Old Europeans believed that the stone could deter magic spells and banish anger. Whereas people in India have long-adored topaz for its perceived ability to improve appearance, intelligence, and even the length of one’s life.
Others contended that the golden color of yellow topaz could aid in calming tempers and nightmares. The stone is also thought to promote healing and protection bringing calm and relaxation to the wearer.
Where Is Topaz Found?
Similar to its namesake, the date that topaz was discovered is unknown. This is because gemologists were unable to determine the difference between topaz and other golden gemstones until the 19th century. That being said, Russia’s Ural Mountains and regions of Brazil were historically and remain to this day, two of the largest suppliers of November’s birthstone. Fun fact alert: a massive 596-pound colorless precious topaz crystal was once discovered in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
While a topaz birthstone is often yellow in color, it is also available in a wide variety of hues including orange, red, pink, violet, and combos of red-orange mixed with purple. In fact, Northwestern Pakistan is famous for its stunningly rare pinkish-violet topaz which is referred to as, “cyclamen pink topaz,” by those in the gem trade.
Smaller deposits of topaz can be found in other areas of the world including Namibia, Nigeria, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and the U.S.
How to Care for Topaz
The topaz gemstone rates as an 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, however, this can be misleading as the stone has poor toughness. That means that special care must be taken to prevent chips and cracks. Be mindful to store your birthstone jewelry away from other pieces and only clean topaz using a mild combination of warm water and dish soap. Be wary to avoid high heat and sudden temperature changes as they can cause internal breaking within the gem.
Citrine Meaning and History
Citrine is a captivating brownish-orange variety of quartz that people have been adorning themselves with since ancient times. Funnily enough, citrine is commonly confused with November’s other traditional birthstone, the topaz gem due to their similar coloring. However, the two are distinctly different.
When it comes to symbolism, citrine jewelry is believed to bring the wearer inner peace and a sunny outlook on life. The stone radiates healing and comfort, the perfect match for its warm, golden hue. Throughout history, citrine gemstones were worn by ancient Greeks, Romans, and Scots alike. The gem also played an important role in extravagant and custom jewelry.
Where Is Citrine Found?
The world’s largest supply of natural, unheated citrine comes from Bolivia’s Anahi mine. This massive mine sat largely unexplored between its original discovery in the 1600s until the 1960s when it was rediscovered amongst the vast jungle landscape. In addition to citrine, the Anahi mine also produces a unique gem called ametrine that combines amethyst and citrine into one crystal.
Aside from Bolivia, November’s birthstone can also be found in Madagascar, Spain, Mexico, and Uruguay.
How to Care for Citrine
With a 7 rating on the Mohs scale of hardness, citrine is typically durable enough for everyday wear. That being said, you still need to be mindful when exposing the gem to extreme temperature changes as they can cause cracking or fractures. What’s more, prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause fading.
When it comes to cleaning your citrine birthstone, the best approach is to soak the piece in a mix of warm, soapy water. Then, pat your jewelry dry using a soft cloth. Be aware that citrine should never be steam-cleaned or exposed to harsh chemicals and oils as they can damage the stone.
How to Wear a November Birthstone
Those born in the month of November have two stunning gemstones to choose from. Luckily, there are endless ways to flaunt your birthstone of choice.
If you prefer fine jewelry, you can’t go wrong with a simple bracelet or a pair of earrings featuring topaz or citrine. Alternatively, opt for a bold pendant featuring one of these golden gems for a statement piece that wows. If jewelry isn’t your thing, carry a November crystal in your pocket and take advantage of the benefits that the stone is believed to welcome.
If you have your heart set on a birthstone engagement or wedding ring you’re in luck. While topaz can be prone to damage from everyday wear and tear, citrine can make for a suitable engagement ring or fashion ring. Have your jeweler pair the stone with a yellow or rose gold setting and enjoy the warm vibes. Or, opt for a sterling silver setting and revel in the stark contrast.
*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulant that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.