November gemstones

November 28, 2020
Topaz and Citrine gemstones

The birthstones – yes, there are two – for November are Topaz and Citrine. They are not related, as being in the same family, for the Topaz belongs to a silicate mineral family whereas the Citrine belongs to the quartz family. They are similar in hardness on the Mohs Scale, for the Topaz is an 8 with the Citrine 7. And while the Topaz colors are blue, white, pink, green, purple, orange, red, brown, grey, and yellow or golden yellow, the Citrine, whose name is derived from the colour of a lemon, is mainly yellow or that gorgeous golden yellow, so appropriate for the dark, dreary days of November.

But, in case your taste doesn’t run to yellow or its nuances of colour or the more earthy color of good cognac of the Topaz, don’t despair in finding a birthstone if your birthday is in November, Why? Because there are 2 – yes, here too – alternatives from both the silicate mineral family and the quartz family of gemstones. And, another bonus, at considerably less the cost of an Imperial or “precious” Topaz, though comparable to a Citrine. But, before I do that, here are some facts about Topaz and Citrine you might find interesting.

Topaz

The Topaz was known in antiquity by both the Ancient Romans and Ancient Egyptians and therefore, as you might expect, was thought to have magical powers, e.g., invisibility and, where the Romans were concerned, the power to detect poison. This belief or superstition did not die with the demise of the Roman Empire but continued until medieval times where kings also believed a Topaz soaked in wine could detect the presence of poison. A 13th century medical book also advised soaking a Topaz in wine for 3 days, then rubbing it over the eyelids to improve failing eyesight. And in ancient India, the Topaz was used to treat tonsilitis and mumps. Nowadays, the Topaz is still highly recommended as a cure to improve eyesight and posture.

Citrine

Initially, the Citrine was classified as a Topaz because of that beautiful golden yellow colour, also found in the Topaz. It too was known in ancient times by the Romans and Egyptians who associated it with their respective sun gods, Ra in Egypt and Jupiter in the Roman culture. It was also believed to increase the wearer’s strength and judgment, opulence and abundance because it evoked the energy of the sun.

Alternative November birthstones

Well, here too, there are 2: Mystic Topaz and Azotic Quartz. Both are real gemstones though not created by nature but rather by a process or technique using a real white or colorless Topaz that’s then coated with an extremely thin metallic film to produce a new, real gemstone. The Mystic Topaz was first seen in the September 1998 Hong Kong Jewellery Fair but did not make an appearance into mainstream consumers till several years later. Both the Mystic Topaz and the Azotic (so named for the company that invented the coating enhancement) Quartz are marvels of modern technology though the jury is still out as to whether or not they will remain popular in the future. I believe thy well because they very much appeal to those of us who love colour, or, in the case of the Azotic Quartz, a vibrant kaleidoscope of all the colours of the rainbow in one stone. The Mystic Topaz has a similar kaleidoscope of colours but more muted or softer than the Quartz. Whichever your preference, you really should see them in person to appreciate their beauty and perhaps marvel at the designers’ ingenuity in creating them. LL Private Jewelers could help you in this pursuit, please call them to arrange for a private viewing/consultation, particularly if your birthday is in November, for both of these unique gemstones make a stunning alternative for traditional November birthstones at much less the cost of the Imperial Topaz, that was once the great favorite of the Russian Tzars.

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