Traditional legends claimed that topaz could harness the power of the sun. This gemstone is commonly found in warm yellow hues, but can be treated to produce other colors, such as blue. Pink topaz was linked to spring and summer, while other topaz colors were linked to fall.
Topaz symbolized the Egyptian Sun god, Ra. Ancient Egyptians felt it was an incredibly powerful stone. Hindus believed in the gemstone’s protective abilities. They felt it could protect homes from burning down, while also protecting their health and beauty. African shamans also treated the gemstone as sacred, using it in their healing rituals. They felt that whoever held the gemstone would become wealthy.
Ancient Greeks and Romans used topaz for strength and to prevent injuries. Around that time, Europeans linked the sunny stone to Apollo, the god of the Sun. Later during the Renaissance in Europe, people believed that topaz could break spells and quell anger.
In ancient times, people believed that topaz would prevent sleepwalking, reduce inflammation, and improve eyesight. It was also believed that the stone changed color when near food or drink that had been poisoned. Healers and physicians used it in all sorts of medical treatments.
Topaz has also been tied to the moon. It was believed that it’s healing power and color intensity waxed and waned with lunar phases.
Modern lore suggests topaz will bring about love and good fortune while uncovering lies and deceit. Some feel that the gemstone will reduce feelings of tiredness and promote good moods.
Citrine has been loved for thousands of years. The word was first used in 1385 to refer to yellow gemstones. This November birthstone has become a symbol of manifestation, wealth, and imagination. Its yellow hues evoke the warmth of the sun and life-giving energy.
In ancient times, people believed that citrine gemstones could calm tempers, soothe anger, and manifest desires. To leverage these powers, Egyptians used citrine gemstones as talismans, the ancient Greeks carved iconic images into them, and Roman priests fashioned them into rings.
Legends say that the gemstone made men more handsome and intelligent. It was also believed that it could help women bear more children and increase happiness. Citrine is often called “The Merchant’s Stone.” People believed that it would help accumulate wealth and success.
According to lore, carrying citrine would attract love and prevent heartbreak. It was believed that it could instill confidence and healing wisdom as well. People felt that it was one of the only stones that did not hold negative energy. Instead, it repelled it.
Today, citrine is one of the most affordable and abundant gemstones on the market. Its colors range from yellow, orange, and reddish hues, to smoky or amber brown.
The holiday season is just around the corner, which for most, includes trains, planes, and automobiles. No matter what your mode of transportation may be, you are probably planning to take a few pieces of fine jewelry along for the ride.
November marks the first month of proposal season, the period between November and February when up to 38 percent of couples get engaged.* With so many to-be-weds on the market for an engagement ring, buying such an important piece of jewelry can seem daunting.
To lessen that stress, more couples are involving each other in ring research and shopping, but according to The Knot, some still struggle to describe the ring they’re looking for—though they might know what they like when they see it. Aiming to demystify the process of shopping for an engagement ring, the leading wedding brand has created a new service to make it easier for couples to navigate the process of buying a ring together.
The tool is called Hint, and it gives users a unique opportunity to learn more about the rings they prefer and—if they so choose—to drop a hint. “Eighty percent of grooms said they got a little input from their fiancées or one of her friends or family members before purchasing the ring,” said Kellie Gould, editor in chief of The Knot. “Hint takes the anxiety out of finding the right ring and makes it even easier to drop the perfect hint to your partner.”
Not only does the service help you identify your favorite styles—a must for all jewelry lovers—but it gives you the opportunity to collaborate with friends, family, and even your partner. Simply select six engagement rings you like and the service gives you personalized feedback that includes size, shape, and color that match your taste. The service also includes a list of specific ring designers to consider, which after dropping a “hint,” makes it easier for the proposer to connect with local jewelers.
The month of November is represented by two richly colored gemstones: topaz and citrine. The gemstones look similar, in fact, that they’ve often been mistaken for one another throughout history. But they are actually unrelated minerals, and topaz occurs in a wide variety of colors far beyond yellow.
The good news is that both of these November birthstones are fairly abundant and affordably priced, which means anyone can find a topaz or citrine that will fit their budget.
Once upon a time, all gems that were yellow were once considered topaz, and all topaz were presumed to be yellow. Alas, it’s been discovered that topaz is available in a wide variety of colors, with Imperial topaz—a vibrant orange hue with pink undertones— being the most prized. Blue topaz, although abundant in the market, rarely occurs naturally and is often caused by irradiation treatment.
Pure topaz is colorless, but it can become tinted by impurities to take on any color of the rainbow. Precious topaz, ranging in color from brownish orange to yellow, is often mistaken for “smoky quartz” or “citrine quartz,” respectively—although quartz and topaz are unrelated minerals.
Topaz is a traditional gift for those with November birthdays. It’s also given to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries, and certain types (blue and Imperial, respectively) acknowledge 4th and 23rd wedding anniversaries, as well.
When buying topaz, realize that this gem is most often treated with irradiation to produce desirable colors—particularly blue. Because these processes so closely resemble how topaz forms in nature, there is practically no way to determine whether a stone has been treated.
Here are a few designs from AGS members featuring the terrific topaz. Click on the images for a larger view.
The Nero pendant is 18k black gold featuring Imperial topaz, accented with rubies and champagne diamonds.
The second birthstone for November, citrine, is the variety of quartz that ranges from pale yellow to brownish orange in color. It takes its name from the citron fruit because of these lemon-inspired shades.
The name “citrine” was commonly used to refer to yellow gems as early as 1385 when the word was first recorded in English. However, since the gem’s color closely resembled topaz, the two November birthstones shared a history of mistaken identities.
Once citrine was distinguished from topaz, it quickly became popular in women’s jewelry as well as men’s cufflinks and rings. Today, it remains one of the most affordable and frequently purchased yellow gemstones.
Whether shopping for a November birthday, a 13th wedding anniversary, or just an affordable piece of jewelry to complement any style, citrine makes a perfect gift. These beautiful design from AGS members ought to spark some gift ideas. Be sure to click on the images to get a larger view.
The Citrine Swirl Brooch features round citrine surrounded by diamonds and rubies, set in platinum and 18k yellow gold.
When buying topaz or citrine, be sure to shop with a trusted jeweler who will inform you whether or not the stones have been treated. To find an AGS jeweler near you, visit our Find a Jeweler search. The American Gem Society wishes you a very happy birthday, and if you’re celebrating an anniversary, may your love continue to flourish for years to come!
November has two beautiful birthstones associated with the month. If you’re a fan of color or variations of colored stones, than November is the perfect month for you. Both Topaz and Citrine shine in popularity because of their outstanding colors. They both also have a very special place in history!
Learn more about each stone below:
Topaz is a gemstone available in a rich rainbow of colors. Prized for several thousand years in antiquity, at the time — all yellow gems were called topaz. Often confused with citrine quartz (yellow) and smoky quartz (brown), quartz and topaz are separate and unrelated mineral species. The most prized color of topaz is called Imperial topaz after the Russian Czars of the 1800s and features a magnificent orange body color with pinkish undertones. Topaz also comes in yellow, pink, purple, orange, and the many popular blue tones.
Topaz from Goshwara
Topaz from Goshwara
Citrine, the other birthstone for November is known as the “healing quartz.” This golden gemstone is said to support vitality and health while encouraging and guiding hope, energy and warmth within the wearer. Citrine is also known as a success and prosperity stone. So much so that it is called the “Success Stone.” It is said to promote and manifest success and abundance in all areas, and in many ways. Citrine can be found in a variety of shades ranging from pastel yellow to dark brownish orange. It is one of the most affordable of gemstones and plentiful in nature. Citrine is found most frequently in Brazil, Bolivia, and Spain.