Halloween has passed, the weather is cooling down, and it’s autumn all around! As we enter into November, we are reminded of the yellow and orange hues of the fallen leaves and the winter squash that accompany the Thanksgiving meal. Reminiscent of those colors, the birthstones for November are Citrine and Topaz. Citrine and Topaz can be very similar in color and have often been mistaken for one another, but they are actually unrelated minerals. However, topaz can be found in a wide spectrum of colors far beyond yellow. Both are fairly abundant and affordably priced, so it’s easy to fit them into anyone’s budget!
“The Healing Quartz” — Citrine
Citrine is a variety of quartz, known as the “healing quartz,” for its ability to comfort, soothe and calm. It’s rumored to promote vitality and energy to the wearer, and creates wealth and abundance! It can also release negative feelings, spark imagination and manifest fresh beginnings. The colors of citrine range from yellow to brownish orange. The yellow hues are caused by traces of iron in the quartz crystals. Most citrine comes from Brazil, but you also can find it originating from Spain, Bolivia, France, Russia, Madagascar and the United States (Colorado, North Carolina and California). Often where the stone comes from yields the variety of color. It has a hardness of 7, so it’s relatively durable against scratches. It’s also recognized as the gem that commemorates the 13th anniversary.
The Colorful Topaz
Topaz is a hard silicate mineral, composed of fluorine and aluminum, and gets its color from impurities in its crystal structure. These impurities determine the color, ranging in shades of yellow, blue, red, green, brown, violet and pink! Topaz is also pleochroic, meaning that the gem can show different colors in different crystal directions. Without impurities, topaz can be colorless, which is often irradiated to create blue gems (most blue topaz isn’t natural). The most valuable Topaz is the Imperial topaz, with shades of deep orange and pink undertones. The Topaz is also believed to promote clarity of thought, enhance one’s creativity, relax the mind and body and aid in tissue repair and regeneration. Most topaz also comes from Brazil, but can also be found in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Australia, Nigeria, Germany, Mexico and the United States (California, Utah and New Hampshire). Topaz has a hardness of 8, which makes it rather hard and durable. Blue topaz is the gem of the 4th anniversary and Imperial topaz is the gem of the 23rd anniversary.