November Birthstones: Citrine and Yellow Topaz
7 Minute Read
What is the November Birthstone?
The most common birthstone for November is yellow topaz however citrine, another lovely yellow gemstone, has been rising in popularity as an alternative and is much easier to purchase.
One of the modern November birthstones, citrine, is rising in popularity due to its rich, warm colors and trendy earth tones. The gem citrine is closely related to the gemstone amethyst, which is the purple variety of the mineral quartz. Quartz is one of the most common minerals, but citrine is rare, so it is rarely mined. Instead, the majority of citrine currently on the market is made from the heating of smokey quartz, a widely accepted practice in the gem industry that occurs on-site at mines.
Citrine is very versatile and is popular in bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces. We've created this November birthstone guide to help you buy the perfect piece of citrine jewelry for yourself or a loved one.
What Color is the November Birthstone?
Citrine is especially well-known in the jewelry industry for its sparkling yellow color and affordable price. Citrine is the yellow and orange variety of the mineral quartz, which means that all yellow and orange quartz specimens are referred to as citrine. Citrine gets its color from the presence of small amounts of iron.
What is the Meaning of Citrine?
The word "citrine" comes from "citron," the French word for "lemon," even though citrine often presents with brown or reddish orange hues.
The bright, warm colors of citrine are believed to symbolize feelings of joy and happiness. Citrine is believed to bring happiness and abundance to the wearer, as the gem radiates bright, warm energy like the sun. Citrine is also said to soothe and calm the wearer, making it the perfect gem to wear when you are feeling down or stressed out. Citrine is even believed to have physical healing powers, which can be gained just by wearing the gemstone.
Where Does Citrine Come From?
Unheated citrine is found in Russia and Madagascar; however, most citrine (heat-treated amethyst) comes from Brazil. In Bolivia, you can find both the purple hues of amethyst and the yellow-orange hues of citrine in the same stone. This unique gemstone is called ametrine.
Is Citrine Durable?
Citrine is a 7 on the Mohs scale, which makes it durable for fine jewelry like engagement rings. It is softer than sapphire or diamond, but hard enough for everyday wear if cared for properly.
How to Buy Citrine Jewelry
We recommend shopping for jewelry online, because you can be sure that the jewelers are reputable and because it is easiest to compare pieces from different jewelers. If you are looking to buy citrine jewelry, we recommend shopping at James Allen or Blue Nile, whose extensive collection of citrine jewelry will make sure you find the perfect piece for that special someone. If you have a specific design in mind, check out CustomMade for a bespoke citrine piece.
Frequently Asked Questions About Citrine
What is the Birthstone for November?
Yellow topaz is one of the modern birthstones for November, alongside citrine. Many also consider topaz (all colors) as the traditional birthstone for November.
Topaz is a naturally occurring neo-silicate mineral that occurs as a prismatic crystal. The word "topaz" likely comes from the Sanskrit word "tapas" which means "fire;" however, some believe "topaz" may be derived from the Greek word "topazos."
Yellow topaz is often confused for citrine, but they are different gemstones.
What is the November Birthstone Color?
Yellow topaz ranges in color from golden yellow to reddish-orange. Yellow is the color most associated with topaz, which is also known as "golden topaz" or "Imperial topaz." Before advances in modern gemology, all yellow and brown gems were just referred to as topaz. Since then, we've discovered that there are actually many different distinct yellow gems, but the association with yellow and topaz has stuck around.
Imperial topaz, the rarest topaz variety, refers to naturally occurring topaz in a golden hue. Imperial topaz gems are medium to reddish-orange and highly saturated, creating a warm, fiery gemstone sure to catch eyes. These topaz gems are very rare, making up less than half of a percent of all gem-quality topaz.
Any topaz labeled "Imperial" that has been treated is not genuine Imperial topaz. The primary source of Imperial topaz is Brazil, though deposits were also found in Russia, which is how it acquired its name. Imperial topaz was named for the 19th-century Russian monarchy.
Most topaz is naturally colorless (known as "white" topaz), but it can appear in an array of colors. Pink topaz competes with Imperial topaz as the rarest and most prized color of topaz because it can give any piece of jewelry a beautiful, romantic look. The gem also resembles the more costly gems like pink diamonds and pink sapphire but comes at a much more affordable price point.
"Mystic" topaz is created by treating colorless topaz with chemical vapor disposition, or a thin coating. The process creates a metallic rainbow inside the stone that can be mesmerizing because the colors change with the light. These colors can include teal, red, and green, but can vary depending on the gem.
Where Does Topaz Come From?
Topaz occurs as a mineral crystal in granite rock and lava flow. Topaz commonly used for making jewelry is sourced from Brazil, Russia, Utah, Colorado and Mexico.
What is the Yellow Topaz Meaning?
It is believed that yellow topaz can attract wealth, as its shining yellow color represents the riches of gold. They were even believed to attract the generosity of royalty.
Yellow topaz has also been likened to a battery charger, revitalizing one's physical and spiritual well-being. Yellow topaz is believed to promote empathy and serenity; some say it will lift your spirits and make you feel revitalized and energized.
Is Yellow Topaz Durable?
Topaz, regardless of its color, measures 8 on the Mohs scale of 8 and is therefore very durable. It also has a high refractive index - meaning, it sparkles! - so it's perfect for a variety of jewelry options.
Generally, yellow topaz is hard enough for daily wear and will not scratch easily. However, topaz (all colors) has perfect cleavage, which means it can chip. To prevent chipping, choose a setting like a bezel that protects the corners and edges.
It is also important to note that the thin coating on mystic topaz can scratch, so be careful if you are going to wear your mystic topaz jewelry every day.
Where to Buy Yellow Topaz Jewelry
Yellow topaz is not easy to find, with most online retailers like James Allen selling either white topaz or citrine. If your heart is set on yellow topaz, contact CustomMade to get exactly what you want.
How Much is Yellow Topaz Worth?
The price of yellow topaz depends upon the color. The deeper and warmer colors are highly valued; Imperial topaz is very rare and highly prized, fetching up to $5000 per carat for top quality stones larger than 3 carats. Large pink topaz (more than 3 carats) commands a similar price. Prices for other colors fall significantly, with white topaz going for a few dollars up to $25 per carat.
Frequently Asked Questions About Yellow Topaz
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