Another month blessed with not one, but two birthstones, November claims topaz and citrine as its token birthstones. Both stones have been used in jewelry for thousands of years, and supposedly share similar calming properties that bring fortune and warmth to their wearers. To find out more about the history of these two beautiful gemstones, keep reading!
Topaz's History, Symbolism, & Care
For centuries, topaz has been a popular gemstone in cultures across the entire world. The name "topaz" either derived from the Greek island, Topazios, which actually produced a large amount of of peridot, not topaz. However, due to the sometimes similar look of the two stones, people got them confused and believed their peridot stones to be topaz. Symbolically, the Ancient Greeks believed the gemstone provided strength to its wearers, while those in India thought topaz offered beauty, intelligence, and a long life. Meanwhile in Renaissance Europe, the stone was imagined to break magic spells and dispel anger.
Topaz comes in a variety of colors, including colorless, light blue, yellow, orange, pink, violet, brown and, very rarely, red. But the most sought after version of this gemstone is imperial topaz, which possesses a beautiful pink-orange tone that is fit for royalty. In nineteenth-century Russia, imperial topaz was primarily mined in the Ural Mountains, and was given its name to honor the tsar. Ownership of this rare gem was originally restricted to the royal family, so it has a reputation for being exclusive, even though it is more accessible nowadays. In fact, imperial topaz is now the signature gemstone to give on your 23rd wedding anniversary!
Despite earning an 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, topaz is actually not very tough, so you must be careful when cleaning or storing it in order to avoid cracks or chips. Because of its sensitive nature, use warm, soapy water to clean it, as opposed to steam cleaning or ultrasonic cleaners.
Citrine's History, Symbolism, & Care
Ranging in color from light yellow to deep orangish-brown, the second November birthstone, citrine, is thought to have come from the French word for lemon, "citron". Often mistaken historically for topaz, citrine carries similar symbolism to its co-birthstone, with people believing it able to calm someone and rid them of their anger. In addition, citrine is often used with feng shui to bring abundance, positivity, and prosperity.
Though natural citrine is rare and hard to find, heat treated amethysts can actually turn into citrine, and are widely available in the jewelry world. In fact, they are considered to be one of the most desired, yet affordable yellow gemstones in the world! Plus, if you have a thirteenth wedding anniversary coming up, this gemstone is the recommended stone to give as a gift to your partner.
Scoring a 7 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, citrine is actually quite durable and strong enough to be worn daily. Similarly to the topaz, it is best to stick to cleaning your citrine jewelry with warm, soapy water, as the heat from steam cleaning could potentially crack your gemstone.
If you or a loved one was born in November, and you are looking for a piece of beautiful topaz or citrine jewelry, come see us at Dacels Jewelers. We can't wait to help you find the perfect gift!