If you’re a November baby, you have two birthstones to choose from: topaz and citrine. In this article, we’ll discover more about November birthstones and break down their hidden meanings and symbolism.
The Color of November Birthstones
While topaz may come in a variety of shades, with blue and orange being among the most popular, citrine’s color ranges from powdery yellow to brownish red and orange. In 1912, topaz was first selected to be the November birthstone by the National Association of Jewelers. In 1952, citrine was subsequently added to the list. Note that topaz is also a birthstone for December, a month which has 3 birthstones in total.
Throughout history, yellow topaz and citrine were often confused because of their outstanding resemblance. However, they differ in many ways.
What is Topaz?
Yellow topaz ring by Lucky Girl Atelier. See it here.
Blue topaz ring by Blue Nile. See it here.
There’s some argument over where the name topaz comes from. Some people say it’s derived from the Sanskrit term tapas, which translates to fire. Others believe that it comes from an old Greek word for an island in the Red Sea, Topazios.
Topaz is a rare rock-forming silicate mineral of very good hardness, scoring eight on the Mohs scale. Throughout history, most yellow gemstones were called topaz. However, as mentioned above, topaz isn’t just yellow or orange, but is available in many different colors with colorless topaz being the most common.
The most valuable topaz is called imperial topaz, which is typically found in Brazil and prized for its fiery red and orange hues. Blue topaz, especially the varieties known as London Blue and Swiss Blue, are also highly prized. However, to get these colors, colorless topaz is often heat-treated or irradiated.
What is Citrine?
This modern November gem is a translucent variety of quartz with yellow, golden, and orange hues. Citrine is perhaps one of the most frequently purchased yellow gemstone due to its attractive color, durability, high clarity, and affordability.
Scoring seven on the Mohs scale of hardness, citrine is a softer mineral than topaz. However, it’s slightly more durable because of the topaz’s structure which is highly brittle and more likely to split and break.
Citrine’s colors have a wide range in the yellow spectrum, from pale and powdery yellow to honey and brownish orange. Due to its bright lemony hues, this November gem is named after the French word for yellow, citron. Some say that the name was derived from the yellow citron fruit.
The price of this gemstone depends to a large extent on its color and clarity. Gems with muddy and faint yellow hues are abundant and mostly inexpensive. In contrast, stones with clear, uniform, and rich color are much scarcer and more valuable. They are favored by buyers throughout the world.
The so-called Madeira citrine is the most valuable and rare reddish-orange and brown variations of quartz. Traces of iron in this crystal are responsible for yellow and golden quartz hues. Since this rarely happens in nature, the majority of yellow citrine on the market today is heat-treated.
Symbolism Behind November Birthstones
The month of November is in the sign of Scorpio. Its birthstones reflect many traits of this fiery Zodiac sign, including determination, ambitiousness, loyalty, bravery, but also jealousy.
Symbolic Meaning of Topaz
As one of the most beautiful and remarkable gems, a dazzling topaz has fascinated many different cultures throughout history. The ancient Greeks believed that wearing topaz gave them strength. In old Europe, people thought that topaz had the power to break magic spells.
Topaz symbolizes nobility, passion, love and ambition. It’s also associated with achievement, good fortune and confidence. As a stone of harmony, balance, and love, you might want to gift or wear topaz jewelry to encourage empathy, forgiveness, and relieve stress.
The sparkle of the topaz’s yellow color reminds us of home fires where we gather, cook, and bond. In this sense, topaz represents the comfort and stability of the home as well as family and hospitality.
Since ancient times, many cultures, especially ancient Greeks and Egyptians, believed topaz had healing powers, increasing one’s mental and physical strength, and was often worn as a talisman and amulet. Some of these beliefs remain to this day, and this gem symbolizes protection and harmony.
Symbolic Meaning of Citrine
As the brightest and most luminous color of the spectrum, yellow represents sunshine, warmth and spring, optimism and happiness, and creativity and enlightenment.
The vibrant yellow hues of citrine remind us of the Sun’s warmth and life. Its lively colors and breathtaking clarity symbolize a healthy body and mind and represent success, intelligence, creativity, and happiness.
As citrine is often referred to as the healing quartz, it’s widely believed that it brings energy and vitality to the wearer. Additionally, according to the Chinese feng shui, this crystal is called success stone, creating prosperity, abundance, and wealth.
For centuries, it was believed that this gem removes all the negativity from the owner’s life, bringing balance, good vibes, and luck.
Topaz and Citrine Jewelry
Topaz and citrine are readily available on the market, and you can find them in a variety of shapes and cuts, including oval, pear, emerald, round, heart, triangular, and marquise. They suit most types of jewelry but take care when setting either gemstone in rings or bracelets, which are often highly exposed and prone to damage.
Topaz Birthstone Jewelry:
Even though topaz measures eight on the Mohs scale of hardness, its structure and cleavage make it prone to splitting, cracking, and chipping. However, topaz jewelry can be quite wearable and durable if made and cut correctly.
Topaz can make a perfect November birthday gift in the form of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings. It gives the jewelry a sophisticated look with a twist, perfectly showcased in this Yellow Topaz Triangle Gold Vermeil Ring or this beautiful handmade Blue and Yellow Topaz Necklace.
Citrine Birthstone Jewelry:
Scoring 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, citrine is durable and resistant to scratches and day-to-day wear and tear. Thanks to these characteristics, citrine is ideal for larger statement jewelry, including rings, brooches, pendants, earrings and others.
Besides it being the second birthstone for November babies, it’s also the traditional gift for the 13th wedding anniversary, so there’s yet another excuse for getting a lovely citrine.
Put a smile on the faces of your loved ones with a piece of this healing quartz and surprise them with a boho-style citrine ring, gorgeous citrine pendant, or timeless stud earrings. Also, citrine looks especially good with rose gold, and you can never go wrong with this combination.
If you want to feature both November gemstones, consider pairing topaz and citrine together. Both November gems are breathtakingly beautiful, elegant, and modern and make durable pieces of jewelry that won’t hit your pocket hard.
To Wrap Up
We all love a stone that’s not only beautiful but durable because it has to deal with our daily lives. Therefore, both topaz and citrine, measuring high on the Mohs scale of hardness are fabulous options for rings, bracelets, and other jewelry.
These stones are both associated with positivity and vitality, bringing us a sense of confidence, uplifting energy, motivation, and happiness. There’s no better time than November to have this burst of energy and prepare for the upcoming winter.