November is a special time in the studio, with us celebrating two birthdays within the team at Rogue. November is also special because there are two November birthstones to represent this chilly month of the year! Topaz and Citrine are the two beautiful birthstones that November babies will have the difficult decision of choosing between. Which November Birthstone would you pick?
Many months of the year have between 1-2 birthstones that represent them, and a select few even have three! But why is this?
For the months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice). Topaz was the original birthstone for November, however most Traditional birthstones have become too rare in the modern market, making them much less accessible.
The good news for our November babies, is that most Topaz and Citrine are affordable priced!
Topaz is the original November Birthstone. It is known for its variety of hues which include colourless, yellow, pink, blue, orange, brown and in rare instances, red. Topaz is typically a colourless gem but gains its soft and warm hues from compounds or metals trapped in the crystal structure. You may have heard of Mystic Topaz, which has a brilliant rainbow effect with a deep colour of purple. This is actually created by coating a colourless piece of Topaz with a thin artificial metal film. Most blue Topaz seen is also a colourless crystal that is treated with heat and radiation. Blue Topaz is extremely popular across the market, but is incredibly rare to be formed naturally.
Throughout the eras, the gemstone had been confused and mixed up with many others. However, it was first believed to be discovered in Germany in 1737, shortly followed in 1740 in Brazil.
Topaz’s main source has been Brazil, where it has been being mined for over two centuries. However Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nigeria and many other countries are also leading countries in the sourcing and mining of Topaz.
This beautiful gemstone has a great history of belief surrounding it too. Many people believe it comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Fire’. On the other hand, it has also been traced back to the Ancient Greeks, who believed it to give strength to its wearer. Between the 1300’s – 1600’s Europeans believed it to relieve anger and break magic spells. And for centuries in India it has been believed that Topaz worn above the heart (such as in a necklace) would provide long life, beauty and intelligence. In the modern day, Topaz is the symbol of love, warmth, and affection. Blue Topaz is the gem for a 4th wedding anniversary, while Imperial Topaz is the gem for those celebrating their 23rd year of marriage.
On The Mohs Scale of Hardness, Topaz comes in at an 8 which is quite a hard and longwearing gemstone. Care is needed when wearing and cleaning to avoid chips and cracks. To clean your Topaz gemstones or jewellery, a mild solution of warm soapy water works best. A soft polishing cloth can also be used. Harsh or abrasive cleaning products, such as bleach, should be avoided when cleaning. High heat or sudden temperature changes can cause internal breaks in Topaz, so it is recommended to avoid using steam cleaners or ultrasonic cleaners at home to clean this November Birthstone.
Citrine is the modern gemstone for all you November Birthstone babies. This cutie is the transparent yellow to orange variety of Quartz. The hues of this gem can range from a very pale yellow colour all the way to a deep honey orange tone. Since the yellow hues are so similar to the yellow-orange hues of Topaz, they often get mistaken for each other. Citrine actually gets its yellow tone due to the presence of iron in the Quartz. The colour of Citrine is dependent on the concentration of iron found. The more iron, the deeper and richer the colour. The golden shade of Citrine is the most prized by collectors. Natural Citrines are incredibly rare, therefore in todays market most Citrine is heat treated Quartz.
Natural Citrine can be found in the Ural Mountains of Russia as well as Madagascar, Bolivia, Madagascar, Mexico, Spain and Uruguay. Most heat treated Amethyst-Citrine are mostly mined in Brazil, although other sources include France and the USA (particularly North Carolina, California and Colorado). The history for this gemstone though, dates back several hundreds years between 300-150BC Ancient Greece, where they used the gems as talismans. During this time, it was also found on the handles of swords and daggers in Scotland. It was believed to be ‘first’ discovered in the 1600s by a Spanish Conquistador in a Bolivian mine, where he found large deposits of Citrine and also Amethyst.
It is no surprise that Citrine shares many beliefs with Topaz, due to its shared mistaken identity throughout history . It’s warm colour is said to be a gift from the Sun, which is perfect to keep you warm during this chillier season. It is believed to help ground its wearer, while bringing warmth and happiness as well as prosperity. For some its considered a ‘healing’ gemstone, with its ‘calm and soothing’ powers. Or if you’re more of a creative mind, it is also said to spark imagination. Today though, Citrine is known as the ‘Merchants Stone’ which brings forth wealth and success. Of course, there is no scientific evidence of any of this.
Citrine comes in at around 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, but often ranging between 7-7.5 due to Citrine often being a form of Amethyst. This means they are quite a hard stone, but care should still be taken to ensure it isn’t knocked too hard, as this can lead to chipping and cracks. It is best cleaned with warm and mild soapy water, alongside a soft cloth or a toothbrush with soft bristles (such as a baby toothbrush). Steam cleaning is not recommended, as using such a high heat can risk damage, but using an ultrasonic is usually okay.
A massive thank you to RollerSkatingPiercer for the above beautiful pictures of Citrine Gemstones!
We stock jewellery from brands from across the world, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.
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