A Complete Guide To November Birthstone

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The Birthstone for November

For the month of November, there are 2 main birthstones available— Topaz and Citrine.

Topaz is a beautifully energetic stone available in several colors that range from blue and red to intense orange. Meanwhile, the citrine gemstone is available in hues from brownish red to pale yellow.

What’s The Color Of the November Birthstone?

Yellow Topaz Color

A versatile birthstone, topaz can vary in color from orange, yellow and champagne to pink, blue and red. However, the pure topaz is colorless and more often an alternative for diamonds.

Yellow Topaz

Its yellow variety called the Precious Topaz, in particular, is the primary birthstone for November and features an intensely yellow color. In addition, the rare Imperial Topaz features an orange crystal with red dichroism, making it a highly sought gem.  

Fun fact, topaz is also pleochroic. Meaning that it can show you different colors when viewed from various angles.

The most common color of topaz is blue, which is the birthstone for December. However, this beautifully colored topaz does not occur naturally and its attractive blue shade is achieved via special irradiation treatment to change a colorless topaz.

There are at least 3 irradiation process used:

  • Exposing the clear topaz to gamma rays within a cobalt irradiator
  • Blasting it with neutrons within a nuclear reactor
  • Blasting it with electrons within an accelerator

Gem vendors use terms like Maxi Blue, Super Blue, London Blue, and Swiss Blue to describe the darker blue shades of Topaz achieved thought irradiation.

In general, the price of the darker hues is higher than the pale ones. Such treatment is also used in order to produce other unique colors such as pink and red. This pink topaz can be achieved by heating and irradiating yellow topaz.

Citrine Color

A member of the quartz family, Citrine can be found in orange and yellow tones. Its most famous variety is the Madeira Citrine which features a golden-yellow color.

November Birthstone: Etymology, History, and Folklore

Yellow Topaz Gemstone

The name Topaz was derived from the Old Greek name “topazios” which is a small island in the Red Sea, known today as the Zabargad.

Although topaz was really never found on that island, it once produced peridot and was actually confused with topaz.

Meanwhile, some historians claim that Topaz actually came from the Sanskrit root “tapas” meaning “fire” or “heat”.

The yellow variety of Topaz was believed to be the embodiment of the Sun God, Ra, where Egyptians used them as a talisman and on other artifacts.

According to the ancient Greeks, this November birthstone offered vitality and strength. In Europe between the 1300s and 1600s, topaz was used to remove dark magic spells and feelings of hatred and anger. In India, topaz was believed to ensure a long life, long-term beauty, and high aptitude.

Today, there are still many individuals who believe that Yellow topaz can help protect themselves from black magic. It is also believed to help you get rid of nightmares and calm you down.

Citrine Gemstone

Citrine, on the other hand, is one of the most common gemstones in the quartz family. Once known as yellow quartz, it was officially called citrine in 1556. The term citrine was derived from the old French term “citrin” meaning “lemon-colored” or the Latin term “citrus” which refers to the citron tree.

Both words were related to the imagery of the citrus fruits often found in orange and yellow colors.

Citrine

This November birthstone has been used in tools and jewelry for centuries. It was popular in Ancient Greece and used as a decorative gem. Meanwhile, during the 17th century, Scottish weapons manufacturers used citrine in order to decorate dagger handles, shoulder brooches, and even kilt pins. Its popularity at that time was because of Queen Victoria’s love of this particular gem.

Then in the early 220th century, citrine became popular once again. Its bright color proved to be a great match for the visual aesthetics of the Art Deco movement. Then during the 1930s, citrine became in demand that several lapidaries relocated from Idar-Oberstein in Germany to South Africa where it can be found in good quantities.

Large amounts of citrine were shipped to Europe to be polished, cut and fashioned into ornaments and jewelry. Big, rotating sandstone was used by these craftsmen to cut the citrine gemstone into pieces and fashioning them in jewelry settings.

The Spiritual Meaning of November Birthstone

Yellow Topaz actually represents love and affection. It is also believed to offer strength and the intelligence to anyone who wears it.

Meanwhile, citrine is believed to channel the power of the sun and all its positive aspects. Thus, most people believe that this gemstone can help enhance their mood, as does the warmth and light of the sun, which is ideal in the upcoming wintry month of December.

The Health Benefits and Healing Properties of the November Birthstone

Topaz is well known to boost good well-being and health and fixing specific issues within your body. For one, topaz is believed to help encourage good functioning of the digestive and nervous system as well as proper metabolism.

November birthstone

In addition, this gemstone can help with any eating disorder such as anorexia. Also used in the form of elixirs, topaz is believed to have the ability to scatter energy throughout your body.

Furthermore, this November birthstone was also used in the past to help treat eye disorders as well as mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Also, it was believed to alleviate cardiac pain and even improve your taste.

Lastly, as a highly active and bright stone, the Yellow topaz can help teach you about truth and forgiveness and transform any negative feelings into hope and good faith.

Meanwhile, Citrine has the reputation to be a great stimulator of stamina and energy, especially in terms of the endocrine system. Like topaz, citrine also helps boost your metabolic system and reverse any degenerative disease.

In addition, citrine is also a great tool to stimulate your digestive system, the spleen and the pancreas. It even helps reduce and cure any hair or skin problems or any allergic symptoms.

Durability of the November Birthstone

Yellow Topaz and Citrine Hardness

Topaz has a higher degree of durability when compared to citrine. This gemstone is placed at 8 on the hardness scale.

Citrine, as a variety of quartz, only has a rating of 7 in the Mohs hardness scale. Not only that, but quartz also has a low-end level for hardness since it is one of the most common gemstones all over the world. Furthermore, citrine is also a very fine airborne particulate that allows lots of dust to settle on the stone, causing people to errantly wipe it away and scratching the material.

Yellow Topaz and Citrine Toughness

Despite the high hardness rating of topaz, this gemstone actually has poor toughness. This is because of its perfect cleavage that makes it quite easy to cut and requires lots of care so as not to accidentally break or cut the stone.

Meanwhile, citrine is reasonably hard, but it does have limitations with regard to its toughness. Its tenacity is considered brittle, though it can range from exceptional to poor. Citrine is considered to have good toughness which is in the middle of the spectrum.

Yellow Topaz and Citrine Stability

Yellow topaz is considered to have very good stability. And even though it is prone to thermal shock and causes fractures, it has a stable color and its surface is usually unaffected by chemicals.

Meanwhile, citrine is quite sensitive to thermal shock and may easily fracture in such conditions. In addition, any prolonged exposure to intense light can also cause its color to fade. Furthermore, alkaline chemicals like ammonium fluoride and hydrofluoric acid are known to damage citrines.

Caring and Cleaning November Birthstone

How To Clean Yellow Topaz and Citrine?

Both November birthstone can be cleaned with warm water, soap, and a soft brush. Topaz should never be cleaned with steam and ultrasonic cleaners. Citrine, on the other hand, can be cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner, but not with a steam cleaner.

For citrines that have been fracture-filled or dyed, ultrasonic and steam cleaners are a big no-no.

How To Store Yellow Topaz and Citrine?

In terms of storing topaz and citrine jewelry, you need to keep them in a separate compartment of fabric-lined jewelry boxes. This ensures that these gemstones won’t scratch or break softer gemstone or take damage from the harder ones. The jewelry box should always be placed in a dry and cool place.

For a space-saving storing methods, you can also place your November gemstone in acid-free envelopes and store it in a parcel paper organizer box. If you want to showcase your November birthstone collection, you can use acrylic or glass jars with foam inserts.

The Cost of November Birthstones

For those on a budget, citrine is a better choice than topaz. Loose citrine, for instance, can be purchased for as low as $3 for every 0.5 carats, untreated golden citrine. These loose stones make a cheap and nice set of bracelets or earrings.

And even some of the biggest available citrine will not cost you too much. For instance, a 26-carat emerald cut golden citrine can cost you only $200, the perfect stone for a fancy ring.

Topaz, on the other hand, can be fairly expensive for the colorful variety, but still relatively the same as citrine gemstones at the low end treated varieties.

For instance, a set of 6-carat princess cut pink topaz can fetch a price of $90.  Now, for the rare and more unique topaz stones, a 5.5-carat imperial topaz which is ideal for a pendant can cost you a whopping $9,000.

Yellow Topaz and Citrine Alternatives: Secondary November Birthstones

Truth be told, there are as many as 10 different gemstones that can be called a November birthstone, considering relationships to the star and the sun, planetary associations or the talismanic for the zodiac signs Scorpio and Sagittarius.

In between the 15th century and the early 20th century, the pearl was also considered as an appropriate birthstone for November along with citrine and yellow topaz. Meanwhile, the zodiac signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius also include 7 birthstones— turquoise, ruby, beryl, sapphire, garnet, amethyst, and aquamarine.

Conclusion

Yellow topaz and citrine gemstones are both powerful and lovely options for November birthstone. Both are also affordable and look pretty in every jewelry setting. And even though topaz is a lot harder than citrine, both gemstones have similar durability and can be used in any kind of jewelry setting.

Both of these November birthstones have a rich history of spiritual and physical healing as well as cultural significance. And for people born in November wearing citrine, topaz or both, they are ensured to lead a happy, successful and healthy life!

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