November’s Birthstones: Topaz and CitrineTopaz takes its name from the island of Topazios, now called Zabargad Island. Ironically, the ancient people couldn’t tell the difference between peridot and the lustrous beauty of real topaz, and today, we know that the mineral from the island is the former. Still, over the centuries, topaz became associated with strength, protection from magic, and peace.
Citrine, a yellow variant of quartz, is visually indistinguishable from yellow topaz, but it developed a reputation as the “money jewel” that had the mystic power of attracting fortune. Today, both of these jewels are the birthstones of November, adding their luminous hue to the wardrobe of any fashion-forward November baby.
Characteristics of Topaz and CitrineWhile topaz and citrine are visually indistinguishable, they differ greatly on the molecular level. First, topaz is a mixture of aluminum, silicon, and fluorine. Citrine, as a kind of quartz, is silicon dioxide with a touch of iron that gives it its yellow tone. This means that topaz is significantly harder than citrine. Topaz can be found in a variety of colors, ranging from burgundy, pale gray, reddish-orange, blue, pale green, or pink. Citrine is limited to shades of yellow, but opposed to topaz, it can exist in the form of “ametrine,” which is a somewhat rare variant of the jewel. Since amethyst and citrine are both species of quartz, the two jewels can exist in one stone. If your November-born loved one wants something unique in their jewelry, they might appreciate the blend of bright violet and yellow promised by ametrine.
Since topaz is softer than sapphires, rubies, and diamonds (and citrine is softer than topaz), it’s important to know what type of lifestyle your loved one has before buying pieces with these stones. If they lead a high-intensity life, it may not be the best idea to purchase a topaz or citrine ring -- choosing a necklace or pair of earrings may be a better choice. Still, if that isn’t a concern, a ring with these materials may be a great choice to celebrate a November birthday.