November born are very blessed to have two of the most beautiful precious gemstones to call their birthstone. Not only are both these gemstones two of the more affordable stones, they also offer calming and healing energies to the wearer. Citrine, the sunny yellow to red-orange stone and Topaz, which comes in a rainbow of colour.
The difficulty will lie in deciding which one to choose!
Citrine is sometimes mistaken for the equally as gorgeous yellow topaz. It is a variety of the quartz crystal family and has been used in jewellery since ancient times. Its been used ornamentally for thousands of years and in fact, in Ancient Greece, the stone was used as a decorative gem during the Hellenistic Age between 300 and 150 B.C. Its strength and durability means that it is practical and dependable. The warmth in this stone has been known as a ‘gift from the sun’.
- Citrine is gifted on a 13th wedding anniversary
- Mohs scale of mineral hardness: 7
Citrine is exactly the same mineral composition as Amethyst and usually begins its composition in purple form. Naturally occurring extreme heat applied will turn the amethyst into it’s sunny counterpart and sometimes create a wonder to the eye, namely ‘Ametrine’. This can also be done in a lab setting however the natural wonder will have inspired the heat treatment process.
WHERE IS CITRINE FOUND?
The top sources for this November birthstone are Bolivia, Spain, Madagascar, Mexico and Uruguay. Amethyst that’s typically heat treated to a citrine colour is mined mostly in Brazil. Deep in the world’s largest freshwater wetland lies Bolivia’s Anahí mine, an important source for natural, unheated citrine. The Anahí mine produces a unique combination of amethyst and citrine in the same crystal; when the two colours appear together in a fashioned gem, it is known as ametrine as mentioned above.
Topaz comes in an array of beautiful colours, despite most topaz originating in clear form. By far the most popular topaz today is blue and specifically, Swiss Blue, London Blue and Sky Blue.
The vast majority of blue topaz seen today is the permanent result of treating colourless topaz with irradiation and heating. It is formed by fluorine-bearing vapours given off during the last stages of the crystallization of igneous rocks. The name topaz comes from Topazios, the old Greek name for a small island in the Red Sea, now called Zabargad.
- Blue Topaz is gifted on a 4th wedding anniversary. Imperial topaz is gifted on a 23rd anniversary.
- Mohs scale of mineral hardness: 8
WHERE IS TOPAZ FOUND?
Minas Gerais, a state in Brazil, is one of the most important sources for high-quality topaz, which has been mined there for more than two centuries. Yellow to orange, red, pink, violet and blends of red with orange or purple are some of the colours unearthed here. The nearby town of Ouro Preto is a fitting companion. In this UNESCO world heritage site, majestic colonial churches chequer the skyline and quaint cobblestone streets criss-cross the city.
North-western Pakistan is known for producing pink topaz. Ghundao Hill, close to the small town of Katlang, has been mined since 1972. The most sought-after shade of pink topaz from Katlang has a tinge of violet, which some in the gem trade call cyclamen pink. But even at Ghundao Hill, only rarely is this fine pink November birthstone found.
Today, other major sources of this November birthstone include Namibia, Nigeria, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and the United States, as well as the historic Russian localities.