November Birthstones: Topaz & Citrine Gemstones

If you are born in the month of November, then your birthstone is the golden topaz with yellow and orange tones, almost peach-like in some cases.  Citrine, a similarly-hued and more readily available crystalline quartz, has also been used in more recent times, in jewellery gifts for November birthdays.  In its natural state the gemstone topaz is yellow, although it can be found in a blue or colourless state.  The rarest topaz is pink.

The golden yellow topaz gemstone was believed by the Ancient Egyptians to be connected to the sun god Ra and they considered the beautiful stone to have healing properties.  The Romans also believed in the strength of topaz and particularly useful at mealtimes; they believed that if the food was poisoned then the gemstone would change colour and the diner would be alerted to the potential danger.

Hindu astrological traditions symbolize golden topaz to the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter.  A nine-gem good luck talisman would contain a ruby in the centre to represent the sun, with the topaz situated at the northwest of the ruby.  Topaz is associated with good health and fortune, and thought to bring energy to the body, recharging and motivating where needed. The gemstone has also been placed under pillows to help with curing insomnia.

In jewellery, the yellow and orange tones of the golden topaz can be set in either gold or silver metal to show off the colours.  The topaz is a hardwearing gemstone, however when faceting and polishing the stone, jewellers must be aware that there it has a potential for cracking in half.  Once prepared and encased it is relatively strong.  Topaz can be set in a plain bezel, which will dim the sparkle, and enhance the strength.  This makes it a popular gemstone and setting for male rings.  In contrast, a Tiffany prong setting appears to suspend the gemstone and offer a sparkling engagement ring.

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