Citrine and Topaz
The Beautiful Birthstones For November
November babies have two contrasting, but equally beautiful, gemstones for their birth month – Citrine and Topaz.
Both stones appeared in a beautiful yellow colour and consequently, in the past, were easily confused with each other.
This blog will outline both semi-precious stones.
We will describe their appearance and sustainability, their more esoteric meanings and superstitions.
We will talk about how to care for these beautiful gemstones and, of course, we will sprinkle some brilliant examples of jewellery set with Topaz and Citrine.
Citrine is a transparent yellow-brown coloured stone and part of the Quartz family.
Quartz is a colourless mineral and one of the most abundant minerals on Earth, composed of Silicon and Oxygen (SiO2).
Traces of impurities within the quartz tinge it different colours.
This brings us nicely to Citrine’s colour.
The colour of Citrine appears yellow because of iron being present in the quartz crystals.
The colour of Citrine can appear almost fiery.
They say that the name Citrine comes from the French word for lemon ‘citron‘ because of the colour of the stone.
Where Is Citrine Found?
Citrine is mined mainly from Brazil now although it also comes from Spain, Mexico, Madagascar, United States (in California, Colorado and South Carolina) and Bolivia.
The Anahi mine in Bolivia, once lost under a substantial freshwater wetland, was rediscovered in the 1960s. This mine was once awarded as a dowry to a Spanish conquistador when he married his princess, Anahi. This mine interestingly contains both Amethyst and Citrine sitting alongside each other.
Some of the gemstones there include a unique combination of both crystals, known as ametrine.
Citrine is rare and a lot of Citrine you see these days for sale is created by heat-treating the less costly amethyst or smoky quartz.
Citrine is exceptionally hard and measures 7 on the Moh’s hardness scale. This means it can withstand everyday wear.
Citrine's Use in Jewellery
Because of its hardness and it being able to be created by heat-treating less expensive stones, large pieces of Citrine are regularly made into jewellery.
Esoteric Qualities of Citrine
Previously known as a healing stone, it was said to calm tempers.
It was also said to help manifest what you desire and symbolises success and prosperity. Because of this, is they called Citrine the merchants’ gemstone.
Known as the success stone, it encourages positivity and all things good.
History of Use
Egyptians carried Citrine as talismans and Greeks carved them. Roman priests favoured Citrine and wore it in their rings.
Citrine was a well-used stone in Scotland during the Victorian era and set in many pieces of jewellery created then.
For thousands of years, Topaz was thought to be only yellow. Indeed, for a long time, people believed any yellow gemstone to be Topaz. Only later was it discovered that it Topaz comes in many colours with yellow being just one of those colours.
There are many old texts (including the King James Bible) regarding Topaz when it could well have been another yellow gemstone instead.
Other Colours of Topaz
Modern heat-treating has enabled this gemstone to be available in a vast range of colours.
From the light, clear and crisp blue of sky blue topaz, to the deeper, more vibrant hues of London Blue topaz, through to pink, brown, yellow, to the rainbow-like Mystic Topaz.
Sky Blue Topaz
Most Sky Blue Topaz you see on sale today is because of heat treating common colourless Topaz. This irradiation treatment means this gemstone is inexpensive, looks terrific in jewellery and is widely available.
Imperial Topaz, mined in Russia, was a marvellous red colour and, in the past, only royals could own it.
Mystic Topaz is another treated colourless topaz, layered with a thin artificial film. The effect is quite mesmerising but, because of this, you should never use harsh treatments to clean Mystic Topaz.
Esoteric Qualities of Topaz
In India topaz was said to prolong life if worn above the heart. Indeed, Hindu’s believed the stone to be sacred as did shamans who would use it in their healing rituals. It was believed to help with determination, strength and resilience.
Colourless Topaz can form enormous crystals, some weighing literally tons. Therefore, it is inexpensive to buy.
Imperial Topaz, however, is rarer and can cost thousands of dollars per carat.
Where Topaz Occurs
Brazil produces the best quality topaz in yellow, red, pink and violet colours. Pakistan produces Pink Topaz. Topaz is also mined in Namibia, Russia and Mexico.
The light blue form of Topaz is found in the United States, although it is not mined there for commercial purposes. Indeed, Topaz is the official gemstone of Texas and Utah.
Topaz scores 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness; therefore, it is a perfect gemstone to wear every day. It doesn’t withstand knocks very well, so we advise it not to be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.
How to Clean Topaz
Warm soapy water cleans it more than adequately. Never use abrasives on Mystic Topaz.