Citrine, the birthstone of November, perfectly mirrors the oranges and golds of this time of year. Often confused with topaz, the other November birthstone, this stone has a muddled history, dating back to ancient times.
Who first comes to this world below
With drear November’s fog and snow,
Should prize the topaz’s amber hue,
Emblem of friends and lovers true.
Although topaz and citrine are both November’s birthstones, for centuries they were thought to be the same stone; thus, they have several similar properties. Besides their gorgeous colors, ranging from rusty browns to bright golds, they also share their ability to broaden tolerance, protect from evil actions and thoughts, and augment creativity. Healing properties include preventing sickness and strengthening lungs by restoring energy and increasing tissue regeneration.
Their history, as mentioned, was completely jumbled. For quite a long time, all yellow/orange gemstones were named topaz even though topaz comes in a variety of colors from blue to orange. This confusion surrounding topaz and citrine began with their shared origin on the island of Topazios in the Mediterranean. Despite their different structures, their shared colors brought them shared fame. It was quite common, in the ancient times, to give topaz/citrine as a gift to royalty, diplomats and other politicians because of their alleged characteristic of giving wisdom to their wearer. The most famous color of topaz is Imperial topaz named after the Russian czars that wore this orange-hued stone with pink undertones.
I generally carry more citrine than topaz because it is easier to access high-quality stones. Topaz, especially of the Imperial sort, are often very expensive. Despite the costs, however, citrine is also preferred because it is considerably more durable than topaz. It can handle everyday wear with minimal care, unlike topaz which has been known to break and crack when dropped.
As per usual, I have a selection of topaz and citrine, perfect for November birthdays! You can find several in the November display at Kress Emporium, but I also have several at my studio. Contact me if you’re interested!