November Birthstones: Citrine & Topaz
Citrine is one of the many members of the big quartz family, and is also among the rarest. Known for its golden yellow colour, natural citrine can be surprisingly rare despite quartz’s abundance. Its name was derived from an old French word for “lemon”
In the market today, virtually most citrines are “heated amethyst”. A simple procedure of heating the amethyst with roughly 600 degree Celsius will turn the stone from purple to yellow. People have to be aware that there are still people labelling heated citrine as “golden topaz”.
Aside from its colour, citrine has all the same properties of any quartz from a characteristic terminated prismatic crystal to its hardness of 7. It rose to fame during the Queen Victoria’s era and more were used in the 1920s because of citrine’s colouration and versatility in the Art Deco aesthetics.
Once thought to be the gift from the Sun, there’s a belief that citrine sparks creativity and generates wealth. Now it remains as an established gem in the market and serving as one of the November birthstones.
Topaz is a gem often mixed up with citrine. And now that both made up the November birthstones, topaz nevertheless is the more desirable of the two. It has greater physical properties, wider range of colours, and rarity factor compared to quartz.
Hardness sitting at 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, topaz is most desired when it bears the Imperial Topaz name. But only the rarest colours in topaz are able to be called so, colours which include red, orange, and pink. Imperial topaz also can be described as precious topaz.
Although these colours are the precious colours for topaz, none of them are rarer than the natural blue. Natural blue topaz created by nature is an extremely rare phenomenon, therefore it would be highly priced. Natural occurring blue topaz tends to be light, pale, to almost-colourless blue, and this key feature distinguishes natural blue to treated blue colour.
Topaz is the original November birthstone as most yellow gemstones discovered were called “topaz”. It is thought that topaz brings strength, longevity, and wisdom.