Topaz stones are as colorful as the people born during the month of November who wear them. From Sanskrit (an ancient language of India) meaning fire, the brilliant topaz is said to also possess supernatural powers to calm and cool everything from boiling water to white hot anger. And if you know many people who can claim topaz as their birthstone, you probably know firsthand about that anger!
While topaz is the hardest of all silicate minerals and fairly easy to mine, they can be costly depending on their size and coloring, with red being the rarest. The largest topaz weighing in at almost 600 pounds was mined in Brazil and is now on display at the New York American Museum of Natural History. While Brazil is the largest supplier of topaz, the gem can also be found in Pakistan, Japan and Scotland and here in America in Colorado and California.
Blue and light golden yellow are the two most recognized colors, but topaz is also available in red, pink, and orange and even black which is really interesting since pure topaz is a colorless stone. Imperial or precious topaz are terms given to topaz gems with a reddish-orange or peachy-orange color and are generally higher in value. Coloring occurs when the stones experience element substitutions, chemical bonding and heat through tiny cracks and defects.
During the Middle Ages, topaz was actually mixed into wine as a powder and thought to produce a good night's sleep. It is believed that doing this will help you solve a problem you have been struggling with.
For those wanting the beauty of imperial topaz without the cost, consider citrine instead. A yellow variety of quartz, whose color comes from iron inclusions in quartz crystals, citrine can be a pale lemon to deep orange-gold and is likely named from the French word for lemon "citron" or the Latin word "citrus."
Citrine has many positive attributes such as its healing properties on the digestive system, degenerative diseases and depression. It is also said to bring success, prosperity and generosity, which is why its nicknamed the "Success Stone" and the "Merchant's Stone."
Citrine gained popularity during the Art Deco period and became quite popular with many of the Hollywood stars of the day like Greta Garbo. In the late 1980’s the world’s largest citrine was mined in Brazil. Coming in at over 20,000 carats it has exceptional color and clarity and is presently part of the Programa Royal Collections of Spain.
The reason yellow topaz and citrine are both the birthstone for November is due to how similar they can look. Often, citrine is mistaken for topaz and called Madeira topaz. Topaz and citrine both bring so many unique properties to the table with their clarity, fire, durability and plethora of shades. Consider having a topaz brooch, bracelet, ring or necklace designed for yourself or that someone special -- the holidays are right around the corner!
Gifting Topaz: Topaz is always a perfect choice for November baby's but it is also a great choice for a 4th wedding anniversary.
Topaz Care: Topaz is classified with an 8 on Mohs scale which makes this stone a very hard and durable gem to wear. Ultrasonic cleaners and steam cleaners are safe to use for cleaning.
Gifting Citrine: Citrine is the perfect alternative to topaz for November baby's but it is also the customary 13th wedding anniversary gift.
Citrine Care: Citrine is classified with a 7 on Mohs scale making this gem a perfect choice for everyday wear. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are safe to use on this gem as well.