November birthstone: Topaz & Citrine

 For those of you born in the month of November – lucky you, for you have two birthstones – topaz and citrine.

The name topaz derives from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘fire’ and, legend has it, can be used to control heat and as medication to cure fever.

Topaz occurs in a range of glorious colours – blue, pale green, shades of yellow, pink, red, brown and even black.


The gemstone, with its beautiful colours, lively fire, clarity and hardness, is ideal for jewellery and pure topaz – when brilliantly cut – can often be mistaken for diamond. Topaz is an expensive gem, due to its rarity and the rarest colour of all, and subsequently the most valuable, is red.

Citrine is yellow quartz with a hardness of 7. The yellow colour is due to the presence of iron oxide and natural citrine is pale yellow in colour but very rare.

The most common citrine is heat treated amethyst but it can also be made from smokey quartz. The gem occurs in the same areas as amethyst with the best quality citrine found in Russia, India, France, Brazil and Spain.

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