Topaz and Citrines

Yellow is the signature color for the November birthstone.  Amber colored topaz is commonly known for being the November birthstone. Citrine is similar in appearance to topaz and as such is considered November’s other birthstone.  Blue topaz is one of the December birthstones.  Topaz comes in many colors, including orange, peach, pink, gold, yellow, brown and clear.

Imperial Topaz, almost exclusively from Brazil has a lovely peachy orange color occasionally verging on red.  Because it is strongly dichroic, imperial topaz looks redder near the ends of gems that are almost invariably long and narrow shapes.

The majority of the world’s topaz can be found in Brazil.  Other notable locations for this gemstone include Russia, Germany, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.

Topaz is associated with loyalty, friendship, and faithfulness and the ancient Greeks believed that topaz had the power to increase one’s strength during times of trouble. All of these ideas make topaz ideal gift giving.

Topaz has a rating of 8 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it suitable for everyday wear.

Citrine, which is yellow quartz (usually heat-treated) used to be known as yellow topaz, but since it’s not actually topaz but quartz was given a name of its own.  the most desirable citrines have pronounced orange to reddish highlights, but are never like imperial topaz.  

Citrines register 7 on the Mohs hardness scale and are also considered suitable for everyday wear.