November’s birthstone’s don’t usually make the top of everyone’s list of favorites. We’d like to change that!
Ancients believed that topaz could cool boiling water, hot tempers, and high fevers – a fitting tribute to its fiery glow. It was also thought to prevent colds – making it the perfect birthstone for cold & flu season!
Topaz is famous for its warm, golden, autumn-like tones. Like a diamond, topaz in its purest form is colorless – it’s the gases and other minerals trapped inside the crystals that give it color. The composition of a topaz makes it highly sensitive to treatments such as heat and irradiation that can change or enhance the color. This is how we get the hugely popular blue topaz.
Topaz is mined from prehistoric granite deposits all over the world, but especially in Brazil, Russia, and parts of Europe & the US.
If topaz is your birthstone, now is the best time of year to let it shine. It’s a great choice for a beautifully-set pendant that can be the centerpiece of your fall wardrobe. Topaz is a hard stone but always avoid impacts that could cause cracking. Clean gently with soapy water – ultrasonic and steam cleaners can discolor or damage the stone.
Alternate Birthstone: Citrine
Sunny, sparkly citrine represents youthful energy – hope, health, and vigor. It’s a perfect choice as the days get shorter and colder.
Citrines are quartzes – just like amethysts – with a color range similar to topaz, with the rare pristine yellow being highly prized. In fact, most citrines are amethyst quartzes that have been heat-treated for the desired color.
An unusual quartz known as ametrine is a bi-color stone – half amethyst, half citrine – that fades from yellow to purple. The phenomenon is the result of different temperature zones during the formation of the quartz crystal.
To keep citrine looking its best, protect it from strong heat and sunlight, and wash it often to preserve its unique sunny brilliance.
Images: Wikimedia Commons