November's birthstones capture the brilliant glow of autumn leaves. On those overcast days when it gets dark early, citrine and yellow topaz will add plenty of sparkle to your clothing and your mood. When you're shopping for gift for someone born in November, consider the special properties of each of these enchanting gemstones.
Citrine lore: This gem has become increasingly popular in the last 200 years; before that, topaz was the yellow stone of choice for jewelry. Citrine was often called gold topaz before the 20th century, but, similar to amethyst, is actually a quartz stone. As for its mystical powers, citrine has a calming effect on the emotions. It helps alleviate despair and promote healing.
Where it comes from: Gem-quality citrine is mined in Brazil, Russia, Madagascar, and Spain.
Color and variations: Citrine color ranges from pale yellow to golden amber and a reddish brown known as Madeira. The bright, lemony yellows are the most popular for citrine jewelry.
Citrine jewelry: The birthstone ring is the most traditional piece of birthstone jewelry, especially as a gift. However, citrine is widely available and relatively affordable, so you can can find it in almost any necklace, bracelet, or earring design imaginable. If you like the artistic, authentic look of handmade crafts, add some citrine-studded world jewelry to your collection.
Topaz lore: Although its origins are unclear, many believe that the word topaz is related to "tapas," the Sanskrit word for fire. The yellow and orange varieties certainly evoke the bright warmth of flames. Topaz has been used for jewelry and ornamentation for at least 2,000 years, and the Romans associated the gem with the god Jupiter. It is a symbol of beauty and courage, and offers the wearer protection when confronting enemies.
Where it comes from: Brazil, Siberia, and Pakistan contain the world's largest deposits of topaz. Topaz is also found in the United States, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Nigeria.
Color and variations: The dark yellow topaz is the November birthstone, but the stone also appears in other warm colors, including imperial orange, sherry brown, smoky brown, and pink. It can also be blue or white (clear).
Topaz jewelry: Yellow topaz is not used for contemporary jewelry design as much as citrine or blue topaz. However, it used to be quite popular and is still quite valuable. To find the warm, golden topaz colors, look for high-end jewelry or estate jewelry.