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November's Birthstones: Thankful for topaz and citrine

on Nov 3, 2011 12:59 PM

Citrine and topaz pendantGolds, browns, yellows and oranges dominate nature this time of year and the same holds true for November's birthstones – topaz and citrine.

Although topaz is found in a wide array of colors, yellow is this month’s dedicated shade. Some of its most common hues are brown, yellow, yellow-gold and orange. Pink and orange-reddish colors are the most valuable, while blue tends to be the most popular choice for jewelry.

TopazWant to improve eyesight? Feast your eyes on topaz. It was also believed to have the power to improve wisdom, increase strength, prevent colds, enhance creativity, bring relaxation, restore energy, make one invisible and cure insomnia, asthma and hemorrhages. Whew! All in a day’s work.

Why citrine? Topaz has been known since ancient times, but has suffered from considerable identity crisis over the years, most often being confused with the gemstone, citrine. Because of this, it was named the alternative November birthstone. Seems like a logical solution.

CitrineAs its name suggests, citrine is a sunny yellow color and looks especially good with polished gold. Darker orangey-brown and reddish orange colors tend to be more valuable, but its bright “lemon” color is more popular. In ancient times it was worn to protect against snake venom and evil thoughts.

Cleaning and care

The best cleaning method is warm soapy water and a soft tooth brush. Be sure to keep citrine out of prolonged exposure to light or heat. As for topaz, like a diamond, it has a high hardness but a single blow could break it in half so be sure to protect it from knocks.

Stay in-the-know on keeping your birthstone jewelry in top condition by visiting Gem Institute of America and the American Gem Trade Association.

As we give thanks for all that we have this season, let’s be thankful for the November birthstones too. Mother Nature did it again - they’re one as pretty as the other!

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