November Birthstones: Behind the Beauty of Topaz and Citrine

Updated April 9, 2021
Set of topaz necklace and citrine ring

With the rich, warm hues that descend upon nature in the autumn months, it's no wonder that each November birthstone embodies the best orangey tones that Mother Nature has to offer. Topaz and Citrine represent November across the various birthstone lists that you can find, with them often being mixed up for one another because of their similar colors and qualities. Yet, each has its own unique stories that have influenced their selection to represent the eleventh month of the year.

Topaz Is the Original November Birthstone

Red topaz crystal

Topaz is considered one of the most versatile and widely popular gemstones for modern jewelry consumers. This natural silicate compound comes in a rainbow of colors ranging from colorless to yellow, orange, pink, brown, violet, and light blue. Interestingly, the best-known topaz variant -- light blue -- is almost always artificially created by applying heat treatments to colorless topaz stones. Yet, the Imperial topaz, which is the most vibrant, naturally occurring color of the varieties, was chosen to represent November as its rich orange with pink undertones matches the autumn season perfectly. While topaz does rank as an 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, it's prone to cracking and chipping, meaning that you have to be particularly careful when wearing topaz stones every day.

Topaz Properties and Symbology

Topaz is one of the oldest minerals to be mined by humans and incorporated into their personal dress. Historically, all variants of topaz have been associated with physical and mental strength, with Medieval Europeans even believing the stones could dispel harmful magic spells. Modern day believers of gemstone's mystical properties associate topaz with the solar plexus chakras, meaning that the stone has the power to fortify your personal will and increase your determination.

Prices of Topaz Jewelry

If you're interested in being a November birthstone purist, then finding a piece of Imperial topaz jewelry is the only option for you. Unfortunately, these jewels are quite expensive, such as this topaz and diamond platinum ring that's listed for a little over $7,000. Yet, if you're willing to settle for an average orange or brown topaz, you can easily find examples for just a few hundred dollars, depending on the carat weight and other semiprecious or precious materials used to finish that specific piece.

Citrine Is November's Second Birthstone

Citrine stone

Citrine has been regularly mistaken for topaz because of it's incredibly similar transparent, orangeish hue. This rare variety of quartz was named after the citrus fruit that inspired its warm shades; these colors come from the influence of iron in the quartz crystals, and it's so unusual to find these stones in nature that most modern citrines are synthetically made. In order to do this, professionals mine amethyst (the popular purple quartz gemstone) and heat treat it until it reaches the desired orange tone. While this gemstone only ranks at a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, it does make for a great choice in everyday jewelry.

Citrine Properties and Symbology

Interestingly, while citrine was valued by ancient cultures for its calming properties, modern gemstone practitioners make a note that the stone can exacerbate aggressiveness in those already prone to having a fiery temper. Yet, it might be worth dealing with a little hot-headedness once citrine's wealth-making abilities kick in. So, if you're feeling a little down on your luck financially, you might want to slip a piece of citrine in your pocket to give yourself a boost.

Prices of Citrine Jewelry

If you're shopping for jewelry on a budget, then choosing citrine accents is a great option for you. Most average citrine jewelry shouldn't cost you over $1,500 at the most; take this citrine & white topaz ring, for example, which was originally listed for $250. You can easily find birthstone specific lines of earrings, rings, and necklaces with citrine for under $200. If you're more interested in having raw citrine on hand for mystical purposes, you can find fractions of an ounce for about $60.

How to Care for Topaz and Citrine Jewelry

Citrine Gold Ring

Although citrine and topaz can easily be mistaken for one another in terms of their coloring, they aren't as interchangeable when it comes to their cleaning routines. Citrine can actually be cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner, while topaz's brittle toughness makes it dangerous to use anything but a mild soap and water treatment to freshen it up. Yet, the two can both be similarly stored in cloth bags or jewelry boxes so long as you make sure to keep them away from harder stones like rubies and diamonds and softer stones like pearls to maintain the health of all of your jewelry for years to come.

Turn Every Hour Into Golden Hour

A unique way for you to celebrate all the delights of the autumn season is to add a new piece of orange jewelry to your growing collection. Both of November's birthstones can help you represent the fall with pride, and their orange tones will go perfectly with your fall-color scarves and pumpkin spiced lattes.

November Birthstones: Behind the Beauty of Topaz and Citrine