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November birthstone

Posted by Laura: November 05 2014

November birthstone

Topaz or Citrine for November birthdays

Who first comes to this world below
With drear November's fog and snow,
Should prize the topaz's amber hue,
Emblem of friends and lovers true.

The Gregorian calendar has poems matching each month with its birthstone. These are traditional stones of English-speaking societies. Tiffany & Co. published these poems "of unknown author" for the first time in a pamphlet in 1870.

The poem refers to the topaz as being amber in colour, yet when we think of topaz we commonly refer to the blue variety.
Pure topaz is colourless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities. Typical topaz is wine, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, or blue brown. Orange topaz, also known as precious topaz, is the symbol of friendship.

Citrine is the other choice for November, due to the similarity in colour to the yellow topaz, it is a variety of quartz whose colour ranges from a pale yellow to brown.
It is nearly impossible to tell cut citrine from yellow topaz visually, but they differ in hardness.
Natural citrine is rare; most commercial citrine is heat-treated to bring out the colour.

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