The birthstone for November is the scintillating citrine and the yellow topaz. Citrine is generally colored a warm yellow-amber shade reminiscent of a lively sunflower, but can range from the deep oranges of autumn leaves to the pale yellow of midday sunlight.
The stone is symbolic of strength and hope and is often given as a gift to a friend or loved one who may be in need of a moral boost. It is particularly meaningful to people who have it as their birthstone.
A Few Citrine Factoids
Citrine is naturally found in igneous rock and comes in a wide range of yellow colors because of its tendency to change shades when subjected to different temperatures. It is closely related to smoky quartz and amethyst, being a yellow quartz form of the purple quartz.
By definition citrine is quartz that naturally occurs in an orange or yellow shade. It occurs infrequently in nature, so natural citrine would be quite expensive.
Fortunately by taking low grade amethyst and heating it until the desired color is attained citrine can be produced inexpensively. Natural citrine tends to have a paler color while heated citrine is often a deeper shade.
In the past the meaning of citrine meant it was used as a talisman to protect against medical ailments, a malevolent state of mind and even as a deterrent to poisonous snakes. It came into favor in the Romantic period when craftspeople began using it to accentuate warm gold hues in jewelry and sculpting.
However, it was used as jewelry long before that, perhaps as far back as the early Romans who wore it in a simple way – polished but uncut.
Best Way to Wear Citrine Jewelry
Citrine lends itself particularly well to rings because of its eye-catching warm tone; making citrine rings a popular way for the November-born to show off their birthstone.
It also looks good as a centerpiece or pendant worn on a simple necklace or as a pair of stud earrings. Since the color can be so vibrant, it is a good idea to pair it with a simple jewelry fixture to avoid overwhelming the wearer.
How to Clean Citrine
Like most other precious gems, citrine jewelry can be cleaned by soaking in a mild solution of dish-washing soap and water for about 20 minutes. Scrub gently with a soft toothbrush to loosen grime and then rinse with cool water. Dry carefully with a soft cloth before wearing or storing away.
The Imperial Yellow Topaz
The second birthstone for November is the yellow topaz. While the topaz exists in other colors, only the yellow topaz is considered an official birthstone. In general the yellow topaz is quite a bit more expensive than the citrine, so if you are on a budget you will be better off with a citrine.
November Birthstone Alternatives
If you are looking for an alternative to the citrine you should be happy to know that there is a list of traditional birthstones. The month of November is blessed with two traditional birthstones, the topaz and the pearl.
Both are beautiful gemstones, with the pearl being more suited to bracelets and necklaces and the topaz better suited for a ring. The two gemstones are quite affordable, but only if you don’t mind buying a cultured pearl or a heated topaz.
However, if you are only interested in natural gemstones you will need to bring your wallet with you. Most natural topaz is still reasonably priced, imperial topaz being the exception, but natural pearls are usually very expensive. Paying 200+ dollars for a single pearl is the norm and prices will skyrocket for anything out of the ordinary.