Citrine is the birthstone for the month of November, sharing the title with topaz. In fact, the citrine stone has been used to imitate topaz and was once called Brazilian topaz. Citrine is also the gemstone that celebrates the 13th anniversary of marriage. Citrine is named after the French word Citrin, meaning lemon. The color of citrine ranges from straw and sun yellow to clay orange, to deep, wine colored Madeira red. In the past, the Madeira colored stones were the most valuable, but today, the more vivid yellows and oranges are the most popular. Natural bright yellow citrine is the most rare of the quartz varieties.
Citrine has been popular for thousands of years and used to be revered for its rarity, though that has changed with time. The ancient Romans used it for beautiful jewelry and intaglio work. It was also very popular for jewelry in the 19th century. During the Art Deco period between World Wars I and II, large citrines were set in many prized pieces, including the massive and elaborate Art Deco inspired jewelry pieces made for big Hollywood stars such as Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford.
Nowadays however, the stone is not as rare, and thus, the use of citrine has little to do with opulence and luxury anymore. In fact, for years, Citrine became so cheap and plentiful, no one took it seriously. Now however, there is a full-scale renaissance for this gem. Its bargain price is no longer a handicap, but an asset, as it allows for use of very large stones in jewelry. As part of the trend, jewelry makers are using big, bold gems- many cut in a cubist manner, to give lots of splash for the money. Citrine has found favor with budget minded women looking to expand their wardrobes with affordable pieces of jewelry. When it comes to providing earth-toned colors for women on a budget, citrine has no real competition.
November Birthstone - Yellow Topaz
True topaz, the symbol of love and affection, aid to sweetness of disposition and birthstone on November, is one of natures most wonderful and least known families. The true topaz is rarely seen in jewelry stores. Most people know only the quartz (citrine) topaz, or glass. In the past almost any yellow stone was called topaz.
Topaz occurs not only in the transparent yellow, yellow brown, orange brown, and pinky brown, but also in a very light to medium red, very light to light blue, very light green, light greenish yellow, and colorless. Topaz is a hard, brilliant stone with a fine color range.
Blue topaz has become popular in recent years and most of it is treated for color. Blue topaz closely resembles the finest aquamarine and offers a very attractive affordable alternative to aquamarine. Some of the fine, deeper blue treated topazes have been found to be radioactive, and according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, may be injurious to the wearer. The true topaz family offers a variety of color options in lovely, clear, brilliant, and durable stones.