November 2, 2010

November Birthstone: Topaz/Citrine

Posted in birthstones, gemstones, jewelry, rose diamonds tagged , , , at 3:37 pm by rosediamonds

November’s birthstone is Topaz.  Usually, Citrine is substituted for topaz to save cost.


First, let’s discuss topaz.  Contrary to common perception, not all topaz is yellow.  Pure topaz is actually colorless.  Topaz comes in pink, orange, green, yellow, red, purple, white, & many shades of blue.   Many topaz colors are the result of surface diffusion treatments (ie. mystic topaz).

The most valuable topaz is imperial topaz (sometimes called precious topaz) and is vivid reddish orange.  Topaz is an 8 on the Mohs Hardness scale, and should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner or exposed to steam cleaning.  Warm soapy water is best.


Citrine is a member of the quartz family (amethyst’s cousin).  With a Mohs hardness of 7, it is still very durable.  Citrine should not be steam cleaned, but ultrasonics are usually okay. Yellow synthetic sapphire is the typical November “birthstone” used in the jewelry industry.


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