Topaz is the November birthstone.
The name Topaz may have been derived from the Sanskrit word "Topas"
which means fire. It may also have been derived from the Greek word "Topazos"
which means "green gemstone". Another view point is that the name may
have been derived from the name of a Red Sea Island called "Topazios".
Topaz is a gem stone that has been known for over two millennia.
Topaz is found in almost all the colors of the Rainbow, such as red,
orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink. Color combinations such
as orangish yellow, brownish yellow, yellowish brown, are also found.
Colorless topaz are also quite common, but the color in which topaz is
found very commonly is yellow. The golden yellow and golden orange
colors are the most favoured colors for topaz, and belong
to the Imperial Topaz, which is the most prized of all topazes.
Topaz is one of the gemstones whose crystals can grow to enormous sizes,
sometimes weighing up to thousands of carats. A giant topaz called the"
Braganza" from the Portugese Crown weighs 1680 carats. Another
extraordinarily large topaz from Brazil weighs 144,000 carats.
The chemical composition of topaz is Aluminium Fluorosilicate, which
forms orthorhombic crystals. Topaz has a specific gravity of 3.50 to
3.57.The refractive index varies from 1.61 to 1.64.Thus topaz has a high
specific gravity and a low refractive index. This is exceptional,
because usually refractive index increases when the specific gravity
also increases. But, in topaz the refractive index is low even though
the specific gravity is high. This anomaly has been attributed to the
presence of a very large fluoride ion in the crystal lattice.
The important sources of topaz are Sri Lanka in Asia, Russia, Scotland
and Ireland in Europe, Brazil in South America, the U.S.A. and Mexico in
North America. Topaz has also been discovered recently in several
The metaphysical properties of topaz include protection from sudden
death, protection from poisoning, protection from nocturnal fears and
dispelling sadness and anger.
Citrine is an alternative November birthstone.
The name Citrine is derived from the Botanical Name Citrus for lemon and
oranges, as the yellow color of citrine seems to resemble the yellow
color of lemon and orange. The stone is also referred to as gold topaz
or Spanish topaz, but these terms are misleading, as citrine belongs to
the larger group of minerals called Quartz.
Citrine is found in different shades of yellow such as pastel yellow,
orangish yellow, golden yellow, and also as brownish orange, and reddish
Being a quartz, citrine is made up of Silicon Dioxide(SiO2),and the
presence of traces of Iron in the crystal structure gives the yellow,
orange or brownish colors to the stone. Citrine has a hardness of 7 on
the Mohr's scale, and therefore not sensitive to scratches. The
refractive index and specific gravity of citrine is much less than that
Heat treatment of purple quartz (Amethyst) and smoky quartz at
temperatures between 470 Celsius and 560 Celsius produces the golden
yellow quartz known as citrine. Therefore most of the citrine available
in the gem trade today are actually burnt amethysts or smoky quartz.
The traditional sources of citrine are Spain, France, Scotland and
Hungary in Europe. They have also been found in many countries around
the world, such as Brazil and Bolivia in South America, Sri Lanka in
Asia, and recently in many African countries.
Citrine is believed to possess healing properties and therefore it is
also known as "healing quartz". Other metaphysical properties of the
stone include promotion of health and vitality, giving warmth and
energy, and inducing hope and expectation.