Born in November? Then you’re lucky enough to lay claim to two birthstones; citrine and topaz, which comes in almost every colour of the rainbow.
A firm favourite with Queen Victoria, citrine has been revered by civilisations for centuries, often worn as a protective totem. Topaz, meanwhile, was prized by Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans and used by African Shamans in their healing rituals.
Revered across the generations, Citrine was believed to have impressive healing properties which would help purify the body from toxins, improve blood circulation and strengthen the immune system. Some wore citrine stones to protect against the venom from snake bites and diseases and others wore it to heal broken hearts and to dampen depression.
In the 19th century citrine regained favour, influenced by Queen Victoria’s love for gemstones. This monarch often hosted dazzling parties at Balmoral Castle and guests were asked to wear full Highland attire, with citrine dazzling on their kilt pins and brooches.
Given its yellow hues, Topaz was often referred to as the ‘Gem of the Sun’ by the Egyptians. Ancient Romans and Greeks kept the stone close by to prevent injuries, while African Shamans used it in their healing rituals
Topaz has a large variety of colours: colourless, white, yellow, orange, dark blue, pink to red, purple and light green. This is why it can be mistaken for many other precious stones.
Topaz is coloured by iron and chromium; colours indicate impurities in the gem while pure Topaz is colourless. The rarest and most precious variety is yellow, pink or even red-orange. These hues can be confused with Citrine but Topaz generally has a warmer colour, with a very clear gradient from orange or pink. In addition, the shine of this stone is far superior. It is important to note that the colour intensity in some Topaz varieties can fade if exposed to too much sunlight.
It is incredibly rare to find a red or purple Topaz, but they do exist! Some Topaz gems are treated to enhance their colour but in these cases, it will always be stated and certified as such.