Stone Of The Month: November
When November rolls around every year, you might see some conflicting information out there on the web about which stone is the "official" stone of the month. Some say it is yellow topaz and others say it is yellow citrine. So which one is right? Well, both are correct. Initially, yellow topaz sometimes referred to as "Imperial topaz," was the traditional birthstone for November. However, due to these stones increasing rarity and eye-watering price tag, citrine was adopted as the more readily available and much more affordable alternative. Metaphysically speaking, both stones share similar metaphysical features as well. Let's dive a little more into these striking yellow stones and see how they might be of benefit to you in your day-to-day life.
Topaz is an interesting stone with an aluminium silicate fluoride hydroxide composition. It is found in a variety of colours, including white (transparent), yellow, orange, pink, and various shades of blue. Many topaz on today's market is treated using heat or irradiation to achieve the vibrant hues we are used to seeing in jewellery. It is a hard and durable stone with a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, similar to that of aquamarine and the other stones in the beryl family but without the inherent brittleness of beryl.
Topaz carries with it a long and rich history. At one time in history, before science allowed us to identify the individual chemical compositions of different stones, all yellow gems were referred to as topaz. Yellow Topaz has long been linked to the sun. The ancient Egyptians associated it with Ra, their sun god. The ancient Greeks linked it to their solar god, Apollo. Topaz also features prominently in Hindu mythology, Roman history, and the Bible. It has been recorded to have been used by healers and physicians to cure various ailments as early as the 10th century.
Historically, the term imperial topaz was used to describe a pink-hued topaz found in Russia and only allowed to be owned by Russian royalty. Over time, the name has been used to describe the precious, yellow, and yellow/orange variety of topaz. Whether using the term imperial to describe pink or yellow topaz, one thing remains true. Only natural, unheated topaz can be referred to as genuine imperial topaz.
Metaphysically, topaz is believed to be a powerful stone for angelic communication and is associated with the archangel Michael. Like citrine, it is a good stone for manifesting abundance and is considered a stone of creativity and intention. Topaz is one of the stones associated with the zodiac sign Sagittarius.
Citrine is the pale yellow variety of quartz, and it is found around the world, most notably in Brazil. Citrine is usually seen in dark, almost orange tones; however, natural citrine is almost always extremely pale yellow. Many of the citrine material on the market is heat-treated amethyst, which will turn from purple to dark, vibrant orange when exposed to the correct temperatures.
Historically, it is feasible to say that many citrines would have been mistakenly referred to as topaz early on in its history due to it being a yellow gem. Once it was distinguished as a different gem from yellow topaz, it was still believed, like yellow topaz, to contain the energy and power of the sun.
Metaphysically, citrine is one of the most well-known and recognisable stones for attracting success, wealth, and abundance. It is sometimes referred to as the merchant's stone. It is said to be exceptionally useful for those who are in business. Some believe that placing a piece of citrine in the cash register or in your wallet will ensure that the money never runs dry (guilty! I have both citrine and pyrite in my cash drawer at all times). In Chinese Feng Shui, it is recommended to place a piece of citrine in the money corner of your home, the furthest left-hand corner of the house if you were facing inside from your front doorway.
Citrine is said to be one of the few crystals that never need to be cleansed. It never absorbs any negative energy. Citrine is one of the zodiac stones associated with the sign Cancer. Due to its abundance, citrine is a much more affordable alternative to yellow topaz, which is why it is now commonly recognised as the birthstone for November. And just to confuse issues, as I have a tendency to do, Blue topaz is sometimes used as an alternative birthstone for December. But we will delve into that more next month.
So whether you choose topaz for your birthstone or citrine, either way, you are blessed to have a choice between two beautiful gems, both powerful and historically significant in their own right. And if you just can't choose between the two? Well, why not have one of each! After all, is there any such thing as too many crystals? I think not. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Happy birthday November babies. Tune in next month for December's stones; Turquoise, Tanzanite, Zircon, or Blue Topaz. And you thought November was spoiled for choice. December had to be just a little bit extra!