November's Birthstone: Citrine & Topaz
We’re feeling all fuzzy with the sound of jingle bells ringing in the distance. What better way to kick off November, the month of bonfire night and the Christmas countdown, than with a blog about the month’s birthstones, Citrine & Topaz.
A stone of warmth, making it fit for the frosty time of year. Wear Citrine on bonfire night to reflect the toasty embers in the fire, simmering away with a sizzle and a pop it’s certainly a gem for a night of fireworks. Citrine has been worn by extravagant movie stars, brave soldiers on the battlefield and has been used to embellish charismatic art-deco buildings.
Joan Crawford, the American movie star, had a 14ct gold and Citrine jewellery suite that fetched $48,000 at the slam of an auction hammer in December 2012. Greta Garbo started her own art-deco jewellery line, featuring an abundance of Citrine pieces. The gem is perfect for somebody contemplative of ‘the old days’, wishing they had been born in the decade of Hollywood vintage.
Art-Deco was a decorative art predominant in the 1920s and 1930s, it has a beautiful past laced with citrons. It was influenced by cubism, giving it a fragmented printed design. Have you seen ‘Gatsby’ themed fancy dress parties? With people wearing flapper style dresses and feathered headpieces? That’s Art-Deco right there! You’ll see the art not just in parties but in jewellery, architecture, interior design, furniture and appliances.
Back in Ancient Rome, Caesar’s soldiers wore the gem thinking it would save their life if injured in war. Scottish weapon makers decorated their weapons with Citrine, we read stories about the handle of the blade being nothing but a Citrine. Eventually the gem evolved and was seen in Scottish brooches and kilt pins.
The name Citrine originated from the French word Citron, meaning lemon. It’s because the hue of yellow tones match the variation of colours Citrine presents. The majority of Citrine is a variety of heat-treated quartz/amethyst. It scores 7 out of a possible 10 on the Mohs scale which is very good. The Mohs scale measures the hardness of a stone. Although Citrine scores well, be careful when wearing the gem when playing sports or sitting out in the sun for a long time. When the stone is exposed to excessive light or heat the colour can lighten or darken. But we love gems telling a story, so if you can see mother nature’s print on your long-adorned jewellery wear it with pride; it shows life.
Chinese mythology speaks of Citrine, branding it as a stone of success. According to legends, only people with great generosity of spirit are fit to wear the stone so they can share the prosperity it brings. If you are thinking of gifting this gem to somebody special, you can tell them this story, it’s a way to let them know you appreciate their selflessness in the world.
Topaz is pleochroic, meaning it shows different colours from different crystal directions. This captivates many, with a myriad of mesmerising colours, making it a highly desirable gem. It can be found in granite rocks and lava flows, it scores an 8 on the Mohs Scale.
This November birthstone has a really interesting history. During the Renaissance it was used for psychic activities, people thought that it could eliminate witchcraft and rid the world of magic spells. Before it became a sidekick to psychics it was a symbol of strength to the ancient Greeks, so it is a gem with a lot of energy, worn because it made the wearer feel at ease.
The gem has a vast colour range from blue, green, pink, purple, brown – even colourless! The frosty blue and clear topaz are easy to acquire and are affordable, we love the icy blue topaz. The deeper tones, like red, imperial and pink, are harder to find.
A stone of colour variety, durability and affordability, it makes a sentimental heart-warming gift, without breaking the bank.
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