Birthstones have existed across cultures throughout history. Often, these were attributed to significant aspects of a particular society, such as religion or custom. Modern times reflect these themes as well, as groups have updated these symbolic stones to reflect current tastes, thoughts, and trends. Join us as we examine the nature of the November birthstone.
“Who first comes to this world below
With drear November’s fog and snow
Should prize the topaz‘s amber hue –
Emblem of friends and lovers true.”
-Traditional Birthstone Poem
Topaz and citrine are the modern birthstones for November. From a historical perspective, Imperial topaz was the preferred gem. The Jewelers of America added citrine to this list in 1912.
Imperial topaz is the yellow to a pink-orange variety of topaz. Highly prized for its beauty, it is rare to find examples of this gemstone. When they are available, they tend to command a premium price.
One of the great things about topaz, however, is the incredible variety available! Topaz is frequently available as a colorless stone, and it is often employed as an accent stone in lieu of diamonds. Its hardy and colorless nature also lend it to treatment. Topaz can be heat-treated to create jewels such as London blue and electric blue varieties. Alternatively, vapor deposition creates gorgeous gems like the many varieties of mystic topaz seen on the market.
For those who love the yellow and orange of Imperial topaz, citrine is a great alternative. From the lemon yellows of Brazilian material to the deep red-orange of Madeira citrine, it’s easy to find your favorite stone.
With the traditional colors of yellow and orange, the modern November birthstones are an excellent way to inject a burst of happy color all year long.
As discussed above, topaz has always been considered a historical birthstone for November. And alongside topaz, the pearl was once considered a historical birthstone for this month.
Cultured pearls, as we know them, are a modern invention. Historically, pearls of gem-quality were exceedingly rare as Mother Nature was entirely responsible for their creation. When they were found, the wealthy elite would quickly snap them up for their own use in jewelry.
Nowadays, the pearl is considered a June birthstone. Though, for anyone wishing to give a nod to the history of birthstones, nothing should stop you from celebrating with a pearl should you wish!
November Birthstone Quick Facts
- Topaz and citrine are considered the modern U.S. birthstones.
- The United Kingdom also recognizes topaz and citrine as birthstones.
- Scorpio (10/24-11/21) utilizes beryl as their stone.
- Sagittarius (11/22-12/21) is assigned topaz as a birthstone.
- Pearl is a historic November birthstone.
Birthstones were often thought to bestow luck on the wearer. They continue to be an excellent gift for lovers of jewelry and mementos. Whether you prefer tradition or modern sensibilities, birthstones are a unique way to tell a story about yourself. Which would you choose?