November born can choose between 2 birthstones: Topaz and Citrine. Citrine will be the subject of another blog.
Natural Topaz is colourless but mineral inclusions most commonly render it yellow, orange or pink. Heat and irradiation treatment turns pale stones blue – so there are a wide variety of colours available. It is formed in the final stages of igneous rock formation- most typically in granite and lava flow. It is mined worldwide, with traditional sources being Brazil, Pakistan and Russia.
It is a hard stone, measuring 8 on Mohs scale, and suitable for a wide variety of jewellery applications. However its crystal cleavage requires careful lapidary.
Topaz has been a talisman in many cultures. Ancient Greeks believed it to give them strength. During the renaissance, wearing an amulet of Topaz on the left arm was thought to protect from dark magic. African shamans used it in healing rituals. Indians believed wearing it guaranteed long life, beauty and intelligence. Modern metaphysical properties include strengthening of faith and optimism, building confidence, self-worth and charisma and regeneration of nerve circuits and metabolism.
In addition to being a November birthstone, Topaz is a 23rd Anniversary gemstone.