Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Say Hello to Topaz and Citrine

by Katie McMath

November is here and it’s time to start looking for special gifts for your loved ones. This month’s warm-toned birthstones could cheer up any scrooge on your holiday shopping list. Topaz and citrine are both most popular in golden orange shades, reminding us of beautiful autumn leaves. It’s no coincidence these cheerful tones are popular at the gloomiest time of year. In fact, Topaz is often compared to the rich color of Cognac. So sip slowly on your holiday drink and learn a little more about these two beautiful gemstones!

ImperialTopazTopaz comes in a cornucopia of other lovely colors. When treated, it can turn sky blue or deep indigo. These varieties are called Swiss and London Blue topaz respectively. Its rare reddish forms are called Imperial Topaz, named after Russian royalty with excellent taste! We have many tantalizing examples in our gem room. Perhaps one may find its way into your collection.

Tradition says blue topaz is appropriate for a 4th anniversary, while Imperial is best saved for your 23rd. Of course anyone with a November birthday might also appreciate one of these gorgeous gems.

TopazRing2This gorgeous Swiss topaz ring from Eve’s “Celtic” collection celebrates the beauty of topaz. The five carat center stone is as brilliant as a diamond. Cool colored platinum laces around the band in intricate knotted patterns, speaking to a magical Celtic sensibility. Small blue sapphires accent the bezel. All in all it is an irresistible ring!

Citrine is a lesser known and often more affordable crystal, previously called yellow quartz. Its current name comes from the citron fruit, which has a thick yellow rind and is similar to a lemon. As the name suggests, citrine is citrusy in color. It ranges from yellow to rusty orange.

AmethystWhen naturally formed, iron gives this stone its color, but this is rare. Most citrine begins as purple quartz, or amethyst, and is heated to change color and remove impurities. The resulting rust color mimics Imperial topaz. This explains why it joined topaz as November’s birthstone in 1910.

LemonMany outside of the jewelry world appreciate citrine for its healing properties. The heat treatment it undergoes it thought to further purify it. Citrine is motivating and boosts creativity, while dispelling fear. Its positive attributes make it the vitamin C of crystals. Citrine is also relatively durable, at a 7 on the Moh’s hardness scale. This makes it softer than sapphires or diamonds, but still hardy. It works well in rings, earrings, and necklaces alike.

CitrineRingEve’s joyous citrine star earrings hang from fourteen karat gold wires, with one diamond each. This sweet pair comes from the “First Light” series. The citrine’s unique cut is especially charming. They are paired here with a medieval inspired ring, from which more citrines glow like honey. It’s easy to see why topaz’s lookalike is associated with optimism and sunshine.


Whether you prefer citrine or topaz, count yourself lucky to be born in November.