If you are celebrating your birthday this month, you will most likely know that citrine is one of November’s birthstones. But how much do you really know about the gem that is known for its calming qualities?
French for “lemon", citrine is a gem that gets its colour from iron present in the quartz. Its tawny colour can often be confused with topaz, November's other birthstone. Ranging from light yellow to deep orange, citrine is said to be a gift from the sun and is believed to be a healing gemstone.
With a ranking of 7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale, it is a durable stone but can be sensitive to heat, so be cautious when it is exposed to prolonged sunlight or heat. Like a lot of gemstones, citrine is often heat treated to enhance the colour. Yellow citrine is actually a very rare find in nature.
The gemstone, commonly sourced in Bolivia, Spain, Madagascar, Mexico and Uruguay, is not as rare as other stones, meaning there are many options if you choose this birthstone for your jewellery.
If you were born in the chilly month of November, you are lucky enough to have two birthstones - Citrine & Topaz. They can look similar and have in fact been mistaken for one another throughout history. They are however, unrelated minerals and this post is going to help you to get to know the beautiful Topaz!
Topaz is found in several locations across the world, including Brazil, Russia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia. It measures at 8 on the Mohs scale, meaning it is a relatively durable & wearable gemstone.
Although people often think of topaz as being blue, it in fact comes in a wonderful range of colours including yellow, brown, orange, green, red, pink and purple. Colourless topaz is also common and is sometimes used as a low-cost alternative to diamond, or treated in order to create the widely found sky-blue topaz.
Topaz is pleochroic, which means it can show different colours in different crystal directions. Topaz is also allochromatic, meaning the colour is caused by impurities or defects in the crystal structure, rather than its basic chemical composition. For example, trace amounts of the element chromium cause natural pink, red and purple colouration and imperfections in the crystal formation create yellows, browns and blues. If both chromium and defective crystal structure are present, the topaz will be orange.
You may come across “Imperial” topaz. This term refers to medium reddish orange to orange-red topaz and is especially valuable. This name originated in 19th Century Russia, when the Ural Mountains were the main source of topaz. The pink topaz being mined there at the time was named in honour of the Russian Tsar and ownership of the gem was restricted to the royal family only! These Russian mines are now largely depleted and Brazil produces the majority of the world’s high-quality topaz today.
Amethyst is part of the quartz family and is known for its striking purple colour. The colour can range from light lilac to a deep royal purple. It also often shows colour zoning, which consists of angular zones of dark to light colour. The most desirable grade is deep purple, with no colour zoning.
Due to it’s colour the ancient Greeks associated amethyst with Bacchus, the god of wine. It was thought to keep the wearer clear-headed and prevent intoxication. It is also known to represent health and luck. Amethyst is the birthstone for February and is also a traditional gift to celebrate the 6th wedding anniversary.
You can safely clean your amethyst jewellery with warm mild soapy water and a soft cloth or soft brush. As with most jewellery it is advisable to avoid using harsh detergents when wearing amethysts. It should also be stored away from high temperatures and intense light.
Pop in store to see our beautiful amethyst pieces, a member of our team will be more than happy to help.
October babies are lucky enough to have two birthstones to chose from - Opal and Tourmaline! Both of these gemstones come in almost every colour of the rainbow. Below we explain a bit more about the beautiful gemstone Opal.
The opal’s flashing play of kaleidoscopic colours is unlike any other gemstone. This stunning play of colour is caused by the diffraction of light by silica spheres. Due to this dazzling display of colours, the Romans perceived it as the most precious and powerful gem of all.
The main source of precious opals is Australia. They are often cut into irregular shapes that keep as much play-of-colour as possible. Colour, pattern and clarity are all taken into consideration when planning a finished opal. The best opals rival the most expensive diamonds, rubies and emeralds in price.
It's worth noting that opals are softer than most other gemstones and have a hardness of about 5.5 - 6 on the Mohs scale (diamond being 10). Therefore opals are best suited to pieces where wear is minimised e.g. a setting that protects the stone. These photos show a few of our lovely opal rings. Feel free to come in and browse our opal jewellery!