Golden Imperial Topaz or Yellow Honey Citrine for November

Citrine Gemstone, Oval Cut
Even without looking at a birthstone chart, most people know the November birthstone as the semi-precious Citrine, which is an affordable quartz stone typically ranging from pale yellow to a honey color.  However, the original birthstone for November was the more precious Imperial or Golden Topaz, which is a rich gold-color and rare in the natural state but it may be found in a topaz that has been color-treated.  Because the topaz was too expensive, citrine became an alternative perhaps because it is a paler version of the topaz color.  Since both are similar in color, be sure to ask if the stone is topaz (higher-price) or citrine (lower-value) to avoid confusion and being overcharged. 

In the past, imperial topaz was sought after due to color, hardness, the powers it was believed to have, and of course history.  Topaz has a Mohs hardness of around 8, so it is great for jewelry (diamonds are 10).  However, it may only be found in high-end jewelry stores and possibly on a few shopping channels.  Also, it may be colored instead of natural, so if that matters – ask the salesperson or customer service.

Or to celebrate November births, go with the easy-to-find Citrine as the primary alternative.  It is an iron-based quartz that has hardness of 7.  After all, almost everyone else goes with this since it is the easiest to find in department stores and jewelry shops.  Citrine comes in various shades of yellow; however the Madeira citrine is more orange to red  in color.  Citrine has its own history, powers, and lore – the stone name is believed to be derived from citrus lemon due to the yellow color.  When looking for a citrine, consider how to choose and cleaning requirements.

Born in the month November or not, the sunny colors of Topaz and Citrine can bring a smile to any face.  Other alternatives besides citrine to consider for the imperial might be Autumn-colored stones such as the smoky quartz or smoky topaz, they are brown instead of a golden color, champagne stones as they have much yellow, and orange-colored topaz as orange is a key coloring in the imperial.

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