Gemstone of the Month: Citrine and Topaz



The Natural Citrine is yellow to orange-yellow and is a variety of the mineral quartz family. Its distinctive color is drawn from traces of iron; when heat treated, its colors will range from yellow to a reddish-brown depending on the heating temperatures. The heating process can be both naturally occurring or synthetically treated. Since natural citrine is rare, most of the citrine in the market are those that are synthetically treated. Citrine is popular for its attractive color, durability and its affordability.

Its name comes from the French word citron, for lemon, or the Latin word citrus, for the color of citrus fruit. For thousands of years, early Egyptians used them as talismans. Biblical scholars say citrine is the tenth of twelve stones in Aaron’s breastplate in the book of Exodus. In both the Latin and Roman Catholic versions of the Old Testament, citrine is referred to as chrysolitus, Greek for Golden Stone. Citrine was one of Queen Victoria’s most coveted gemstones, and it became the traditional gem used in Scottish kilt pins.

Naturally colored citrine is found in Brazil, Burma, Madagascar, Namibia and parts of the USA.

Known as the success stone, citrine’s sunny color is believed to radiate positive energy as well as dissipate negative energy. Because it is known to eliminate negative energy from the environment, citrine is also associated with stability and general protection. Throughout history, it is said that merchants believed that by placing the beautiful gem inside their cash registers, that it would bring prosperity and abundance to their business, and it’s through this tradition that it earned its nickname, “the merchant’s stone.”

One of two birthstones for the month of November, citrine is also the traditional gift for a 13th wedding anniversary.


Geologists classify Topaz as a silicate mineral because of its chemical composition of aluminum and fluorine. In its purest form, the topaz is naturally clear. Its impurities are what cause topaz to occur in many colors ranging from yellow, orange, light to dark blue, light green, and from red to violet. Brown is the most popular color and pink is the most rare. Also contributing to its color range is the process in which it is heat treated. The topaz is regarded highly for its brilliance and glassy luster.

Known to be the gem for the state of Utah, it is there where the most well-known occurrence of topaz is located, specifically in the Thomas Range, of Juab County. The name topaz is derived from Old French, Topace; Latin, Topazus; and from the Greek, Topazios. Topazos is a legendary island in the Red Sea, where the mineral topaz was first mined. The word topaz is also said to be related to the Sanskrit word, tapas meaning heat or fire.

In addition to Utah, topaz deposits are found in Afghanistan, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Sweden and Russia.

Topaz is also known to be one of the twelve stones in the breastplates of ancient Hebrew High Priests, as mentioned in the book of Exodus. Topaz is a powerful healing gemstone that is great for strengthening the whole physical body. It is said to balance, soothe and cleanse emotions and thoughts, bringing with it joy as it releases stress. Spiritually, it brings love and peace and can open us up to the universal energy, giving its wearer new courage and strength to make crucial changes in their life.

Noted as one of the birthstones for the month of November, it is also a great gift to give for a 16th wedding anniversary.


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