This November birthstone is the transparent yellow to brownish orange variety of quartz, which has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. Citrine has been a popular gemstone since ancient times and has shared a history of mistaken identities with the other November birthstone, topaz. As a result, people thought citrine had the same powers as topaz. They believed the citrine birthstone could soothe tempers and calm the wearer.
The ancient Greeks carved rock crystal ornaments that glistened like permafrost. Roman pontiffs wore rings set with massive purple amethysts, and citrine has been reported in Roman jewelry. It was particularly popular in colorful Scottish jewelry from the Victorian era. Citrine, believed to derive from the French word for “lemon” (citron), is given for the thirteenth wedding anniversary.
Today, most of the citrine in the marketplace results from the heat treatment of amethyst. With its ready availability in a broad range of sizes, citrine birthstone is one of the most affordable and desired yellow gemstones.
The top sources for this November birthstone are Bolivia, Spain, Madagascar, Mexico and Uruguay. Amethyst that’s typically heat treated to a citrine color is mined mostly in Brazil.
Deep in the world’s largest freshwater wetland lies Bolivia’s Anahí mine, an important source for natural, unheated citrine. Fields of wildflowers, brightly plumed birds, kaleidoscopes of butterflies, Howler monkeys and jaguars are some of the actors on this vast stage. The story of the mine is worthy of the setting. Discovered by a Spanish conquistador in the 1600s, it was given to him as dowry when he married Anahí, a princess from the Ayoreos tribe of Paraguay. The mine was lost for three centuries until it was rediscovered in the 1960s.
The Anahí mine produces a unique combination of amethyst and citrine in the same crystal; when the two colors appear together in a fashioned gem, it is known as ametrine. The citrine birthstones produced at the Anahí mine typically range from orange-yellow to brownish/greenish yellow.
At 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness with good toughness, your citrine birthstone is usually durable enough for normal wear and care. It can be safely cleaned with warm, soapy water. While it is usually okay to clean your November birthstone in an ultrasonic machine, steam cleaning is risky since high heat could cause the stone to crack.
Now that you know a little bit more about the history of these two November birthstones and where they can be found, you just might be inspired to add them to your collection! Having topaz and citrine as your November birthstones gives you numerous choices, as they offer eye-catching colors and sizes. You’ll find our citrine collection to be extremely helpful when looking for a November birthstone for yourself or a loved one.