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November Birthday Gifts

Topaz is one of the US birthstones for November. The other is citrine quartz. Topaz actually has an exceptionally wide color range that, besides brown, includes various tones and saturations of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink, and purple. Brown is a common topaz color, and the gem is sometimes mistakenly called “smoky quartz.” Colorless topaz is plentiful, and is often treated to give it a blue color.

Citrine—the transparent, pale yellow to brownish orange variety of quartz—is rare in nature. In the days before modern gemology, its tawny color caused it to be confused with topaz. Citrine’s attractive color, plus the durability and affordability it shares with most other quartzes, makes it the top-selling yellow-to-orange gem. It’s an attractive alternative not only for topaz, but also for yellow sapphire. The finest citrine color is a saturated yellow to reddish orange free of brownish tints. Since natural citrine is rare, most of the citrine on the market is the result of heat treatment, which causes some amethyst to change color from undesirable pale violet to an attractive yellow. The amethyst’s original hue can determine the richness of the resulting citrine’s yellow color.

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