Citrine. Long before its recognition as a November birthstone, this semi-precious gemstone was adored by numerous civilizations and consists of a history as vibrant as the gemstone itself. Ancient Egyptians often used citrines as talismans as they believed that it had the power to manifest desires, and its popularity as ornaments flourished just as much during the Hellenistic Age in Ancient Greece, its influence during that era even reaching as far as Ancient Rome.
Its rapport continued on to the 17th century as weapon makers made dagger handles entirely out of citrine and incorporated the gemstone into these weapons as decoration. Queen Victoria herself even made use of citrines in her summer residence which naturally caused a surge in demand. In 1912, mineralogists discovered that heat treated amethysts helped produce a yellow color. This turned int the November birthstone that we now recognize as citrine. Citrine’s popularity resurfaced once again during the Art Deco movement and was used in select designs for November birthstone jewelry. Its bright and sunny color pairs well with the growth of gold jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets.
Topaz. The etymology of the word topaz is said to have stemmed from the Greek word topazos, or the Sanskrit word tapas meaning “fire”. Ancient Egyptians believed that the Ra, the Sun God, was the reason for its yellow hues, and thus possessed magical properties that protected and aided its wearers in health.
The surge in popularity for the topaz didn’t come until the 1800s, when Portugal began exploiting the mineral resources in Brazil. Because topazes are commonly colorless, they were often mistaken for being diamonds. Regardless of this misunderstanding, not only did topaz become quite the alternative for diamond jewelry, but it still became a symbol of wealth and nobility. The Art Deco and other modern art movements contributes to the decrease in popularity for the gemstone and has not quite been as in demand as it used to be, but there is no denying the sheer beauty and charm the gemstone possesses up to this day.