November is my birth month and I felt rather suddenly inspired to take a closer look at the physical and metaphysical properties of the two crystals that are this month’s birthstones. I am hoping to make this a regular feature as well, so I hope that you enjoy it. Children of November: I would love to hear your thoughts on your birthstone in the comments.
Growing up as a November baby I must confess that I thought that I had lamest birthstone imaginable: Topaz. It was just so yellow and I always longed for my sister’s birthstone (amethyst) to be mine instead. I felt like it was some cosmic mix-up where she got a cool birthstone and I got an uncool one. Happily, as an adult I made peace with my birthstone, and discovered that topaz and amethyst can be used in conjunction to create powerful, healing energy. Maybe it was just my baby witch intuition and not simple envy (that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it).
Physical Properties of Topaz
Topaz comes in a variety of colors, but the classic, yellow variety is the November birthstone. It is an 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness and it is the scale index mineral for that hardness; however, it is fragile. Much of the topaz on the market has been treated in some way: much of blue topaz is heat treated colorless topaz, and all “mystic topaz” has been treated. Some of the best natural topaz comes from Brazil. The label “topaz” was used for hundreds of years to indicate a yellow crystal, but in the 1800s the meaning of “topaz” was refined, and many other colors of the gem were discovered.
Metaphysical Properties of Topaz
Yellow topaz is the birthstone for any Scorpio or Sagittarius born in November, and is also associated with Leo. Topaz is known as the stone of true love and success, replacing negativity with joy, and providing confidence. It helps understand both the macro and micro, promoting trust in the universe, while helping one to express ideas. Unlike quartz, the ends and facets of topaz produce both positive and negative energy, this makes topaz a powerful conductor crystal for manifestation exercises. Topaz helps one “absorb” what is needed from the universe, giving the user to ability to act. Used in conjunction with the soothing energies of amethyst, topaz creates a powerful combination for white magick and healing. Topaz can also be used to manifest health. In general, it vibrates to the number 6, and golden topaz vibrates to the number 9 (different colors may have different numerical vibrations). It resonates with the Sacral Chakra and Solar Plexus Chakra.
Above you can see my photo, taken last December, showing a natural citrine point (top/right) in comparison to a heat treated amethyst cluster being sold as citrine (bottom/left). Fake citrine is one of my crystal pet peeves, maybe my top crystal peeve.
It bothers me because the healing properties of amethyst and citrine is not similar, let alone interchangeable. That means when you accidentally use heat treated amethyst in the place of citrine, you think you’re working with citrine, and you’re not. Additionally, the healing properties of amethyst are compromised by the treatment process, though not that much, just insomuch as color is concerned, but it’s still effected. The process is so simple that you can do it in your home oven, though I do not recommend it at all. When stones are powder coated and irradiated, that does a number on them; heat treating isn’t good, but it’s not the most harmful thing that can happen.
Real citrine is much more expensive than fake citrine, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping. Also, real citrine never appears in that dark, amber color, or on a matrix similar to amethyst. Hibiscus Moon has a great post about this issue and goes into the science of how it works, so if you’re interested in learning more, check out her article here. I will get off my soap box now and talk about real citrine, which I absolutely adore.
Physical Properties of Citrine
Citrine is a rare crystal that ranges in color from pale yellow to a yellow-olive (like my citrine point above). Its name comes from “citron,” the French word for “yellow.” Citrine is a type of quartz and also often occurs with smokey quartz; smokey citrine and citrine with smokey phantoms are naturally occurring. Natural citrine gets its color from iron and is one of the few naturally occurring yellow crystals in the world. It is a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. After amethyst, citrine is one of the most popular crystals in the world.
Side note: Ametrine is a different, a relatively new discovery, found in the Anahi Mine in Bolivia. Ametrine, which has been getting a lot of attention lately, is essentially half citrine and half amethyst. Personally, I’m very skeptical of Ametrine being “natural” in the sense that I think there must have been a partial-heat exposure of the amethyst to create the yellow color, and not the iron inclusion of natural citrine. That’s my opinion, though, so make up your mind for yourself, but I am highly skeptical of Ametrine. Update! I went to a gem show and found someone selling Bolivian Ametrine. He confirmed my suspicion that the crystal is formed naturally through heat the occurs under ground. Fascinating!
Metaphysical Properties of Citrine
Citrine corresponds with the zodiac sign Cancer, the born teachers and artists, as well as Gemini, Aries, Libra, and Leo. It is one of the only crystals on Earth that does not accumulate negative energy (the other is kyanite), and it is suggested that, because of this, citrine never needs to be cleansed. Citrine is commonly referred to as the “merchant’s stone,” and is used to both acquire and maintain wealth. It is used to cultivate optimism and attract positivity while dissipating fear. Citrine also assists with intellectual pursuits and education, it is the stone of teachers, as well as those in business. Additionally, citrine is helpful for sorting out issues within a family, regardless of the need for healing or a split, citrine provides the needed energy. It is used to cleanse the aura and balance the chakras, resonating particularly with the solar plexus and the number 6.