The Tasteful Topaz
As well as Pearls, Beryl, Citrine, Garnets and Amethyst
While the Topaz is the best known birthstone for the month of November, there are also alternate birthstones that appear on modern, traditional, zodiac and ancient birthstone lists. Some women who already own topaz may want to give one of the alternate birthstones a try. Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry has compiled a birthstone list that combines all the different choices. For the month of November, their list includes pearls, different colors of beryl, citrine, garnets and amethyst.
What is Topaz?
Topaz is a silicate mineral that is made up of aluminium and fluorine. When topaz is pure, it is transparent and colorless. However, fortunately for us, topaz is rarely pure; consequently, it comes in a rainbow of colors. Topaz can be found in wine, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, green, blue, brown, gold, and pink. Blue topaz is the state gemstone forTexas, even though naturally occurring blue topaz is very rare. Today, topaz can be irradiated to produce a dark blue color.
Topaz is mined around the world, including in the state ofUtahin theUnited States, as well asRussia,Afghanistan,Germany,Sri Lanka,Norway,Pakistan,Japan, andBrazil. In fact, some crystals of topaz have been found inBrazilthat are boulder size and weigh hundreds of pounds!
According to almanac.com, the topaz is the symbol of love and affection. In ancient times, it was believed that wearing an opal would increase your strength and intelligence.
You may also want to use this link to see the beautiful November birthstone jewelry from Amazon.com
What are Pearls?
If the topaz does not provide enough choices for you, it is still possible to choose a piece of birthstone jewelry from one of your alternate gemstones.
The pearl is traditionally thought to be symbolic of purity, which may be one reason why so many brides love to wear pearls or have pearls sewn onto their wedding dresses. However, pearls are popular with many women, not just brides. In fact, natural pearls have been highly coveted for thousands of years.
Today, natural wild pearls are quite rare. As a result, pearl farms have been created so that oysters can be raised in an environment that encourages them to produce a much larger supply of cultured pearls. These real pearls are still grown inside oysters and mussels; they are just produced in a situation that makes it much easier to cultivate and harvest the desired pearls. It is no longer necessary for pearl divers to have to destroy thousands of wild oysters and mussels in order to find a few perfect pearls. The advent of cultured pearls has drastically reduced the cost of owning real pearls, so now nearly every woman can enjoy them.
When you give pearls as a gift, or buy them for yourself, you need to take a few precautions. Pearls can easily be damaged by vinegar or weak acid solutions. Follow the instructions carefully. Do not spray them with perfume, hairspray or other chemicals.
What is Beryl?
Like topaz, beryl is a mineral that is colorless when it is pure, but it is rarely pure. Consequently, it can be tinted green, blue, yellow, white and red because of the impurities found in the stone. One type of beryl that is well known is the pale blue stone known as aquamarine. Emeralds are actually green beryl. Because of the many colors of beryl, it is possible to find lovely items of jewelry that are sure to please almost anyone.
What is Citrine?
Citrine is so similar to topaz in appearance, that many people confuse the two. However, scientifically the two stones are quite different. Citrine is actually a member of the quartz family. Although citrine can come in a variety of colors, the most popular color is lemon yellow. This stone is especially striking when it is set in gold.
What are Garnets?
Another silicate mineral is the garnet which is usually a dark red gemstone, although it can also be found in orange, green, yellow, purple, brown, black, pink and, rarely, in blue. Garnets are mined in theUnited States,RussiaandTurkey. The stone can either be transparent or opaque, although the opaque stones that are mined are usually used for industrial purposes as abrasives. Garnets used in jewelry are most likely dark red and transparent. They are more affordable than rubies, and are an attractive alternative to that stone.
What is Amethyst?
An amethyst is simply a violet or purple colored quartz crystal. The stone is hard enough to be successfully used in jewelry.
Amethysts have been popular since at least ancient Egyptian times, and they were once considered among the most valuable gemstones, like diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds. In recent decades, however, it has been found to be so abundant inBrazil, that it has lost some of its value as a precious gem. Despite its abundance, however, it is a highly prized gemstone, and appreciated for its unique lavender-purple color.
Historically, the amethyst birthstone is associated with good health, sincerity and peace of mind. Here’s an interesting tidbit about amethyst: In ancientGreeceit was believed that wearing an amethyst would protect you from getting drunk! In fact, in early Greek and Roman cultures, alcoholic beverages were once served in drinking vessels made of amethyst because they thought it would allow you to drink without becoming drunk. Of course, it didn’t work, or we would still be trying it today.
(See ads at the end of this article for examples of birthstone jewelry available from Amazon.com)
Buying Birthstone Jewelry
If your loved one was born in November and does not own an item of topaz jewelry, then you may want to start her collection of birthstone jewelry with a lovely necklace or pair of earrings containing topaz. However, if she already is enjoying topaz jewelry that she currently owns, you may want to surprise her with pearls or one of the alternative gemstones. It will broaden her jewelry collection, and be fun for her to try something new. If you aren’t sure what color to buy, ask her or observe what color she wears most often.
Buying Jewelry Online
If you are not happy with the selection of jewelry you find in your local jewelry or department store, you may want to try purchasing jewelry online from reputable online sites like Zales.com or Amazon.com. Both of them sell an extensive collection of birthstone jewelry, as well as jewelry using all of the above mentioned stones.
Remember that you are buying a unique stone. Your piece of jewelry may not be exactly the same color as the photograph on the website. However, that uniqueness will make your jewelry even more special.
Source for alternate birthstone selections: bernardine.com/birthstone
Source for information about specific stones: wikipedia.com
Source for photos of finished birthstone jewelry: amazon.com
Source for meaning of gemstones: http://www.almanac.com/content/birthstones-and-their-meanings
Collection of Birthstone Pendants
Amazon Price: $120.00 $64.75 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 14, 2016)
Blue Topaz Earrings and Pendant
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(price as of Oct 14, 2016)
Pearls are the Perfect Alternate Birthstone
Amazon Price: $69.99 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 14, 2016)