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November Birthstones: Topaz and Citrine
Topaz derives its name from one of two sources-- it might be derived from the Sanskrit word tapas meaning fire, or from the Island of Topazos in the Red Sea. In ancient times, the figure of a falcon carved on topaz was thought to help acquire the goodwill of kings, princes and magnates.

Topaz comes in a wide range of colors, from colorless (the most common) through light blue to golden orange and even pale red (the most highly prized color). Modern technology allows us to make in the lab what occurs only rarely in nature. Blue topaz is generally clear topaz that has been heat treated or irradiated, while green and multicolored Topazes are coatings applied to clear Topaz.

The Egyptians believed that topaz was colored with the glow of the mighty sun god Ra. They made topaz into amulets with the power to protect the faithful from harm. The Romans associated topaz with Jupiter, also is god of the sun.

It is said that you should only wear Topaz if you wish to be clear sighted. Legend has it that it enhances both clarity and eyesight! Ancient Greeks said it was useful to increase one's strength and could make a person invisible in times of emergency. Topaz is also said to cure insomnia, asthma and to stop hemorrhaging.

The Braganza, the Portuguese Crown, contains a giant specimen that is said to be the most famous piece of Topaz. It was originally thought to be a diamond.

Naturally occurring blue Topaz is found in Texas and the Ural Mountains of Russia. Colorless Topaz, used for enhancement into blue Topaz, comes from mines in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and China.

Citrine is yellow quartz, with a Mohs scale hardness of 7. The name is derived from the old French word for lemon, "citrin." Quartz is the most abundant mineral comprising about 12% of the Earth's crust. It is found in all three types of rocks: igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. Primarily mined in Brazil, it is more common and thus much less expensive than the similar appearing yellow topaz or yellow sapphire, which it is sometimes sold as by unscrupulous dealers.

Mental powers are thought to be stimulated by this sunny yellow stone. It is thought to enhance creativity and intuition, and to bolster self confidence. New age practitioners also say it inspires warmth and prosperity, as well as assisting in the the realization of personal goals. Healers say it should be used in times of stress or when a decision is being made as it helps to calm the mind and improves insight. Powerful stuff!

On a physical level, Citrine is used as a cleanser. It is meant to cleanse the body of toxins and help in the regeneration of tissues. Many believe it is essential in maintaining the health of the digestive, circulatory and urinary system. Other properties ascribed to this beautiful stone include relief from the effects of radiation and chemotherapy, and as an assistant in the absorption of antioxidants.

(This article written by Mike McGinnis and published originally on indiasilver.com. We encourage republication but stipulate the piece be copied in its entirety with links and attribution.)

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