Friday, 27 November 2015

Gemstones World - November

Written by Florence Neau of Athena Jewellery

Topaz and Citrine

This month I thought it would be best to talk about Topaz and Citrine at the same time because they are often confused. It seems that before Gemology became an official science in the early 20th Century, most brown, orange and yellow stones were called Topaz. With gemology, the distinction between Topaz and Citrine was made. Citrine is actually a variety of quartz. Topaz represents a variety of its own amongst gemstones and is much harder and heavier than citrine. It is also more expensive but unfortunately it can be difficult to distinguish to the naked eye. Therefore it is quite important to be careful when buying yellow topaz in particular as sometimes citrine is sold as Brazilian Topaz or Gold Topaz. Whilst Citrine is lovely, I am sure you would prefer to know exactly what you are buying and pay a fair price.

The most valuable coloured Topaz are red and pink as they are extremely scarce. Next in line but significally lower in price are Orange and yellow topaz, known as Imperial Topaz. However not everybody seems to agree on which colours should be called Imperial so you may find contradicting information.

Next in line is Blue Topaz , whose various shades are known as London Blue, Sky Blue and Swiss Blue. These usually results from different treatments by heat and radiation of the most commonly found colourless version of this gemstone. Finally topaz is also found in brown and green, the latter being rare.

Citrine comes from the latin word ‘’Citrus’’ and is also close to the French word ‘’Citron’’, which translates as lemon. Natural Citrine is rare and it is usually the result of heat treatment from smoky quartz and lower quality amethyst (which we will talk about next February!). Is is found in various places all over the world but the main supplier is Brazil.

Citrine is believed to relieve negative feelings such as depression and anger. It is beneficial for digestion and can be helpful with thyroid, heart, kidney and liver disorders. It is also said to help overcoming physical addictions, fears and phobias. Like most gemstones there are various meanings and interpretations of the physical and metaphysical benefits of the Citrine but the general idea is that it repels negative energy.

I read many times that in ancient Greece, Topaz was believed to bring strength to the wearer and bless him/her with invisibility during desperate times. It is said to facilitate communication and self-expression and is therefore beneficial to artists and writers. As for health benefits the list is endless and each colour seem to have its own benefits. Blue is good for the throat, golden is good for mental clarity etc…

Finally, if you are looking for wedding anniversary presents, Citrine works for a 13th wedding anniversary, Imperial Topaz is for a 23rd anniversary, and blue Topaz is for a 4th anniversary.

Citrine Tree of Life
by Athena Jewellery

Next Month: Tanzanite, Turquoise and Zircon