November Birthstone: Topaz | Color and Meaning | The Old Farmer's Almanac

November Birthstone: Topaz

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All About Topaz: Color, Meaning, and Folklore

by Martie Majoros
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November’s birthstone, the topaz, symbolizes love and affection. It is believed to give the wearer increased strength and intellect. Learn more about topaz color, facts, and folklore.

Topaz was once the name for any yellow gem; today, it describes the mineral aluminum fluoro-hydroxy silicate, the hardest of all silicate minerals. Topaz is found in igneous rocks and sometimes hydrothermal veins.

What Color Is Topaz?

  • Topaz is actually colorless, but impurities can turn it almost any hue, with yellow to amber being the traditional tones.
  • Blue topaz is rare in nature; those available for sale commonly have been treated.
  • Imperial topaz, a reddish orange gem with pink undertones, is the most valuable form.

Topaz Symbolism

  • The ancient Greeks believed that topaz could make a wearer invisible.
  • The gem was also thought to calm anger and balance strong emotions.
  • A symbol of honor and strength, topaz was believed to bring longevity and wisdom.

Topaz Folklore

  • In the Middle Ages (500–1500 AD), topaz was ground into a powder and mixed with wine to guarantee a good night’s sleep.
  • Topaz was also thought to have healing powers—reducing fevers, relieving asthma, improving vision, and preventing premature deat
  • If you dream of topaz, a problem with which you have been struggling will soon be solved.


Citrine, another November birthstone, is a form of pale yellow to dark amber quartz, with its yellow tones coming from iron.

Natural citrines are rare; most for sale are actually amethyst or smoky quartz that has been heat-treated to produce the yellow hue, turning the gem to citrine.

The gemstone is thought to offer the same benefits as topaz, including the ability to calm, heal, encourage prosperity, and protect against snake venom.

Citrine, often confused with topaz, is sometimes called “Madeira topaz.”

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