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Both topaz and citrine are the birthstones associated with the birth month of November. Topaz is the more common gemstone associated with November and comes in a variety of yellow hues. The name topaz comes from the Greek name for St. John’s Island located in the Red Sea, Topazios. This is because yellow gems were mined on this island, however they were likely not topaz.
Topaz picks up its bright yellow color from impurities, as with most gems. In pure form, topaz is colorless but can take on a variety of colors dependent on certain impurities. A large chunk of the topaz in the world comes from Brazil, however it’s also produced in Australia, Russia, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Germany, and the United States. Although topaz has been used in many forms for thousands of years, the term was widely used for any light-yellow gem and hence most references to topaz in history could be other gems.