The Real Meaning Behind The November Topaz Birthstone

Birthstones are a great way to have beautiful jewelry that is simultaneously sentimental. Each month of the year has its own birthstone to represent it, and some months have one to three stones behind it. In fact, November has two gemstones representing it: citrine and topaz, both of which hold their own beautiful meanings since ancient history.

According to the International Gem Society, the history of birthstones can be dated back to many cultural references. It's mentioned biblically in which the first high priest of the Israelites known as Aaron wore a breastplate with 12 different stones, each one representing a different tribe. Later, a historian believed these stones each represented the 12 months of the year as well as the 12 zodiac signs. It can also be traced back to Hindu traditions, where a fifth century Hindu text, known as The Ratna Pariksha, details the connection between the stones and days of the week, celestial bodies, and deities. In modern history, the National Association of Jewelers met in 1912 to officially create the list of American birthstones, assigning a month to each of them.

In these ancient traditions, each stone had deeper meanings. Today, their symbolism has carried on and become a powerful form of wearing jewelry with the stones on them. They come in an array of colors, shapes, and sizes, usually implemented into rings, bracelets, necklaces, or other types of jewelry.

What is topaz?

Topaz, one of the gemstones for the month of November, is a hard silicate metal consisting of aluminum and fluorine hydroxide, ranking at an eight on the Mohs Hardness Scale. This hardness makes it suitable for daily wear with a fairly high resistance to scratching. While it may be commonly known to be a yellow or orange color, known as "precious topaz," it's actually a colorless stone. However, its impurities in its crystal structure can also cause it to naturally turn into any color in an array of hues such as green, violet, pink, red, or blue tones, per Farmers' Almanac.

The gemstone's name is said to be derived from the Sanskrit word, "tapas," which translates to "fire." It is also believed that the word topaz comes from "Topazios," the Greek name for the Egyptian island in the Red Sea known as St. John's Island. The word topaz was actually assigned to any stone found in the yellow or orange color. Because topaz is colorless or a variety of colors, other gemstones in that color were mistaken as topaz. Some people believe topaz was mined in this island as far back as Ancient Egypt, when Cleopatra's green emeralds were confused for topaz, but there was no evidence to suggest it was mined there. Historians believe Cleopatra's green gemstones may have actually been peridot. It wasn't until 1737 when genuine topaz was found in Germany (via Gemporia).

What does topaz symbolize?

Each gemstone and birthstone carries their own virtues that they represent from centuries-old symbolism. Topaz helps provide strength and wisdom — it also helps with balancing emotions, calming anger, and increasing longevity in life and love. According to Almanac, topaz was also used as a healing stone. It was believed that mixing ground topaz with wine would help people get a better night's sleep in 500 to 1500 A.D. Some ancient cultures believed that topaz could cool water down to help cure fevers as well as other conditions such as improving vision, relieving asthma, and preventing premature death. In Ancient Rome, topaz was used as protection against evil and for travelers.

"I feel so connected to it," influencer Kayla Maly says in a TikTok video after explaining her initial doubts in astrology. Maly explains that when searching for new jewelry, she chose a ring containing topaz, her birthstone, because she is a Scorpio. "I've been wearing it for a couple weeks now, and it gives me a sense of identity," she added. Maly, like many people who wear symbolic jewelry, hopes to manifest much of what it represents for herself and who she wants to be.

Its different colors are also believed to carry individual symbolism, per The Spruce. For example, blue topaz helps connect you to your inner self to communicate your truth and desires. Golden topaz is meant to rejuvenate, boosting confidence and awareness. Multi-colored topaz helps provide a balance of emotions and behaviors. Clear topaz represents cleansing and purity. Tailoring your needs to its color can be an added benefit for yourself and your spiritual goals.