Topaz is an allochromatic gem, meaning that its color is caused by impurity elements in its crystal structure. While this stone shimmers in shades of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink and purple, the preferred color range for the traditional birthstone is brown and orange. Stones in this color range are often called precious topaz to help distinguish them from the similarly colored citrine and smoky quartz. While it is nearly impossible to tell cut citrine quartz from yellow topaz visually, they differ in hardness. The slightly sturdier topaz registers an eight on the Mohs Scale of mineral hardness; quartz is a seven.
As mentioned, citrine hales from the quartz family, the second most abundant mineral in the Earth’s continental crust. Ranging in color from a pale yellow to brown, citrine and amethyst are sometimes found together on the same crystal, forming a stone called ametrine. Mined predominantly in Brazil, this super stone has been found in sizes up to 20 carats and some gems have tipped the scales at an amazing 1,000 carats. The name is derived from the Latin citrina which means “yellow” and is also the origin of the word “citron.” Currently our Estate Collection features a beautiful pendant that blends citrine and amethyst gems.