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November's birthstone is Topaz

The word ‘topaz,’ birthstone for the month of November, comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “fire.” And in ancient lore, the topaz could be used to control heat. It was said to have the power to cool boiling water, as well as excessive anger. As medication, topaz was used to cure fever.

Topaz occurs in a range of magnificent colors – blue, pale green, varying shades of yellow, pink, red, brown and even black. Pure topaz itself is a colorless stone. Red and some pink topaz get their colors from chromium that is substituted for aluminum in the crystals. But most other colors occur due to minor element substitutions and defects in the crystal. Some colors are unstable and can fade away; for example, brown topaz mined in Siberia can be bleached by sunlight. In other stones, color changes can be induced by heating. High energy irradiation and moderate heat treatment of colorless topaz can transform it to blue gemstones.