What To Know About November's Birthstone + How To Take Care Of It
Every month has a specific birthstone (and birth month flower!), and for folks born in November, their birthstone is topaz. Here's what to know about topaz, from its properties to its uses, according to crystal experts.
The meaning behind birthstones.
While the birthstones we're familiar with today weren't officially chosen until the early 1900s, the tradition of birthstones has been around for centuries.
As founder and educational director of the Love and Light School of Crystal Therapy Ashley Leavy previously explained to mbg, birthstones have roots in both Western astrology and Ayurveda, and the National Association of Jewelers actually standardized the official birthstones in 1912 because there were so many birthstone options across various traditions.
Birthstones even appear in the book of Exodus (28:17-20), where it's written that 12 gemstones were fixed on the prophet Aaron's breastplate. "There were 12 stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the 12 tribes," the Bible reads.
Nowadays, birthstones are a popular gift for everything from birthdays to holidays to anniversaries and more.
The November birthstone: Topaz.
The birthstone for November is topaz, an aluminum silicate mineral containing the chemical element fluorine. Depending on trace elements within the stone, the color can vary from clear to yellow-orange, golden-brown, pink, and more, though yellow and blue are most common for birthstones.
This stone can be found all over the world, from Brazil to the U.S. to Madagascar, China, and more. And as crystal expert and founder of Goldirocks Yulia Van Doren previously explained to mbg, "Topaz is an ancient gemstone that vibrates with a very particular 'noble' energy," adding that it's commonly associated with high moral principles and ideals.
Meanings & symbolism of topaz.
According to crystal expert and co-founder of Zenchronocity Nicole Michelena, topaz is one of the best crystals to have in your arsenal because it supports a variety of endeavors. For one thing, she says, it's a stone of true love and success.
November is also a transitional month, she adds, and topaz reminds us to look at the big picture and embrace the shifts and adventure of change. It is, after all, the birthstone for Sagittariuses born in November, which speaks to this stone's dynamic and expansive energy. (Sag is easily known to be the most adventure-seeking sign.)
In fact, as Van Doren previously explained, topaz can be particularly beneficial for Scorpios and Sagittarians born in November. It helps to balance "both Scorpios' and Sagittariuses' tendencies to sometimes get a little too wrapped up in their own stories and balances any tendencies toward selfishness and self-absorption," she says, adding it can also help elevate your vibration to the highest level possible.
And as Michelena notes, topaz is also really helpful for manifesting and visualizing what you want. "It's one of those really great stones used during meditation to calm the nervous system, but it also allows a lot of energy into the body. So especially if you're doing a lot of instrumental meditation or you're doing visualizations, this is a great stone that'll help increase that frequency and energy around you," she tells mbg.
In terms of working with topaz, simply meditating with it, having it on your person, or keeping it somewhere meaningful in your home will do the trick. In terms of wearing it, Michelena says it's particularly good to wear as earrings or a necklace, and if you have a topaz ring, to wear it on your ring finger.
How to take care of topaz.
Topaz is a relatively harder stone but not quite hard enough to be submerged in water and especially not salt water, Michelena says. Other than that, any of your favorite cleansing techniques will do, such as smudging with smoke or using sound, your own breath, or moonlight.
Michelena does note that topaz can be particularly well served by a full moon charging, and even better if it's under November's full moon, which will "supercharge" your topaz, she says.
Topaz is a striking stone that comes in a variety of colors and happens to be the designated birthstone for those born in November. The good news is, you don't have to be born in November to get some topaz of your own—and enjoy its benefits.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.