This article is part of our Birthstone Rings series, where we share the beautiful and varied ways our customers have featured birthstones in their rings.
November is represented by two sunny, yellow gems: citrine and topaz. "But wait," I hear you saying, "I thought topaz was blue!" It's true, some of the most common varieties of topaz you'll see today come in various shades of blue (from bright sky blue topaz to moody, deep London blue topaz). And there's a huge array of other topaz colors available. So, let's talk about these a bit.
Before we get into the topaz varieties, a brief word on citrine. This beautiful variety of quartz is like a little drop of sunshine. Its warm orange-yellow colors are a wonderful choice for a ring, and the gem has very good wearability and will hold up beautifully as a center stone.
The most prized variety of topaz, referred to as imperial topaz or precious topaz, is typically found in nature with sunny colors in the yellow-orange-amber color spectrum. This color is natural, beautiful, and relatively rare, which makes these stones a bit more expensive. This is the classic November birthstone choice, but we believe other topaz colors can be a great choice too.
Much more common these days are various shades of blue topaz. These are created using heat treatment on (relatively abundant) colorless topaz. Heat treatment is very common for many different types of gems, and it's permanent, so there's no risk that the color will change or fade over time. These types of blue topaz are affordable and beautiful. And, like imperial topaz, they have very good durability!
So there's no clear winner among these, and we're happy to recommend all three of these as equally great choices for a birthstone ring.
What does that leave off our recommended list? There are many topaz colors available that are a bit more delicate. From the unique rainbow colors of mystic topaz to the full spectrum of colors marketed with names like "passion topaz," a lot of topaz colors are created by applying a surface treatment to colorless topaz. These are beautiful, and the range of available colors is huge! But, like any surface treatment, it can wear off, especially in a ring worn every day. These topaz colors look great, and they're relatively inexpensive, but you should be prepared to replace them from time to time as the color wears.
How about a few drops of citrine sunshine to start? Orange and yellow gems are popular in flower rings, and this is no exception. This sunflower design in white gold has pretty leaf and petal details, and the cool metal color is particularly effective at highlighting the fiery orange-yellow of the citrine center stone.
Here's a more classic three stone engagement ring with a vintage-inspired bit of detail. Small, pear cut diamonds create a perfect taper from the center citrine to the band. Curving scroll details bring an intricate touch of the old world to this ring's design, reinforced by milgrain beading along the edges of the band.
For this ring, we combined two very different elements our customer loved, to create a unique ring for his now-fiancée. The band embraces a rustic look with a hammered texture, while the center setting is sleek and modern, using flat corner prongs to accentuate the octagonal geometry of the citrine center stone. Full disclosure: we didn't hammer this band by hand, we modeled this faux-hammered appearance in 3D so that our customer could visualize exactly the style and texture of the band before we started producing the ring.
And let's see one more flower ring before we move on to topaz. We particularly liked the freedom this customer gave us to explore a more unusual two-stone, two-flower arrangement for this ring. Toi-et-moi style two-stone rings aren't very common, but they usually nestle the two central stones together. In this design, we made a small bouquet arrangement of the two sunflowers, which sets the two citrine farther apart and makes the sculptural, natural design more prominent.
Let's have a look at a few of the topaz varieties we think make for a great birthstone ring. This first ring technically features peridot as its center stone — in fact, we included it among the examples on our page of August birthstone rings. But this unique ring's triangular center setting really wouldn't be the same without the topaz, so it feels right to include it here, too. We selected three imperial topaz trillions with a warm yellow color, surrounding a peridot to create a Triforce-inspired (look alive, Zelda fans!) triangular setting with the four gems.
Blue topaz is more popular with our customers, and here's a beautiful design that features the deeper color of London blue topaz. The design started from our customer naming a couple of her favorite flowers, and, after a few sketches from our artists, settled on this open design inspired by the amaryllis. This look offers a great reminder that a ring can have a prominent, substantial design while still feeling absolutely light and delicate.
This timeless three-stone design features the lighter tone of Swiss blue topaz flanked by diamonds. The side of the basket settings for the three stones feature a Celtic knot and two fleur-de-lis, providing some understated ornamentation to an otherwise minimalist ring.