The primary birthstone for November, is often confused with citrine, the alternative November birthstone. Both topaz and citrine were found on an island in the Mediterranean called Topazios in ancient times. Since these two gemstones were similar in color, although not in size or form, they were often mistaken for one another. The most common topaz colors are brown, yellow, yellow-gold, and orange, all of which are similar to the shades of citrine. The finest reddish-orange topaz, called Imperial topaz, can resemble exceptional
Padparadscha sapphire, which is the most valuable and desirable type of sapphire. Oranges, reds, and pinks are the rarest topaz colors. Light green, purple-red, and colorless varieties of topaz are easily mistaken for other gemstones.
Throughout its history, topaz held the distinction of being the gemstone with the widest range of curative powers. Among other attributes, topaz was used to promote wisdom, which is probably why the custom in ancient times was to give topaz rings to heads of state, diplomats, and royalty.