Topaz, November's primary birthstone, has one of the most confusing histories of any popular gem. Though topaz has been known since antiquity, it has suffered from considerable misidentification since ancient times, most often being confused with citrine, the alternative November birthstone.
Topaz is a gemstone available in a rich rainbow of colors. Prized for several thousand years in antiquity, all yellow gems in antiquity were called topaz. Often confused with citrine quartz (yellow) and smoky quartz (brown), quartz and topaz are separate and unrelated mineral species. Topaz also comes in yellow, pink, purple, orange, and the many popular blue tones.