November Birthstones: Part II

(view part 1 of November Birthstones)

Hello! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Our favorite holiday. Not only for the pie- but for the shopping! The start of the holiday season is always the best. It calls for baking cookies and snuggling up next to the fire, and concocting a well-thought-out list for the big man in red. (plus, it never hurts to hand out the list to your loved ones!)  Most people build a list based on the winter season; things like snowboards, remote car-starters, and heated blankets are commonly asked for here in Montana (and for those others who actually get to experience a white Christmas!).


Being a family owned and operated, fine jewelry store, there’s one thing that always makes it onto our list. And that’s Citrine. Here at Greenleaf’s, we’ve always carried a pretty large selection of Citrine. Sometimes during our long, dark winter you just need a pick me up and get the essence of that summer sun. With Citrine’s golden, sunny glow it’s the perfect fit.

So, you should already know that the month of November has two different gems associated with it from our Part I post. We went over Imperial topaz, which also has that warm, sunny, golden glow to it!

Its history goes way back- like all the way to Ancient Greece. From its history to all its claimed mystical properties, Citrine is the gem that is a must-have on this year’s Christmas list!


  • Citrine is part of the quartz family. It’s the sister stone to Amethyst. (February’s birthstone, ranges from deep violet to lilac).
  • The only difference is when quartz is heated, iron impurities are reduced resulting in less amounts of violet & purple and stone yellow and orange tones
  • Natural citrine is very rare, and is much more valuable than other varieties of quartz.
  • Much of citrine today is heat-treated to achieve its golden orange colors
  • The name citrine is an old French word, “citrin” which means “lemon”.
  • Citrine became more popular toward the end of the 18th century in Europe. This time is referred to as the Romantic Period for having artistic, literary, and intellectual movements.


The use of citrine goes back far into history. It’s know that even the Ancient Greeks used citrine in jewelry and tools during the Hellenistic Age (300-150 B.C.)! Citrine also made a large appearance in the decorative handles of daggers and swords used by 17th century Scottish warriors. However, the gem’s most recent pop culture appearance was during the Art Deco era. The gemstone was known for large, oversized pieces worn by movie stars and celebrities between World War I and World War II.


Natural citrine has long been associated with mental clarity. Many ancient cultures believed that wearing the gem would help open up their mind and give energy to their creative and intellectual sides. It doesn’t hurt that the warm sunny tones of citrine can evoke thoughts of joy and elevated moods and thoughts! The gem has also long been associated with luck especially to those involved in business situations. Perhaps this is related to the idea that this gem helps you think clearly and make good business decisions.

Mystical Properties:

For centuries, citrine gemstones have been sought after for their healing properties. The warm golden yellows were known to be used to purify the body of toxins, strengthen the immune system, and improve blood circulation. The gem’s vibrant hues were thought to have to ability to elevate your moods, and treat depression and even heartache! (Talk about powerful!) Now although most don’t believe in the healing powers of crystals and minerals that are trending though pop culture right now, the association of citrine with health, hope and joy remains!

*Emotional benefits of sporting a citrine gem:
relieves depression, self-doubt, anger, and irrational mood swings

*Physical benefits of sporting a citrine gem:
beneficial for digestion, stomach problems and sleep apnea

As you can see, November has beautiful, sunny birthstones you can wear to warm you up a bit this season, with some amazing, positive, uplifting properties to get you through the winter!

November Birthstones: Part I

As the air turns crisper, the need for a cozy, warm- fuzzy feeling rises. Lucky for those born in November, because their two birthstones come in some of those, feel-good colors.


Like October, November has two gemstones that are associated with the month! Citrine and Topaz are the chosen lucky gems. Now, although Topaz comes in many different colors, the yellow topaz is the designated shade. These warm, sunny tones are sure to help you cozy up as winter sets in!

Both citrine and topaz are known for their calming energies, and bringing warmth and fortune. They actually look so similar that throughout history, they’ve often been mistaken for one another. (only the yellow topaz, of course!). Because of all the color topaz occurs in, it’s been mistaken for many other gems over history as well. Most natural topaz is a pale blue shade, while the most rare and valuable topaz is yellow, or pink to reddish-orange; while red and violet shades are incredibly rare. These gems are commonly treated to enhance their hues for jewelry.

Because imperial topaz is November’s original birthstone, we’ll go into detail in Part I.


Topaz has a history that goes back at least two thousand years! Use of the gem can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, when they believed that the yellow topaz got its golden hue from the Sun God, Ra. The Christian Old Testament even refers to topaz! The name topaz derives from ancient Sanskrit language and means “fire”.


Yellow topaz, also known as Imperial topaz, is well known for its smoky brown color and golden yellow tones, which have long been associated with the earth and harvest. These hues represented planting seasons and the fertility of life. Throughout history, yellow topaz gems have been symbolic of the outdoors and induce images of all things organic; the rich soil, harvest grains, even the sun.

Many believe that yellow topaz represents serenity and empathy. That’s because the brown and golden colors have long been associated with the home and family. Some even swear that when wearing a topaz pendant while entertaining guests, it will help foster an atmosphere of harmony, warmth and pleasantness. The stone is a symbol of balance and is believed to promote emotional stability and hospitality.

Mystical Properties:

In Ancient Greece, topaz was a powerful stone that could increase strength of the wearer and, (get this…) provide invisibility in desperate times. For centuries, topaz has been thought to be beneficial to those in creative fields, like artists, public speakers, writers, and actors. The gem supportive of visualization, manifestation, creativity and generosity, which will attract prosperity into one’s life. The golden rays of Imperial topaz will recharge the wearer, both physically and spiritually. Wearing the gem is thought to allow you to overcome self-imposed limitations, and help to recognize your abilities and move forward with generosity and an open heart.

All you November babies out there can cozy up with your own sunny gem this winter- and you only know the half of it!

Check back for Part II of our November Birthstones post to discover another golden gem associated with this month, the beautiful citrine. Happy welcoming winter! EDIT: Part II is here.

History of Black Friday

This time of year, we want food, and we want to shop!

Every Thanksgiving, millions of American stuff themselves with turkey and pie; and then wake up at dawn to try and get in on black out discounts in basically all retail stores. It may make you think, what is Black Friday? Where did it come from? Why is it such a big deal? Well, you’re about to find out!

There are many myths and conspiracies of where the term ‘Black Friday’ first came from. The first recorded instance of the term being used was all the way back in 1869. When two Wall Street financers tried to scam the system by attempting to buy as much of the nation’s gold as they could, causing the price to shoot up and then sell it for massive profits. On a Friday in September, the conspiracy finally unraveled, sending the market into free fall and bankrupting everyone from barons on Wall Street to farmers. They called it, “Black Friday”. However, this use of the term is not the story behind our holiday shopping send-off tradition.

The true story behind Black Friday is not as great as many retailers may want you to believe.

It was back in the 1950s in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. The term was used by police to describe the chaos that occurred when the hordes of suburban shoppers and tourist flooded the city in advance of the big Amy-Navy college football match-up. Not only would police have to work on the Friday, they would get extra-long shifts to control crowds and traffic. By 1961, the term had caught on in Philly, but the term didn’t spread to the rest of the nation until the 1980s. Retailers around the country used it to their advantage and basically fashioned a holiday out of the term. Retailers pretty much gave the term their own ‘version’ of how it came to be. As the story goes, stores would be experiencing loss all year (“in the red”) until the day after Thanksgiving, when stores would supposedly earn a profit (“in the black”) due to the fact that holiday shoppers blew so much money on discounted items. Though retailers do record losses in red and profits in black, this is not the true upcoming of the “Black Friday” term.

In 2016, over 154 MILLION consumers shopped in stores and online- no wonder retailers start their Black Friday flash sales earlier and earlier every year! Just internet sales racked up over $3.3 billion last year. The main question consumers must ask is if fighting the crowds is worth the insane discounts and deals retailers put forth to kick off the holiday gift-giving season… I think everyone’s wallet would say it is!

**Don’t forget to stop by the store and see us on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, (November 24th & 25th). We will be offering up to 50% off on items throughout the store; and this will be your last chance to get in on some awesome savings before the holidays!

Source: &

History of Birthstones

When it comes to jewelry, we tend to gravitate towards pieces that have meaning, and the first connection most of us make with the world of gems are birthstones.

The origin of birthstones has become cloudy throughout time. Some believe it originated from the breastplate worn by Aaron in the book of Exodus, which was set with 12 stones that were believed to correspond to the 12 tribes of Israel- or the 12 months or 12 signs of the zodiac. A more modern theory can be loosely traced to 16th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders. The idea of each person always wearing a gemstone corresponding to the month of their birth became more and more popular. Throughout time, jewelers jumped on the idea as a marketing opportunity and began promoting official lists and encouraging gemstone-themed jewelry as gifts.

No matter how it originated, there’s a charm factor about having a special stone dedicated to the month we were born. Diving into all the legends and stories around each gem only adds to the fun! We’ve put together a list of all the gemstones which are considered the primary stone(s) for each month along with the gemstone(s) associated with each of the 12 zodiac signs.


Now you might be wondering what the difference is between your birth month stone and your zodiac sign stone, right? Because they can be different! The 12 zodiac signs stem from Babylonian era studies of astrology and astronomy. Many people believe that zodiac stones can actually transmit energy from the planets because of the connection with our solar system. They are said to bring good fortune and luck to those who wear their sign’s stone. Writings from earlier centuries proposed that each of the 12 gemstones had special powers associated with the corresponding zodiac sign; and that wearing these stones at the right time would have therapeutic or talismanic benefits. Since zodiac signs follow the Astrological calendar, those stones are different from birth stones, which are based on the internationally accepted Gregorian calendar.


You will notice that some months have two or even three different gemstone that are classified as their birthstone. For example, October’s birthstones are both Tourmaline and Opal!

Every month, we will be doing a Birthstone Spotlight and will go more in depth on each primary stone during its month of glory… check back!