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November birthstone: Citrine

Since November’s traditional birthstone, topaz, is not readily available as beads, I worked with citrine, which is often listed as a substitute. The heft, golden color, and unusual facets of these nuggets appealed to me. When combined with faceted stone buttons, rose crystals, and silver Delicas, the result is sparkly, not fussy – perfect for the cerebral Scorpio.


  • citrine nugget, approx. 2 x 3cm
  • 16-in. (41cm) strand 4mm-diameter faceted citrine buttons
  • 8-12 4mm round Swarovski crystals, light rose champagne
  • 50-60 Delicas, silver 
  • 50-60 seed beads, size 110, salmon
  • 22-30 3mm flat silver spacers 
  • 2 crimp beads
  • flexible beading wire, .014 or .015
  • lobster claw clasp
  • soldered jump ring 
  • chainnose or crimping pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters


November birthstone Citrine 1
Photo a
1. Determine the finished length for your necklace (mine is 16 in./41cm), add 6 in. (15cm), and cut a piece of beading wire to this length. Center three spacers, the citrine nugget, and three spacers on the wire.
November birthstone Citrine 2
Photo b
2. On each side of the pendant, string citrine buttons alternating with Delicas and salmon seed beads as shown. Begin with a Delica. When you’ve strung eight buttons, add a spacer, 4mm round crystal, and a spacer. Repeat the pattern three or more times, until you have strung approximately 7 in. (18cm) of beads on each end. End with a Delica or seed bead. Check the fit and add or remove beads as needed.
November birthstone Citrine 3
Photo c
3. String a crimp bead, a Delica or seed bead, and the clasp. Go back through the last three beads and tighten the wire. Crimp the crimp bead and trim the excess wire. Finish the other end in the same way, substituting a jump ring for the clasp.
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