Topaz has one of the most confusing histories of any popular gem. The name “Topaz” was first given by the Greeks (called topazos). Which meant any yellow stone. Because of this it is often confused with citrine, the alternative November birthstone.
– Constancy – Loyalty – Faithfulness – Friendship
In its pure form, Topaz is colourless. Impurities are what cause variations in colour. The most prized colour of topaz is called Imperial topaz after the Russian Czars of the 1800s. It features a magnificent orange body colour with pinkish undertones. Topaz also comes in yellow, pink, purple, orange, and the many popular blue tones.
Modern Birthstone – November
Anniversary – 4th – (Blue Topaz) and the 19th
Brazil is the largest producer of topaz. The most notable source being the Minas Geranis region. Gems are also found in Russia, the Ukraine, Pakistan, Scotland, Japan and Sri Lanka. In the United States, the gemstones have been found in Colorado and California.
Opals measure an 8 on the Mohs hardness scale of hardness. The MOHS Scale starts with talc at 1 (being the softest mineral), and ends with diamond at 10 (being the hardest mineral).
The finest reddish orange topaz, called Imperial topaz, can resemble the exceptional Padparadscha sapphire.
A famous cut topaz in history is found among the crown jewels of Portugal. It is a magnificent yellow stone weighing 340grams!
Topaz was once thought to strengthen the mind, increase wisdom, and prevent mental disorders. It is thought to guard against sudden death.
Powdered topaz added to wine was used to prevent asthma and insomnia.
The most famous topaz is actually a colourless topaz that was originally thought to be a diamond. It is a 1680 carat stone known as the “Braganza Diamond” set in the Portuguese Crown Jewels.
Click to discover more interesting facts about Peridot or Opal gemstones.