Naturally found as a golden brown to yellow crystal, this silicate mineral also comes in other colors including blue, green, gray, red, pink, and purple. The colors are either given to the gem thanks to the presence of some other elements in their structure or due to artificial treatments −such as irradiation or heating. Topaz is a translucent and also a pleochroic gemstone, which means that it can have a varied color intensity when viewed at different angles. Price will be determined by the intensity of its color rather than for its size. Besides it has been well esteemed by jewelers and buyers because this rock is the hardest of the silicates with an 8 in the Mohs’ scale.
There are two hypothesis about the origin of its name: The first one arises from the Red Sea, as yellowish green stones were frequently found on Topazos island (now St. Johns island). And the second theory takes us back in Egypt where people believed that rays coming from the god of sun, Ra, fell into this rock giving it its golden color and its sparkling clarity, so that topaz pieces were exclusively reserved for emperors and in addition it was a reminder of sun dazzling. The Sanskrit तपस् (tapas) means ‘heat’ or ‘fire’.
Throughout time dealers have coined trade names for this gem depending on its color, the treatment received and its shape: Azotic Topaz, London Blue Topaz, Mystic Topaz, Rutilated Topaz, Sherry Topaz, Silver Topaz, Swiss Blue Topaz, White Topaz, and Imperial Topaz are the most recognized. The last one is the most sought after and expensive of all, this denomination is typically given to the medium reddish orange to orange-red type. Topaz was named “imperial” in honor of the Russian monarchy who prized its luxurious hues and claimed exclusive rights to wear it.
Main topaz mines are located in countries like Brazil, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Australia, Burma, Mexico and the United States. The first one has been the main source of imperial topaz since the Russians’ mines closed, and the last one is where the largest-cut yellow topaz in the world has been found, together with the title of being one of the largest faceted gems of any kind. It was sized at 22,892 carats (4.5785 kg) and it has 172-facets (flat-faced cuts are applied to gems, in order to help them reflect light). If you are fascinated with this information what about appreciating this magnificent stone in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. or, even better, showing off with one astonishing topaz encrusted jewel on yourself or your beloved one.
As a golden gem, it is said to have healing and energizing properties. African shamans used to treat the stone as sacred, and it was always an essential part in their healing rituals. In Roman and Greek ancient world, the gem was worn during battles because it was said to give those who wear it courage and sharpen their minds. The Hindus believe that worn as a pendant, this gemstone will help to sharpen intelligence and lengthen one’s life.
People born in November are said to really pour his/her heart into whenever his/her mind is set to, as well as being bearers of a strong inner energy… Whether or not the sayings around topaz are true, why not head to your closest Prestigio Jewelers to pick up one of these fancy stones and sparkle together with it, or just make the most of its wide range of colors to complement any outfit!