By reuvenveksler
September 14, 2021
4 min read
T for Topaz
T for Topaz

“I have topazes yellow as are the eyes of tigers, and topazes that are pink as the eyes of a wood-pigeon, and green topazes that are as the eyes of cats”, – “Salomé” by Oscar Wilde.

Description

Topaz has a wide color range to offer even to the most sophisticated gemlovers. Its color shade is caused by impurity elements or defects in its crystal structure. For example, chromium causes natural pink, red and violet-to-purple colors, while imperfections at the atomic level in crystal structure lead to yellow, brown, and blue shades. However, brown is the most common topaz color. 

Although different names of this gem are identified by its color, there are several specific names:

  • Imperial Topaz is a reddish orange to orange-red stone. It’s one of the most expensive colors of topazes;
  • Sherry Topaz – is a yellowish brown or brownish yellow to orange gem.

Topaz is also a pleochroic gem, meaning that it can show different colors when looked at from different directions.

Mineral: topaz
Color: yellow, orange, brown, pink to red to purple red, blue, light green and colorless
Mosh Hardness: 8
Origin: Brazil, Norway, Germany, USA, Myanmar, Japan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka
Superpower: promoting inner enlightenment
Birthstone: November
Anniversary: 4th wedding anniversary (blue topaz) and 23rd wedding anniversary (imperial topaz)

History

There are several assumptions about the origins of a topaz. The most popular one is that the term topaz comes from Topazios – the old Greek name of a small island in the Red Sea, nowadays called Zabargad. However, some experts insist that the island never produced these stones, but it was once a source of peridot, which was confused with topaz before the development of modern mineralogy.

The other version is that the name came from the word topas or tapaz, meaning “fire” in Sanskrit. 

Ancient Greeks believed that topaz gave them strength. In Europe during the Renaissance people thought that it could break magic spells and dispel negative energy. For centuries, many people in India have believed that topaz, worn above the heart, guarantees long life, beauty, and intelligence.

T for Topaz
Tiffany&Co. jewelry set with Imperial Topaz

Before the 20th century all the yellow, brown and orange gems were called topazes. It seems that due to its color, some believed this stone had a mystical ability to attract gold and wealth. It has been associated with royalty for the same reason. 

The name for imperial topaz originated in nineteenth-century Russia. At the time, the Ural Mountains were topaz’s leading source, and the pink gemstone mined there was named to honor the Russian czar. Moreover, the ownership of the gem was only restricted to the royal family.

Lucky charm

It is believed that a yellow topaz is the stone that can reveal secrets. As a talisman, it helps in negotiating and signing deals, as it allows its owner to understand the intentions of a business partner and make the right decision. This stone makes a person a leader and helps to influence people. This stone also encourages joy and dispels sadness.

Blue topaz attracts friends and makes its owner more sociable.

Imperial topaz is a love amulet that excites passion in a partner and increases your attractiveness.

Soft pink topaz helps to get rid of depression, brings back forgotten hopes and protects from fears.

Quality factors

Color

The gem’s most expensive color is Imperial Topaz. Its pink version is also popular – it resembles a pink diamond or a bright pink sapphire, although it is available in larger sizes than either a diamond or a sapphire. 

Golden or yellow topaz is much more common and therefore less valuable. 

Natural intense blue topaz is extremely rare. Therefore, the gem market is full of treated blue topazes. 

Clarity

Topazes – especially the blue and yellow ones – are usually free of visible flaws or inclusions. 

Cut

Topazes are cut in a wide variety of shapes and styles: the most popular ones are long oval or pear shapes. However, if the rough gem is very saturated, cutters choose the emerald cut to enhance the color and retain the most weight. 

Carat weight

Topaz cuts include a wide range of sizes and shapes. 

Reuven’s comment

“The last few years are marked by a natural unheated Imperial Topaz being at the peak of popularity. High Jewelry Maisons have been often using it in their collections, provoking a real boom in its popularity. Accordingly, the price has risen several times”.

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