(Last Updated on : 22/12/2012)
Topaz typically occurs in cavities in rhyolites and granite. It also occurs in pegmatite dikes, and in high-temperature veins with cassiterite and tourmaline
. The stone is transparent with a vitreous luster. The name topaz is derived from the Indian Sanskrit word tapas, meaning fire. According to another theory topaz derives its name from the Island of Topazos, in the Red Sea, where the Romans obtained a stone, which they called by this name, but which was the modern chrysolite or peridot
In 1750 a Parisian jeweller discovered that the yellow Brazilian topaz becomes pink on exposure to a moderate heat, and this treatment has since been extensively applied, so that nearly all the pink topaz occurring in jewellery has been heat-treated. Such 'burnt topaz' is often known as Brazilian Ruby
, as is the very rare, natural red topaz.
The Egyptians said that Topaz gemstone
was coloured with the golden glow of their mighty sun god 'Ra'. This made Topaz a very powerful amulet that protected the faithful against harm.
It is believed that the topaz of modern mineralogists was unknown to the ancients and that the stone called topazos was the mineral chrysolite or peridot. In ancient times, a figure of a falcon carved on a Topaz was thought to help earn the goodwill of kings, princes and magnates
Pure topaz is colourless, but it also occurs in a broad range of colours. The range started from yellow, blue, pink, peach, gold, green, red, and brown. Some natural yellow stones are heated to become permanently pink i.e. pinked topaz. The golden glow of late afternoon, the reddish orange of sunset and the pink of dawn's first light, these can be explained as the colours of Topaz. All of these colours are known as precious Topaz. Blue Topaz, a popular affordable gem, has an enhanced colour. Topaz with a natural blue colour is very rare. Topaz along with citrine
is birthstones of Scorpio
. The time ranges from Oct 24 - Nov 21. Topaz is the anniversary gemstone for the 4th and 19th year of marriage.
There are some varieties of Topaz and nothing compares to the sparkling brilliance of Blue Topaz. Orange-red Imperial Topaz is also rare. Precious topaz is most often found in a scissors cut, a rectangular gem cut with curved sides that has triangular facets. Ovals, cushions, and emerald
cuts are also available.
Topaz has a hardness of 8. So Topaz should always be kept in separate boxes to protect other jewellery from scratches. Large temperature changes should also be avoided. Topaz often becomes paler if kept out in the sun. Topaz should not be cleaned in a home ultrasonic cleaner. The best way to clean topaz is using toothbrush in warm soapy water to scrub behind the stone where dust can be collected.
Topaz looks beautiful in rings
, bracelets, necklace
s, and pendants
. Blue Topaz is available in a variety of shades, sizes and shapes. Red and intense pink are the most rare and most desirable colours for topaz as well. Pure topaz when brilliantly cut, they are mistaken even for diamond.
Topaz is a stone of strength. Topaz stimulates an endocrine system. It assists in general tissue regeneration. Topaz is valuable in the treatment of haemorrhages. It also increases poor appetite and helps fighting blood disorders.
In mysticism, the topaz is attributed with a cooling, styptic and appetizing effect. It is said to dispel sadness, anger and nocturnal fears, to warn its wearer of poisons and protect him or her from sudden death.
In the Empire style, the topaz was still widespread, but then the more reasonably priced citrine took over from it and even usurped its name i.e. gold topaz. Since then, the topaz has been a rather exotic figure in the jewellery trade, and has been given the additional predicate 'pure' to make it clear that the topaz, not the quartz
topaz, is meant. And it is still waiting for its well-deserved comeback to this day.