Topaz Gemstone Guide

Topaz Gemstone

Topaz gemstone

The topaz gemstone has been mined for many years although it's uncertain how the name originated. One story is that the name is thought to come from the Greek word Topazon, meaning yellow stone. In the Middle Ages topaz referred to any yellow gemstone. Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine. When you think of topaz in jewellery terms, its often blue topaz that springs to mind. Blue topaz is probably one of the more affordable gemstones and is often set in beads and popular in silver jewellery. Topaz is the traditional birthstone for the month of November and Topaz jewellery would make an excellent birthday gift. Topaz is thought to discourage fear, anger, release tension and enhance strength. The topaz gemstone balances happiness and symbolises friendship.

Topaz Colour

Pure topaz is essentially colourless and is often heat treated to create a deeper blue tone. Blue topaz remains the most common colour whether it's naturally blue or enhanced. Topaz is treated to create yellow or pink shades and along with brown and orange topaz, these tones are referred to as Imperial Topaz. Pink topaz is the rarest form of natural topaz making it more valuable. Antique topaz jewellery, from before the technical colour enhancing treatments of today, will often feature brown topaz. Blue topaz is irradiated, exposed to gamma rays, followed by heating to enhance the depth of blue, this is a permanent treatment. Mystic Topaz is subjected to chemical vapour deposition, where natural Topaz is heated and elements are introduced during the process which alter the colour producing a wider rainbow type spectrum.

Caring for topaz

Like diamond, topaz is a hard gemstone, so ensure it's stored away from other jewellery pieces so that it can't scratch other stones or metal. If you want to clean your topaz jewellery then simply use mild soapy water and a soft brush if required. Avoid using harsh detergents when washing at home.

Sourcing topaz

Topaz is sourced all over the world, in places such as Topaz Mountain situated in the US state of Utah where it is the state gemstone. Other locations include Mexico, Italy and Brazil. The rocks can often be found in boulder size. In fact the largest cut topaz is of Brazilian origin, known as the American Golden Topaz, it is held at the Natural History Museum in Washington DC. It is a huge 22,892.5 carats, almost flawless in clarity, cushion cut in shape, and it is a light golden brown colour and took two years to cut.

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