What is a topaz gem stone?
The topaz gemstone is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine. It is one of the hardest naturally occurring minerals (Mohs hardness of 8) and is the hardest of any silicate mineral. This hardness combined with its usual transparency and variety of colours means that it is widely used in jewellery as a cut gemstone.
These days topaz comes in various colours ranging from yellows and browns to blues, greens, reds and pinks, but before the 1950’s yellow-orange topaz was the only colour known. This colour is now referred to as ‘Precious or Imperial Topaz’ and is the most highly valued of all colours. However, the most popular colour of topaz is blue and it can be found in light, mid and dark tones known as Sky Blue, Swiss Blue and London Blue.
Brazil is one of the largest producers of topaz. Some clear topaz crystals from Brazil can reach boulder size and weigh hundreds of pounds. Crystals of this size may be seen in museum collections. The American Golden topaz weighs a massive 22,892.5 carats (4.57850 kg). It has 172 facets and is the largest cut yellow topaz in the world, and one of the largest faceted gems of any type in the world. Originating from Minas Girais, Brazil.
Topaz can be found with in various areas including the Ural and Ilmen mountains of Russia, in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Nigeria and the United States.
The topaz is known for its qualities of strength, tenacity, dedication and resilience. This November birthstone is believed to balance emotions and thoughts for a harmonious lifestyle. The gemstone is used to enhance spirituality, promote wisdom and cut through troubles and confusion to bestow clear thought. An English superstition held that topaz cured lunacy.