For a long time, topaz remained a misrepresented jewel. The name was used to describe any yellow stone and many mistook the green peridot for topaz. Topaz is actually colourless, and it gets its different hues from impurities found in the stone. This is probably how the popular Branzanga “diamond” which was mined in Brazil in 1740, got its name. It is believed that the gemstone was actually a topaz but it was lost in the 1800s and is yet to be located.
It is relatively less expensive, which makes it a favourite for many flashy rings where the cost of adding expensive gemstones may make the jewellery out of reach of the average buyer.
Pure topaz is colourless but the stone comes in some very beautiful colours like wine red, yellow, pale gray, reddish orange or blue brown. There are lots of colours in between these which are found naturally or achieved through treatments.
Where it’s Found
Brazil’s Capaomines is known to produce most of the topaz in the world market. It is also found in various regions of the Ural and Ilmen Mountains in Russia. Topaz mountain in Utah, United States is also famous for its topaz and other producers of topaz include Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Mexico, and Australia.
Our Topaz Jewellery
Naturally found topaz stones are slightly pale. So they go through various treatments to bring out the shine of the stone and the vibrancy of the colours. Treatments include exposing the stones to heat so that yellow topaz can turn pink. This is usually known as “pinking”. This makes untreated imperial pink topaz very rare.
There are other topaz crystals which are irradiated to give them a beautiful blue colour. The gem is kept away for several months till they lose their radioactivity before they can be brought to the stores. Topaz gems that go through this process are carefully labelled to keep the customers informed of the process.
Sometimes, colours produced through radiation may fade but there have been instances when even untreated topaz stones end up losing their natural colour when exposed to sunlight for long periods of time.
Birthstones and Anniversaries
Egyptians believed that topaz carried the rays of the sun which gave the stone its healing powers. Ancient African tribes also used topaz for healing. Today, it is worn by many people because of its alluring beauty.
- Precious topaz – It is the birthstone of November.
- Blue topaz – It is the birthstone of December and is also known as the gem to celebrate 4th
- Imperial Topaz – It is the gem for 23rd anniversary
One of the most famous topaz stones is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. It is known as the American Golden Topaz. This stone is of Brazilian origin and it is one of the largest cut topaz in the world. It has 172 facets and is almost 23,000 carats.
Topaz Azul is an 8,225 carat blue topaz which is also of Brazilian origin. The stone has been treated to get its vivid blue color. It resides at the Programa Royal Collections in Madrid.
But the largest faceted gemstone in the world is the El Dorado Topaz which was mined from Minas Gerais, Brazil. While the rough stone weighed about 37 kg, the finished stone is 31,000 carats making it a remarkably huge stone.