Topaz gemstones are often confused with citrine or smoky quartz; however, the colors we appreciate topaz for have a wide range – from pink to orange, red, purple, brown, yellow and even colorless. In nature, topaz is widely found in golden tones that can range from amber to peach. Its name likely derived from the island of Topazos, in the Red Sea, where Romans found yellowish gems. Because many natural topaz gemstones have this golden glow, in ancient times, topaz was often thought to have a special connection to the sun. The ancient Egyptians believed topaz was given its radiance from the sun god Ra, and that the stone would protect them from harm. The Romans also associated the topaz with their god of sun, Jupiter.
Blue and pink topaz gemstones are especially rare in nature. When natural pink topaz was first discovered in 18th century Russia, it was reserved for the Czar and his family alone.
According to tradition, the topaz has the power to sharpen intelligence, calm the temper, aid in sleep, dispel bad omens and lengthen one's life.
Topaz is the November birthstone, but those born in other months also take pleasure from its warmth and beauty.
Topaz is a mineral species that occurs naturally in a broad color range, including various reds, pinks, purples, yellows, oranges and browns. More rarely, blue material is found.
Brazil remains an important source for topaz. Other sources include Australia, Madagascar, Mexico, Burma (Myanmar), Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United States.
Topaz is a fairly durable gemstone with a hardness of 8.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Topaz can be cut into many shapes and sizes, often as faceted gems or cabochons.
Topaz is commonly heated to change some of the yellow and reddish brown topaz to create pink gems. The vast majority of blue topaz on the market is irradiated, and heated. Another form of treatment common to topaz is surface coating, which results in many colors. Any treatments should be disclosed to the buyer.
Topaz Care & Cleaning
To minimize scratching and wear, store each piece of fine jewelry separately in a soft cloth or padded container.
Avoid prolonged exposure to bright light as some stones may fade.
Avoid the use of ultrasonic and steam cleaners.
Topaz jewelry is best cleaned with warm, sudsy water and a tightly woven microfiber or other soft cloth.