What is Topaz?
A precious gemstone, Topaz is primarily colourless and is allochromatic, which means that the change in crystal structure determines its colour. In simple scientific terms, it is made of fluorine and aluminium, a silicate mineral of a rare combination.
How does it look?
From being transparent to taking on all the colours of a rainbow, the gemstone is primarily opaque. It is found in shades of pale yellow, blue and light grey to green, pink and gold. Topaz can be found in literally any colour palette.
How did it get this name and what does it mean?
There are many stories as to how Topaz got its name. Over a period of time, it was known by different names in different parts of the country.
It is largely believed that the island in the Red Sea, where it was discovered first, was named Topaz and hence the name is dedicated to the place where it was first found. However, facts also state that years after the discovery of the stone, it was realized that the gemstone found was not Topaz but some other stone. However, this stays one of the closest stories as to how the stone got its name.
It was earlier known by the name of ‘Diamond Slaves’ as merchants and jewellers used to display Topaz instead of diamonds. The gemstone also goes by the name of ‘Brazilian Sapphire’.
Few texts trace back the name to the Sanskrit language where the words ‘topas’ and ‘tapaz’ mean fire.
Imperial Topaz, which was discovered and mined in Ural Mountains (Russia) in the 19th Century, is orange, pink and red in colour. Earlier, these stones were reserved for the prestigious Czar family and hence, these stones came to be known as ‘Imperial Topaz’.
Where is it found?
Large deposits of Topaz are found in Brazil, Russia, Mexico, USA (Texas, Colorado and Utah), Afghanistan, Australia, China, Japan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Russia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Sweden and Burma. Brazil continues to be the largest producer of this gemstone.
What are the benefits of using Topaz?
The gemstone is believed to improve eyesight and cure insomnia, asthma and hemorrhages. It is also used for driving away sadness and strengthen your intellect. Wearing topaz jewellery helps to proliferate enchantment and positive vibes.
The golden gem was associated with the Sun God, the provider of power and a healer, by the ancient Romans and Egyptians.
Are Citrine and Topaz the same?
A common misconception, Citrine and Topaz are often confused to be the same gemstone. To add to the confusion, they look very similar. However, both gemstones have different physical and chemical properties. Earlier, the gemstones in the shade of brown and yellow were called Topaz. As the science of gemstone started to progress, the gemstones were divided on a more basic level. Today, one can easily distinguish between Citrine and Topaz.
Top Topaz Facts:
- Yellow Topaz is one of the November birthstones, while Blue Topaz is a December birthstone.
- It ranks 8 out of 10 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
- It was declared as the State Gem of Utah in 1969. The Blue Topaz is the state gemstone of the US State of Texas.
- Blue Topaz, the rarest and high-valued gemstone, can be manufactured by heating a clear topaz.
- Topaz jewellery is considered auspicious to be gifted in the 4th, 19th and 23rd year of marriage.