In ancient times, people carved a falcon figure on topaz in hopes of earning the goodwill of magnates, princes, and kings. The Greeks considered topaz to be the Stone of Strength. Medieval people believed death could be prevented and mental and physical disorders could be healed. A Parisian jeweler made a discovery about topaz gemstone in 1750. When heated, yellow Brazilian topaz turns pink. Since that time, a moderate heat treatment is extensively applied by jewelers.
Topaz, a silicate mineral found in igneous rock, is found in nature. It is mostly found to be colorless. A small amount naturally occurs as red or pink crystals. Igneous rocks are the hardest found in nature. On a hardness scale from one to ten, topaz rates an eight. Topaz crystals are orthorhombic, meaning they have three unequal axes that intersect at right angles.
Stories and folklore throughout history have proposed gemstones have mystic healing powers. The topaz gemstone is considered to be among the most powerful. It facilitates emotional balance and protection from greed. Disorders within the body are believed to be corrected, and health manifested with the wearing of topaz.
There are a wide variety of Topaz gemstones available on the market – below we take a brief look at some of them:
Silver or White Topaz
Silver or white topaz are names for the same gemstone. It is untreated and colorless. Silver topaz is often heat treated and irradiated to form blue topaz. In the book of Exodus, a reference is made to a High Priest’s breastplate with twelve stones. One of the twelve was topaz. Silver topaz is thought to increase awareness of deeds and thoughts. It purifies emotions and actions. Cosmic awareness is activated, and stagnant energy is removed.
Colorless topaz is color-enhanced with a treatment patented by the Azotic Company. A rainbow-like color is obtained by depositing a metallic coating that is extremely thin. Light is reflected in a variety of interesting patterns and colors. Often Azotic topaz is confused with mystic quartz or topaz. Typically Azotic topaz is lighter in color.
The hues of Imperial topaz are champagne, orange, pink, and peach. The Minai Gerais, Brazil mines, Ouro Preto, are the primary source. Deposits have been found in the Urual Mountains of Russian. The Russian monarchy prized the luxurious golden-sherry hues and named this variety Imperial Topaz. Gem collectors consider the Imperial topaz to be very rare. The quality and size of the gemstone determine its value and price.
London/Swiss Blue Topaz
Blue topaz has become a top selling gem in the jewelry industry. Blue gemstones with brilliance and hardness are rare and somewhat expensive. Blue topaz offers hardness and brilliance at a reasonable cost. There are light and dark tones of blue topaz. It is referred to as London blue topaz, Swiss blue topaz, and sky blue topaz. The higher the saturation of blue, the more valued it becomes.
Mystic topaz has been around only since 1998. Colorless topaz is coated in such a way that a rainbow color effect is produced. Mystic topaz is not a genuine gemstone, and it is considered enhanced clear topaz. The colors are mysterious, unusual, and deep. Purples, blues, and greens are most prominent. The coating is not permanent. While it lasts, the kaleidoscope colors have a remarkable appearance.
Yellow-brown streaks of fine needle-like lines are found in rutilated topaz. The name is a misnomer. Much like quartz that has similar lines made from rutile, it was assumed to have developed the streaks in the same way. Upon closer examination by gemologists, the hollow tubes were found to be stained by limonite. Hydrated iron oxide causes the yellow-brown color. The name rutilated topaz remained in place.
Except for the Imperial topaz gemstone, the above names are trade names that jewelry dealers coined. Despite being made up, the names are widely used. Different forms and colors comprise a few other made up varieties.
For more information about Topaz and its many varieties, click here.