Talisman of wisdom, beauty and longevity.
Topaz served as a symbol of strength among the
Greeks. Europeans at the time of the Renaissance
believed in its power to destroy curses and dispel
anger. “Topaz” comes from the Sanskrit word “tapas”
that means “fire.” For centuries, many people in India
have believed that topaz worn above the heart assures
long life, beauty and intelligence. In the past, a lot of
people mistook any yellow colored gemstones for
topaz. “Imperial Topaz,” named in honor of the Russian
monarchy, is the distinct pinkish orange hue discovered
in the 19th century near the Ural Mountains in Russia.
This gemstone features a variety of colors, from
colorless, light blue, yellow, orange, pink, violet, brown
and, very rarely, red. The element chromium causes
natural pink, red and violet to purple colors in topaz.
Imperfections at the atomic level in topaz crystal
structure can cause yellow, brown and blue color.
Colorless topaz is plentiful and often treated to give it
a blue color. The rarest, and hence most prized color,
is a vivid purplish pink.
Faceted blue topaz is almost always free of eye-visible
inclusions. Other more rare colors like orange and pink
may show inclusions more often and still be valuable
due to the color’s rarity.
The largest topaz mines are in Brazil, Pakistan, Russia
and Sri Lanka.
The vast majority of blue topaz seen today is the
permanent result of changing the color by irradiation
and heating. “Mystic Topaz” has an extraordinary
rainbow effect and is made by coating colorless
topaz with a thin artificial film placed on the surface
by vapor deposition.
Colorless topaz is available in the market and
is sometimes irradiated and heat treated to
create blue topaz.
All information are courtesy of Gemological Institute of America (GIA). OR DIAMOND are not affiliated with, connected to, or associated with GIA other than selling diamonds and gemstones graded by GIA and have GIA trained staff gemologist and accredited jewelry professional on site.
Images courtesy: Bill Larson, Pala International; Edward Boehm, RareSource; Evan Caplan