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Brazilian Golden Yellow Topaz Cushion in Sydney Australia available from King Stone Gems

Information About Topaz

GENERAL INFORMATION

The history of topaz is a long and ancient one and the gem has long been used as an ornament and jewelry stone. The name “Topaz” is thought to come from the name of an island in the Red Sea formerly called Topazos but now Zebirget. Topaz was mined here on this island. Another possible origin of the name Topaz is that it comes from the Sanskrit word “tapas” which means “fire” or “heat”. This could be due to the yellow/red colour that topaz sometimes occurs in.

Many people believe that topaz comes only in yellow and this is true, it does come in yellow. However fancy colors like yellow, reds, oranges and pinks are actually quite rare, so is the very beautiful natural blue. My personal thoughts on why yellow has become closely associate with topaz, in the same way that blue is associated with sapphire, is that in historical times the technology or ability to differentiate between types of stones was very limited. Yellow quartz, now known as Citrine, is quite common in many parts of the world and I believe that alot of yellow topaz was actually yellow quartz. Today we have the ability to tell the difference between the various types of stones but one still has to be cautious in the marketplace and buy from a reputable dealer as there is still the potential for confusion.

Topaz makes an ideal jewelry stone as it is hard and very durable. It cuts well into brilliant designs and becomes a gem that has lots of scintillation and “fire”. If I was pushed to pick a personal favorite of all the gemstones, I would probably have to give natural blue topaz the nod. It is a stone that I love to cut and the colour, though soft, is divine. Truly it is! The soft blue colour is for me, the most elegant of blues, soft and delicate, sometimes ethereal, sometimes icy like the blue in an arctic iceberg. It is cooling on a hot day, fresh and light and always cheery and pleasing. Each stone is unique in its coloring, some have more blue, some less.  These natural blues are easily one of the most beautiful gems in the world of coloured gemstones. Blue sapphires might be the Queen of Gems, but if there is a Princess of Gems, she would be a natural blue topaz.

Within Australia, one of the best locations to find topaz is at O’Briens Creek in North Queensland. This is a very remote region, stunning in its outback rugged beauty and renown for the high quality topaz that can be discovered there. Doug Menadue, Managing Director and Master Gemcutter at King Stone Gems, is very familiar with this particular topaz having spent a number of years there mining and cutting this beautiful gemstone. You can find out more about this topaz along with pictures and stories of his adventures outback on the site, Bespoke Gems.

FAMILY

Topaz

COLOUR

Clear silvery white, natural blue, london blue, electric blue, swiss blue, sky blue, yellow, golden, red-brown, red, pink-red, violet, green, champagne

BIRTHSTONES AND ANNIVERSARIES

Topaz (Yellow/Golden) is the birthstone for November.
Blue topaz is the birthstone for December.
Topaz is the zodiac stone for the sign of Sagittarius.
Topaz is the ayurvedic birthstone for November.
Blue topaz is the stone for the 4th anniversary
Topaz is the stone for the 23rd anniversary

ORIGIN

O’Briens’ Creek, Mt Surprise, North Queensland, Australia; Oban, NSW, Australia; Africa; Minas Gerais, Brazil; Texas, USA; Russia; Afghanistan; Madagascar; Cornwall, England; and other locations.

MOH'S HARDNESS

8

TREATMENTS

Most topaz is untreated however some of the blues have been treated to get the intense vivid colours.

REFRACTIVE INDEX (RI)

1.609 – 1.643

SPECIFIC GRAVITY DENSITY

2.49 – 3.57

CLEAVAGE

Perfect

Available Gemstones