An Imperial Gem
Topaz is a silicate mineral comprised of aluminium and flourine. It grows as elongated colorless crystals if not exposed to outside coloring agents. Topaz can be colored by several elements making it available in a plethora of hues - the most common being yellow and brown.
The most valuable colors of topaz are imperial topaz and sherry topaz. Imperial topaz is a medium reddish-orange to orange-red. Sherry topaz is named after sherry wine of the same hues - yellowish-brown or brownish-yellow to orange.
Pleochroic in nature, topaz will exhibit more than one body color when the stone is tilted.
Topaz is mined globally.
History & Lore
Topaz has a murky history since it was hard to decipher it from other gemstones without gemological testing. Even its name topaz is derived from the Greek island Topazios, which never actually produced topaz, but was a source of peridot. Without testing, the two gemstones would look very similar.
At the same time, ancient Egyptians prized the stone as a talisman for the sun god Ra. Sunny yellow and orange hues seemed to be captured sunlight within the stone making it a magical tool to invoke powers of healing and prosperity.
Imperial topaz was precious to the 19th century Russian Royal family since their Ural Mountains were the leading source for the stone. Once mined and cut, imperial topaz was limited to the Czar’s family until their fall in the early 20th century.
Since topaz grows as elongated crystals that are relatively eye clean, this makes them ideal as faceted emerald cut stones with deep pavilions to elevate color. It is a hard and durable gemstone making it perfect for everyday wear.
Topaz is considered one of November's traditional birthstones.
Topaz can be cleaned with a soft brush in warm soapy water or wiped clean with a soft cloth. When stored, it should be wrapped to prevent it from scratching softer stones or it being scratched by harder stones. Avoid harsh chemicals when wearing this stone or any kind of jewelry.