Topaz has a great hardness score and comes in some of the most desirable colors. In addition, it is relatively abundant which makes it affordable and a very popular gemstones.
Even though the color palette of topaz varies, the most valuable is the golden orange-yellow type which is also known as Imperial Topaz. The dark pinkish-red and orange-red color varieties are also in demand. The value increases as the gem deepens in color in the orange and red hues. Some of the most commonly used topaz varieties in jewelry are the blue types which are widespread on the market.
The use of topaz dates to Egyptian times. Ancient Egyptians believed that this gem received its golden hue from the Sun God Amon Ra. However, others believe that “topaz” is a Middle English word which was coined from the Old French word “topace” or the Latin “topazus”.
The best way to distinguish topaz from similar gems such as rubies, sapphire, citrine, apatite, zircon, kunzite and others is by its hardness which is 8 on the Mohs scale. Also, topaz has a different crystal structure and a lower density with chemical composition that is different than most gems.
Most of the deposits of topaz have been found in Brazil, Afghanistan, Australia, Myanmar, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Russia, Zimbabwe, Ukraine and the USA. The fact that there are more locations makes the natural blue topaz relatively affordable.