Topaz 101

Topaz is one of the few gems to have a large variety of colors, extending to all hues and saturations of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink, and purple. Colorless topaz is often used as a substitution for diamonds and are quite common in the modern market. At first, the Ural Mountains was the main source for topaz. When other colors of topaz began to be discovered, it widened the availability of Topaz. The first pink topaz gem mined at the Ural Mountains, and was named to honor the Russian czar. Ownership of topaz was restricted to the royal family in Russia.

Birthstone

December & November

Alternate

Zodiac

Capricorn

December 22–January 19

Anniversary

4th Wedding Anniversary

Blue Topaz

Topaz grows as a crystal mineral in various granite rocks, and in lava flows. Topaz is found and mined in various places all over the world. In Asia it is found in Japan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the renowned blue topaz of Sri Lanka. The topaz is also found in mountain ranges all over Europe in countries such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Norway, and Sweden. In South America, almost all of the world’s fine-quality imperial topaz is produced in Brazil today. Topaz can even be found in specific sites in Texas and Utah, as well as in Mexico. Topaz is the other birthstone for November as well blue topaz for December. It also is used to celebrate the 4th wedding anniversary.

There is some uncertainty on how the topaz gemstone got its name. Some say it comes from the Sanskrit word “topas” or “tapaz”, meaning “fire.” Others link it to the Red Sea Island of Topazios (Zabargad or St. John’s Island), where peridot has been found. The name “imperial topaz” is said to have originated in the 19th century in Russia by the royal family. Europeans believed the stone was magical and could intervene with spells and anger. For centuries, topaz’s mystical powers led people to popularize the gem. In India, it was believed that if worn over the heart assures long life, beauty, and happiness.

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