Topaz History

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Topaz

The biblical source of the gem is an island called Topazios by the Greeks, in the Red Sea, although some references point to the Sanskrit word tapaz, meaning fire. In biblical times, as well as now, topaz was a very highly prized gem, in Exodus 28:17, and in Revelations it is mentioned as forming one of the gates of the Holy City. It is also related that the King of Tyre wore a topaz.

Topaz is an inherently romantic gem and features regularly in the titles of romance novels and honeymoon destinations. Its name indicates beauty, rarity and wealth, and imparts a sense of timelessness.

Topaz is the birthstone of November (yellow topaz) and December (blue topaz), it represents the sign of Sagittarius and the suggested anniversary gemstone for the 4th, 19th or 23rd year of marriage.

Topaz occurs in a wide range of colors including red, orange, peach, pink, gold, yellow, brown and clear and is found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Russia.

The blue topaz was colored by radiation from natural radioactive materials in the ground during millions of years.

Naturally pale to medium blue topaz is enhanced by irradiation with neutrons (London Blue) and electrons to produce a more intense (Swiss Blue) color; or electrons only for Sky Blue.

Sky Blue London Blue Swiss Blue

Red and pink topaz gems were used in the jewelry of the 18th and 19th Century Russian Czarinas and is why topaz is sometimes called "Imperial Topaz".

The most famous topaz is actually a colorless topaz that was originally thought to be a diamond. It is a 1680 carat stone known as the "Braganza Diamond" set in the Portuguese Crown Jewels. Another beautiful topaz is in the Green Vault in Dresden which has one of the world's most important gem collections.

Topaz is a very hard gemstone, however, it can be split with a single blow along cleavage planes and should be protected from hard knocks.

Folklore, Legend, and Healing Properties:

During the Middle Ages topaz was thought to heal both physical and mental disorders and prevent death.

Many ancient traditions and beliefs have created a brilliant history for topaz. Like peridot, the Egyptians called topaz the “Gem of the Sun,” believing it was colored by the golden glow of their sun god Ra, wore it as an amulet, and thus it became a powerful protector from harm.

Greeks and Romans also associated the golden crystals with their sun god, Jupiter. They believed the gem increased their strength and could neutralize enchantments. The Greeks believed it had power to make its wearer invisible while the Romans believed it had power to improve eyesight.

Topaz is mentioned in the Bible as being one of the “stones of fire” (Ezekiel 28:13–16) that were given to Moses and set in the breastplate of Aaron (Exodus 28:15–30). Topaz is also one of the twelve gemstones set in the foundations of the city walls of Jerusalem (Revelations 21:19).

If you are on a journey of spiritual change, topaz is believed by crystal healers to make an excellent companion. It apparently teaches you to trust in the universe, aiding you to fully recognize the magical laws of attraction, increasing your ability to manipulate them.

Once believed to make you invincible during danger, topaz is also believed by some crystal healers to strengthen confidence and to help you make correct decisions by giving you the courage to follow through on choices, thereby changing dreams into reality.

Meditations with topaz are believed by some to help awaken sleeping talents and illuminate co-creative energies

 

Properties of Topaz

Composition Topaz has the following composition: Al2(F,OH)2SiO4
Hardness (Mohs) 8
Cleavage Perfect (but not that easy) basal cleavage
Specific Gravity 3.53 ± 0.04
Refractive Index 1.619–1.627 (±0.010)
Crystal System Orthorhombic; usually occurs as vertically striated elongated prisms topped by domes
Colors Orange, yellow, brown, blue, pink, colorless, rarely red
Pleochroism Weak to moderate, dichroic
Dispersion 0.014
Phenomena None
Handling Ultrasonic: not safe; never clean topaz ultrasonically
Steamer: not safe
The best way to care for topaz is to clean it with warm, soapy water. Avoid exposure to heat, acids and rapid temperature changes. Strong heat may alter or destroy color.
Enhancements Various
Most blue topaz is made by irradiation and then heat; this treatment is undetectable and extremely common.
Blue topaz irradiated within nuclear reactors can emit dangerous levels of radiation; it must be allowed to cool down to safe levels before sale.
Some orangey topaz is heated to destroy the color centers, leaving behind the chromium-caused pink color

Home Demantoid Garnets Tsavorite Garnets Tourmalines Emeralds Sphenes Mandarin Orange  Garnet Ruby Rubellite Spinels Color Change Garnets Alexandrites Sapphires Tanzanites Topaz Apatites Diamonds Opals Other Gemstones Quartz Rings Semi Mounts Nicole Earrings Necklaces Pendants Bracelets Pins Costume Jewelry Site Map Keyword Search

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