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.
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
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
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.
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
Meditations with topaz are
believed by some to help awaken
sleeping talents and illuminate
Properties of Topaz
||Topaz has the following composition: Al2(F,OH)2SiO4
||Perfect (but not that easy) basal
||3.53 ± 0.04
||Orthorhombic; usually occurs as
vertically striated elongated prisms topped by domes
||Orange, yellow, brown, blue, pink,
colorless, rarely red
||Weak to moderate, dichroic
||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.
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