20 Topaz facts

Topaz stone
  1. All yellow stones were once called topaz but today the real orange-red “imperial” variety is a rare find.
  2. Mohs scale: 8
  3. Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine with the chemical formula Al2SiO4(F,OH)2.
  4. According to Pliny, the name topaz was derived from the Island of Topazos in the Red Sea, which probably refers to Zeberged, ancient source for peridot. But it is more likely that the name derives from the Sanskrit word «tapas» meaning fire.
  5. In the Middle Ages, the name topaz was used to refer to any yellow gemstone, but in modern times it denotes only the silicate described above.
  6. Topaz crystallizes in the orthorhombic system and its crystals are mostly prismatic terminated by pyramidal and other faces.
  7. The ancient Greeks believed that it had the power to increase one’s strength and make its wearer invisible in cases of emergency.

  8. Pure topaz is colorless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine, yellow, pale gray or reddish-orange, blue brown. It can also be made white, pale green, blue, gold, pink (rare), reddish-yellow or opaque to transparent/translucent.
  9. The Egyptians believed that topaz was colored with the golden glow of the sun god Ra.
  10. Many modern English translations of the Bible, including the King James Version mention Topaz in Exodus 28:17 in reference to a stone in the Hoshen: "And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle (Garnet): this shall be the first row."
  11. Orange topaz, also known as precious topaz, is the traditional November birthstone, the symbol of friendship, and the state gemstone for the US State of Utah.
  12. When worn as amulet, topaz was said to drive away sadness and strengthen the intellect.
  13. Imperial topaz is yellow, pink (rare, if natural) or pink-orange. Brazilian Imperial Topaz can often have a bright yellow to deep golden brown hue, sometimes even violet.
  14. In the 19th century, pink topaz was discovered in Russia. The gemstone was so coveted that only the Czar, his family, and those he gave it to were allowed ownership.
  15. Blue topaz is the Texas state gemstone.
  16. Topaz was also said to change its color in the presence of poisoned food or drink.
  17. Some clear topaz crystals from Brazilian pegmatites can reach boulder size and weigh hundreds of pounds.
  18. Mounted in gold and hung around the neck, it was believed to dispel bad charms.
  19. Topaz is the birthstone for the month of November.
  20. Drop cut topaz One of the most famous topaz gems is a giant specimen set in the Portuguese Crown.