Topaz is an aluminium silicate, in its pure form it is colorless but sometimes when the crystal meet some impurities the crystal get some different color, from yellow to pink, blue, red, green, purple. in ancient time it was considered a precious stone, its name derives from the Sanskrit (the ancient language of India) word, “tapas”, which means “fire”, in fact Topaz has nice vitreous luster, often transparent with eye clean clarity and a multitude of attractive color to choose from.

It is a well know stone, used from the ancient time by Egyptians, that believed that yellow variety from this mineral family received its golden hue from the Sun God, Ra.

This is a pleochroic gemstone, which means that is possible to see different colors in a single stone if viewed from different angles.

The most valuable quality of this stone are called Imperial Topaz and show an pinkish color with some tint of orange. But it can also display other interesting colors like: yellow, yellowish brown, blue, green, red and violet considered very rare to find in nature.

Most of the gems that comes out from the mines in Brazil and in other parts of the world are usually colorless, with good transparency and often eye clean clarity and is not too rare to find good specimens in large size.

Considered one of the most treated gemstone, it can be heated, irradiated, covered by a thin layer of material that will give it a multicolor appearance.

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topaz natural gemstone


Topaz Healing Properties

Associated with the Sun by Egyptians and Romans, it, is considered a stone for Sagittarius zodiac sign, and November birthstone, it facilitates communication and self confidence, releases tension and promotes feelings of joy and happiness, is also considered a good choice for artist like writers and public speakers. Transparent Topaz gemstone, with high purity and eye clean clarity, is a carrier of male energy provided by the Sun and can also promote virility in men.


Topaz Treatment

It appear abundant in nature, especially in its colorless form, so to improve the appearance of this beautiful stone, men learnt to apply some treatment, now became popular, to improve or change the color of crystals.

Heating and irradiation are the most popular treatment for Topaz to increase clarity and color to the crystal, especially natural topaz with pale blue and pale yellow after these treatment can show deeper and more saturated color.

This kind of gemstone treatment are very popular in Topaz market, they are stable (color will no fade if not exposed directly to the Sun light) and are considered acceptable.

Coating is a more invasive treatment that afflict this material nowadays, huge quantity of colorless gemstones are now coated by a thin film layer composed by titanium dioxide vapour that gives the stone a nice multicolor appearance in different color variation.

The most popular variety of this kind of treated stone is called Mystic Topaz, but new terms are released to describe gemstones treated by coated with new color palette, like Midnight Topaz, Moonlight Topaz and so on.

This treatment is considered border line and not acceptable because often this wasn’t correctly revealed and explained to the final customers. Coating treatment is also not permanent and gemstone coated can be easily loose its particular color pattern and iridescence if scratched or with normal use.

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Origin and gemstone source

This mineral became really abundant nowadays, also the price reflect it and became cheaper than ever. Huge specimens of this gem material can be mined in Brazil, Myanmar (Burma), Australia, Afghanistan, China, Africa (Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe), Pakistan, Russia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, UK, Ireland, Germany, Ukraine and United States.


Optical Effect

Duo to its popular transparency and eye clean clarity find common optical effect in this kind of gemstone are rare. In some rare case some included stones can reveal the chatoyancy effect (Cat’s Eye Topaz) or asterism (Star Topaz).

In Brazil in August 2005 star and cat’s eye topaz was mined. Standard gemological methods identified the egg-like cabochon, which is 333.27 carat, as a topaz.

It was noted that semiparallel flat, hollow channels make up the inside of the stone.

It was found that growth phenomenon and not etching caused the creation of the hollow channels.

Two rays are produced by the gemstone when illuminated using a spotlight. Asterism in this kind of stone is caused by the striations.


Images and photos

blue-topaz-rough-stone blue-topaz-gemstone+ imperial-topaz-gemstone

topaz-crystal-rough topaz-ring-jewelry topaz-stone

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This is a durable gemstone very affordable with great appearance and also very used in the jewelry world to make any kind of jewel, in fact duo to its high hardness (8 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness) it can be set into braceletes, rings, pendants, necklace or earrings.

Often mined with transparency it is often faceted into gemstones, sometimes cut into cabochon when present visible inclusions, can also be carved into sculpture, briolette, beads, rondelles and more when presents massive inclusions.


Care and Cleaning

It can be an heavy treated gemstone like Mystic Topaz and similar, or the blue variety usually heated and irradiated, so it deserve some precaution foe care and cleaning.

If your gemstone is treated by coating, avoid to wear it every day, avoid any surface that can easily scratch the superficial film layer and clean only with soapy water and soft cloth, without any aggressive chemical products or acids.

If your stone was irradiated, avoid direct exposure to Sun light and exposure to high temperatures, because the irradiation treatment is commonly considered stable but the color can also fade anyway.


Scam and Fraud

It is very popular and affordable, but also if it isn’t expensive some scammer try to fraud ignare customers, so keep attention to some things about Topaz.

First consider always if the seller states the treatment applied to the gemstone, if not explained move your gem research to another seller.

Citrine is always sold for Topaz with the misleading term of Topaz Citrine, duo to similar appearance of the two stones. Fraudulent seller try also to invent new false gemstone name to confound the buyer and sell the cheaper Citrine for Topaz.

Light blue variety can also be very similar to Aquamarine and sometimes it can be sold for Aquamarine at higher price

Topaz can also be confused with synthetic lab grow gemstone like hydrothermal quartz, or glass stones.


Typical Internal Inclusions

This particular and popular gemstone can contains some guest minerals like hexagonal hematite platelets, fluorite crystals and often two phase inclusions,


Gemological Info

  • Mineral family: Topaz (aluminum, hydroxyl-flourine silicate)
  • Crystal: Orthorhombic
  • Density: 3.53
  • Hardness: 8
  • Refractive index: 1.619 – 1.627
  • Optic Character: Biaxial positive
  • Color: yellow, red, pink, blue, green, colorless, orange, violet, brown, grey
  • Cause of color: presence of Iron and other material
  • Luster: Vitreous
  • Clarity: Type 1 (often eye clean)
  • Fluorescent: blue topaz shows yellow or green glow; brown/pink/yellow show strong orange-yellow glow; red shows weak yellow glow
  • Fracture: Sub Conchoidal or even
  • Cleavage: Basal plane
  • Durability: High

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