The topaz is the birthstone of November, together with the Citrine. In the legends, the topaz has great powers: the men should become more handsome and intelligent and the women happy and fertile. Wearing a topaz can prevent depressions, fears, poisoning and a sudden death. And according to the Greek and the Romans, the men who were wearing topaz got power.
When you read all the stories about the topaz, there only one thought that is coming up: I want that gemstone, whatever it takes. Whether I am born in November or not; this is my gemstone!
What does a topaz look like?
That is a great question, but not so easy to answer. A topaz can be red like wine, or yellow like straw, but also white, grey, green, blue or orange. It is a member of the quartz family and is transparent. Together with diamond, sapphire, emeralds, ruby, aquamarine, opal and chrysoberyl, the topaz belongs to the ‘real’ gemstones. What means that the topaz is a hard gemstone (8 on the scale of Moh), although you don’t expect that topaz can break easily when it is unprofessionally cut.
In earlier times people did not recognize the topaz and one thought it was a diamond. The result was that many crown jewels contain topaz and not diamonds. Oops, a little and precious mistake. Like the topaz that is called the Braganza diamond. The kings and queens of Portugal ordered that all the great and beautiful gemstones, found in Brazil (colony of Portugal between 1500 and 1822), belonged to the crown. Portuguese miners found in 1740 an enormous topaz of 1680 carats and were handed over to Queen Maria I of Braganza. She ordered that this stone was set in the crown of her son, thinking that this was an enormous diamond.
This happened to the Polish king August II too. In Germany, in Saxony, you could find beautiful light yellow topaz, and these gemstones became a part of the crown of the Polish king. They were not the diamonds, everyone thought they were, but topaz. In Russia, they found mostly gold topaz and all the topaz mined in Russia was the property of the Tsar and his family. This gold topaz was called imperial topaz too because only the Tsar and his family were allowed to wear the gold or imperial topaz.
The best topaz is found in Sri Lanka, Brasil and in the mountains of Russia (Oeral). Experts find the yellow or gold topaz the best quality and that same gold topaz is called also imperial topaz. People were so fond of this gemstone that all the variations in color of that topaz got beautiful names. Like:
Sapphire blue topaz is called the Royal Blue or the Brasilian sapphire or the Brasilian aquamarine and is the national gem of Texas. The yellow-green topaz is known as ‘Perdell’ and you can find the name ‘Mogok-diamond’ what actually is a transparent topaz. Then you get the ‘Brasilian ruby’(a red topaz) and the ‘silvertopaz’, which is white. The orange topaz is the national gem of Utah. And you can find the ‘mystic topaz’ and that is a transparent topaz with a special coating so it gets a rainbow effect. A ‘watersapphire’ is a topaz too (or an iolite) and the ‘king topaz’ is not, because that is a red-yellow korund.
As explained before the topaz is a member of the quartz family and quartz contains a lot of crystals. The crystals of the topaz can become enormous. The biggest crystal ever found is about one meter / 39.4 inches long and 2500 kilo / 5511 pound in weight. They find this huge piece of topaz crystals in Mozambique. The big topaz crystals are often white or yellow. And the crystals of the rare topaz colors, like red or violet, are much smaller.
Due to the fact that topaz is rare and expensive, some people try to imitate the topaz. Especially the imperial topaz is faked a lot: this ‘topaz’ is actually burned amethyst or citrine. When are offered a Scottish topaz or a Madeira topaz, an Uruguay or Bohemian topaz, then you should know this topaz is an imitation. For instance, when you heat a brown-yellow topaz it will become pink or red. And when you radiate a topaz is will become blue. The real topaz is called ‘precious topaz’.
The topaz has a very long history
A long long time ago farmers on the island Topazos (probably the island St. John’s of Zabargad in the Red Sea) found the topaz for the first time in history. And in the Old Egypt (around 3000 BC) the rich people loved to wear gemstones and especially the colored ones. They believed that the topaz got his gold color directly from the god Ra and that this gem could protect them against the evil ghosts.
The Greek around 800-300 BC thought that topaz gave them power and made them invisible to enemies. And the Romans liked the green colored topaz, although that gem could be an olivine too.
In the Middle, Ages topaz was well known, and they loved the green and yellow type. Nowadays, one thinks that maybe they did not know any topaz but olivine or peridot, or the yellow sapphire or apatite. Since the name ‘topaz’ was used for all the yellow and green gems. Since the first part of the 18e century, the name’topaz’ is used only for one gem.
Big, bigger, the biggest!
The topaz does not only have large crystals, but is also famous, because of its history, but the topaz is also used in very famous pieces of jewelry or symbols of power. One of the nine gem in the Thais Order of the Nine Gems is a topaz. The Pope has a miter (Preciosa), decorated with gold, pearls and topaz gems, just as the seventh foundation of Jerusalem, according to the Bible.
The topaz of Brasil is famous for its quality and enormous crystals in the size of a boulder. A famous topaz is the Topaz of Aurangzeb, that weighs 158 carats or the American Golden Topaz of 22.892 carats and is called the Adiel Topaz. Many of that large topaz are displayed in museums all over the world. In the National Museum of History of London, you can find the Ostra Topaz (blue topaz) of 9381 carats. In the Spanish, Programa Royal Collection are many enormous gemstones, like the Marbella Topaz of 8225 carats. And there are so much more! These giants are not suited for a piece of jewelry, but they are beautiful and very expensive. Not suited at all for a ring or so, but faceted is the El-Dorado Topaz, that was 36 kilo / 79 pounds when it was found and after cutting 6.2 kilos / nearly 14 pounds was left. It is the largest faceted gemstone in the world.
The topaz and its healing properties
A topaz attracts luck, prosperity, and love. With a topaz in a piece of jewelry, you can reach your goals and stimulates honesty and trust. It is a great gem to keep your health in great shape. It’s very good for your nerves, prevent anorexia and gain weight after an operation or a lot of stress, and for a great digestion.
Some colors of the topaz have a special health property. For a good night sleep and to prevent sleepwalking you can put a gold topaz under your pillow. The gold topaz is also a big help when you have diabetes. When you have problems with your throat carry the blue topaz on you. The blue topaz is able to return your health fast.
In some cultures, the topaz is regarded as a holy stone. The topaz symbolizes power and loyalty. It gives inspiration, gives you the power to reach your goals and is great when you have problems with your concentration. And the Egyptians believed that the topaz brings life and fertility.
How to take care of a topaz?
A topaz can change color when it is in the sun too long! So keep this gem as much as possible in the shade.
You may say when you read all this information that owing a topaz is a blessing in the sky. The gemstone is beautiful in a piece of jewelry but gives you power and love and luck and health. A piece of jewelry with a topaz is a must for all the women that have their birthday in November. But when you think of it, also when you are not born in this month, owning a topaz is great!
I wrote a free e-book about birthstones. I love to send you more to your home address. Just let me know where I can send it to!
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