10 February 2023
A fortnight ago, we told you all about the citrine. This week, our blog is about 'the other birthstone' of the month of November: the topaz!
The topaz is known as a beautiful blue gemstone. Therefore, many people do not know that topaz exists in almost all colours. In particular, transparent topaz is widely mined. In many cases, this transparent topaz is treated with heat giving it that beautiful blue colour. We also have this blue topaz at DiamondsByMe! Natural blue topaz does exist, but it is extremely rare and almost always very light in colour. But thanks to the discovery of heat treatment in gemstones, blue topaz is now the most common variety! The vast majority of all topaz colours are caused by heat treatments. These heat treatments can make stones change colour to such an extent that they look much like other (more expensive) gemstones.
The different colours of topaz are often named as 'blue topaz', 'pink topaz', etc. However, there are also a number of trade names. Imperial topaz is a red-orange colour topaz. This is one of the most expensive colours of topaz. Sherry topaz, named after the drink sherry, is a yellow-brown or orange-brown variant of the gemstone. These stones are often similar to the cheaper citrine and smoky quartz. Mystic topaz is not a specific colour variant, but a topaz coated with a thin layer of titanium or other similar material that creates a rainbow effect.
Authorities disagree on exactly where the name topaz comes from. The vast majority say the name topazios derives from the ancient Greek name Topazios. Topazios is a small island in the Red Sea, now called Zabargad. However, this island has never been a source for topazios, but rather for the gemstone peridote. In the past, these stones were often mixed up. The other part of the authorities claim that the name comes from ancient Sanskrit. The word tapaz here means 'fire'.
Topaz can be found in gigantic crystals! The largest topaz to date weighs a whopping 271(!!!!) kilos. Therefore, the largest gemstones ever cut are gemstones made of topaz. In addition, topaz is a hard and durable gemstone, which will not dissolve due to chemical solvents. However, if the stone is hit hard against something, it can be damaged. So if you already own a piece of jewellery with topaz, don't handle it too wildly.
Where to go on holiday to find topaz? There are sources of topaz in a huge number of countries! For instance, there are sources in Brazil, Afghanistan, Australia, Myanmar, China, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and America. These countries are all not exactly around the corner, but rest assured that topaz has also been found in Germany, Northern Ireland and the UK! So you can look for this stone at both eastern and western neighbours ;).
At DiamondsByMe, we only have the blue topaz in our range. This beautiful stone is a real eye-catcher and its ice blue colour reminds us of winter! Do you also love this light blue gemstone? Then take a quick look at www.diamondsbyme.co.uk for all jewellery with topaz! Looking for another colour of topaz? Contact us for the possibilities!