Formula : Al2(F,OH)2SiO4
Birthstone for the month of November
For a list of all birthstones, click here
Particular hardness: 8
A topaz can only be scratched by materials that are of equal or higher hardness. Sapphire might scratch a topaz for example. Topaz is not very tough, as a result it will break more easily when hit.
Topaz occurs in a wide variety of colours: red, pink, orange, brown, blue and even colorless. A topaz may also be green, but green topaz is extremely rare. Topaz is recognizable by its cooler shades of colour. It is a generally very clear stone.
The most valuable colour variety in the topaz family is called the Imperial Topaz, this topaz has an orange undertone and a pink or reddish overtone.
Origin & History
Topaz is most commonly found in: Brazil, this is the country where the stone is found most frequently. Other countries where topaz may be found include: Australia, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the USA and Zimbabwe. Topaz is a beautiful gem.
Topaz may lose some of its colour when exposed to strong light sources (for example sunlight) over a longer period of time. Furthermore the owner of a topaz should be careful not to hit it against hard objects. Note that when you are walking past a rough wall or working in a garden small pieces of topaz may break of when you inadvertently hit something, in a worst case scenario the stone may even break. We recommend against wearing topaz jewellery during menial labour.
Generally speaking there are no imitations made for topaz from different precious stones. Imitations are made of glass or zirconia however. Occasionally tourmaline or aquamarine may be used to create imitation topaz anyway. Experts will easily discern the difference from the originals however, thanks to their cooler shades.
Topaz appears in all manner of cuts. The most common cut of choice for topaz is an oval or baguette cut. In addition to this cut there are many other options still, ranging from a facetted oval cut to a cabochon cut with a beautiful star-like effect inside.
Jewellery with blue-topaz can be found here: