The History Behind a Topaz Gemstone

Posted by Lisa Ramos on

Raw Blue Topaz1) Raw Blue Topaz

If you love color, the topaz is a great gemstone choice. Many colorful rings, fancy necklaces and unique earrings are designed with topaz gems. As a jewelry designer, it is one of my personal favorite stones to work. It comes in a variety of colors, is very durable, displays nice clarity and affordable - four characteristics one can appreciate. To better understand the topaz let's take a look at the history behind the gemstone, its meaning, the stone formation and the beautiful gem color options.  

A real topaz will scratch glass.
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Topaz Rings Collection - Swiss Blue, Sky Blue, London Blue and Blush
2) Topaz Rings Collection - Swiss Blue, Sky Blue, London Blue and Blush 

The History Behind a Topaz

The first discovery of the topaz was in Germany in 1737. Today you can find the topaz gemstone in Brazil, China, Madagascar, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, United States, and Zimbabwe Mexico. The majority of topaz is found in Brazil.  

How is a Topaz Formed?

Before designing jewelry with a sparkling topaz, the gemstone goes through many processes. First the stone has to develop into a form. The formation starts in the cavities of igneous rocks such as rhyolite and granite. The unique crystals start developing during the late stages of a magma cooling. Then when there is enough fluorine produced the topaz formation occurs. Each natural gemstone has a specific chemical compositions which identifies it. The chemical composition of a topaz is Al₂SiO₄(F,OH)₂. Picture - 1 above shows what a raw topaz stone looks like before it is cut, treated or faceted.


What is the Meaning of a Topaz?

A topaz gem is the traditional birthstone for the month of November. The stone is believed to dispel sadness and fear, ward off poisons and reverse infertility. The word topaz means "fire". For centuries, many people in India believed that a topaz worn above the heart would assure a long life, beauty, and intelligence.

Topaz Gemstone
3) Precious Topaz

When it comes to a precious topaz those are defined as a topaz that is rich with yellow to medium peach orange color. The topaz gemstone has great durability and is ideal for jewelry designs. A gemstones durability is based on a scale called the Moh's hardness scale - measuring the hardness of various minerals from 1 through 10 - one being the softest and ten the hardest. A topaz gem is an 8 the Moh's hardness scale, which is considered to be very durable. 

What Are the Color Options of a Topaz?

Golden brown to yellow are the natural colors of a topaz. However, today the market offers the topaz gem in an array of beautiful colors - colorless, gray, pale to medium blue, greenish, yellow, yellow-brown, orange, pale pink, deep pink, tan, beige red and mystic options. Pink is one of the rarest topaz and the largest known one is an oval of seventy-nine carats from Russia. 

Sterling Silver Mystic Green Topaz Ring

4) Sterling Silver Mystic Topaz® Ring

If you are looking for a kaleidoscope of colors, the The Mystic Topaz® is the perfect choice. The mystic effect is done through a process called CVD - a chemical vapor deposition. This process deposits a layer titanium on the pavilion area of a clear topaz resulting in a rainbow of colors. The gemstone is still real, but is enhanced by man. The Mystic Topaz® gemstone is trademarked by Azotic® LLC and first seen around 1998. It comes in a variety of shimmering color options -  blue, bi-color, gray, multicolor, orange, pink, purple and yellow. Picture - 4 above shows a sterling silver topaz ring in the color mystic green. 

The blue topaz is one of the most popular colors. If you adore the color blue, take a peak at what blue color topaz options there are - beautiful Sky Blue, Swiss Blue and a London Blue. The blue topaz was previously the rarest color. Today, blue topaz gems are created by taking a colorless topaz and treating it through an enhancing process, resulting in a permanent color blue. Picture - 2 above features the different blue colors and a beautiful blush color.

How to Care For a Topaz Jewelry Piece 

  • To ensure the beauty of your topaz jewelry piece wash with mild soap and water.
  • Avoid ultrasonic steam cleaners.
  • Remove your jewelry when performing tasks that may cause physical damage. 
  • Keep jewelry away from harsh chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, and chlorine. 
  • Remove jewelry when applying lotions and other beauty products
  • Store jewelry in a dry place or sealed bags
  • Remove jewelry when swimming, showering or taking a bath
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California Handbag & Jewelry Designer, Lisa Ramos
This blog post is written by California designer, Lisa Ramos who has featured her handmade collection - jewelry & handbags at over 100 shows throughout California. The brand's mission is to design beautifully handmade limited edition pieces that add a touch of elegance to any personal style. MONOLISA pieces have been featured at fine art juried shows.

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