Topaz

Selenite Tourmaline

Sources

Blue topaz is found world wide, although orange imperial topaz is unique to Brazil.

Origin

Topaz forms at high temperatures, often in association with quartz, in igneous rocks such as granite and volcanic lavas. The name may come from the Sanskrit word ‘tapas’ meaning fire.

Composition

Aluminium fluorohydroxysilicate Al2SiO4(FOH)2

Structure

Orthorhombic. Mohs scale 8 (although very hard, it should be protected from hard knocks).

Colour

Colourless, pale blue, pale pink, pale green or a yellow to golden brown called imperial topaz. Transparent or slightly transluscent if streaked/veiled or containing tear shaped gas or liquid bubbles.

Our View

Crystals (UK) imperial topaz comes from the Ouro Preto area of Brazil and some vintage photos (from 1994) exist showing the company founders amongst the diggings and miners near Mariana. The photos fortunately do not reveal how we paid far too much for the treasured specimens triumphantly returned to our modest lodgings (Chico Rey!).

Life moves on and Paul and Ray periodically return from Brazil clutching their prized imperial topaz specimens, which sometimes show beautiful pink colourings.

Blue topaz is widely found in boulder and crystal form and is heat treated to produce a very deep blue colour. Recently a near black blue colour has emerged. This is always treated. However, as the Natural History Museum topaz display makes clear there is no ‘test’ for heat treated topaz and it is therefore sold as ‘natural’. We prefer the lighter blue colours.

Curious facts

 • The largest topaz specimen ever discovered (in Madagascar) weighed over 2.5 tonnes!

 • The ancient Egyptians associated golden topaz with the glow of their mighty sun god Ra.

 • Likewise, Romans linked topaz with their sun god, Jupiter.

 

  • Month stones
  • January - Garnet also Ruby
  • February - Amethyst also Bloodstone
  • March - Aquamarine also Jade
  • April - Quartz also Opal
  • May - Rose Quartz also Agate
  • June - Pearl also Moonstone
  • July - Ruby also Carnelian
  • August - Peridot also Sardonyx
  • September - Iolite also Lapis Lazuli
  • October - Opal also Pink Tourmaline
  • November - Topaz also Citrine
  • December - Turquoise also Tanzanite
  • Zodiac Stones
  • Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19) Amber, Carnelian, Garnet, Onyx, Smoky Quartz, Turquoise
  • Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18) Aquamarine, Amethyst, Amber, Celestite, Fluorite, Labradorite
  • Pisces (Feb 19-Mar 20) Moonstone, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Blue Lace Agate, Fluorite, Turquoise
  • Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19) Ruby, Aventurine, Bloodstone, Carnelian, Garnet, Kunzite
  • Taurus (Apr 20-May 20) Azurite, Kyanite, Lapis Lazuli, Malachite, Rhodonite, Tigers Eye
  • Gemini (May 21-Jun 20) Chrysocolla, Citrine, Serpentine, Tourmalinated and Rutilated Quartz, Tiger's Eye
  • Cancer (Jun 21-Jul 22) Moonstone, Pearl, Opal, Ruby, Moss Agate, Amber
  • Leo (Jul 23-Aug 22) Tiger's Eye, Ruby, Carnelian, Kunzite, Larimar, Rhodocrosite.
  • Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22) Peridot, Amazonite, Citrine, Garnet, Moonstone, Opal
  • Libra (Sep 23-Oct 22) Iolite, Opal, Kunzite, Lapis Lazuli, Moonstone, Peridot
  • Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21) Topaz, Malachite, Charoite, Garnet, Obsidian
  • Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21) Turquoise, Amethyst, Labradorite, Sugilite, Topaz, Garnet
  • There are a few stones that are suitable for every Zodiac sign: Moldavite, Tourmaline, Clear Quartz and Herkimer Diamond.