Topaz, the birthstone of November has been known for being quite the miracle worker. The Greeks believed this gem gave them strength, cooled their tempers, cured asthma, relieved insomnia and even saved them from sudden death. People in India had similar beliefs in this precious gem, and were convinced that a topaz worn above the heart assures a long life, beauty and intelligence. In many of these beliefs the power of the topaz increased or decreased with phases of the moon. People often use this stone to celebrate their sixteenth wedding anniversary. The blue topaz specifically can be used to celebrate the fourth wedding anniversary and the imperial topaz, a peach color gem, can be used to celebrate the twenty-third anniversary. The topaz is also the gemstone for people named Thomas, as well as the state of Utah.
The topaz is one of our favorites, because it is available in many colors such as yellow, orange, red blue, green, brown, and clear. We love using white topaz because it is a great natural alternative to diamond. We use London Blue topaz a lot as well because it just pops next to sterling silver. The yellow topaz often gets confused for the less valuable citrine, the golden brown topaz with the smokey quartz and the blue topaz, which is heat treated to acquire it's color, tends to get mistaken for the aquamarine. The topaz is made out of one of the hardest minerals in nature called silicate and has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The topaz is known for growing very large, and can reach a size of several hundred pounds. The well known Braganza gemstone, which has been said to weigh an incredible 1,680 carats was originally thought to be a diamond, but is suspected to be a clear topaz. However, this gigantic gem has been lost since the death of Portugal's Kind John VI in 1826 and opinions differ on where it might be today.
Rough Uncut Topaz Photo Credit: Orbital Joe