Topaz

Topaz is an aluminium silicate fluoride hydroxide crystal, its crystal structure is orthorhombic, and it frequently forms prismatic crystals, often eight sided with striations along the length. Many have diamond-shaped cross sections and pyramidal terminations. Topaz is found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Russia, Burma, Australia, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, Africa and the USA.

Natural colours for Topaz include gold, blue, pink, brown, orange, colourless and a few other rarer shades such as pale green and red.


Colourless Topaz is sometimes irradiated artificially to create various shades of blue.

Topaz crystals of up to 220 pounds have been found, and Topaz gems weighing thousands of carats are in the Smithsonian Institution’s collection.


The name Topaz may derive from Topazos, a word meaning ‘to seek’, which was also the name of an obscure, difficult to locate island in the Red Sea.


However, the gemstone found on that island is actually Peridot. The other possible derivation of the gemstone’s name is the Sanskrit word topaz, which means ‘fire’. Topaz was used in ancient Egypt and Rome and in the Jewellery of eighteenth century French and Spanish royalty. It’s popularity increased and spread to England and France in the nineteenth century.


In the Middle Ages in Europe, Topaz was believed to enhance mental powers and prevent insanity. It was also said to improve poor vision, promote favour with kings and civil authorities, increase wisdom and soothe anger. In current metaphysical thoughts, Topaz is viewed as emanating a variety of beneficial energies, varying according to the type and colour.