Topaz
 
November Birthstone.    4th and 23rd Anniversary Gemstone.    Topaz is a fluorine aluminium silicate which can be found in yellow, yellow-brown, honey-yellow, flax, brown, green, blue, light blue, red, pink and clear.
 
 
The Topaz has a known history of at least 2000 years and is one of the gemstones which form the foundations of the twelve gates to the Holy City of the New Jerusalem.   It is unknown whether the name Topaz comes from Sanskrit or Greek, though the Greek name 'topazos' means 'green gemstone'.   The Egyptians said the Topaz was colored with the golden glow of the sun god.   Early discoveries from Brazil in rich reddish cognac colors to vivid pinks were used to grace the jewelry of the 18th and 19th century Russion Czarinas, earning the name of 'Imperial Topaz'.
 
Most commonly, the Topaz found is yellow, being the color which occurs most frequently in one of the major German gemstone rocks, the Schneckenstein (a Topaz-bearing rock said to resemble a snail) in Saxony.   In the 18th century, Topaz was mined  for a period exceeding 60 years.   Most of the crystals were hardly a centimeter in diameter.   However, crystals found in Siberia or Brazil were as large as your fist.   An enormous and magnificent Topaz from the Portuguese crown, the Braganza, was for a long time thought to be a Diamond.   It weighs approximately 1,680 ct.    Topaz is found in Brazil, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Africa and China.
 
Blue Topaz is most commonly due to a stable enhancement process which turns colorless Topaz blue.   After the raw Topaz is extracted from the gound and cut, it is irradiated to brown and then heat-treated to sky blue.   This enhancement process is permanent.    Another treatment process called 'vapor deposition' is only a coating and can be scratched or abraded.  
 
Upon its discovery, the more reasonably priced Citrine took over in popularity and became known as the Gold Topaz.    Since that time, the Topaz has been a rather exotic figure in the jewelry trade.  However, Topaz is not a Quartz, like the Citrine.
 
Topaz is a very hard gemstone, reading an 8 on the Mohs Scale.    However, it can be split with a single sharp blow, a trait shared with the Diamond.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
GB Jewelers, Inc.
Under the Clock Tower
675 SE Marlin Avenue, Suite 1  /  PO Box 999
Warrenton, OR 97146
800-869-1481

Latitude:  46.159033 / Longitude: -123.9055280
 
 
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Monday - Saturday
 
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