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Topaz As A Jewelry Gemstone

Aug 18, 2007
Topaz has a wealth of ancient history and folklore attached to it and can be found on the market in a variety of colors. The stone can be found in such diverse locations as Russia, Brazil, Central Asia, the American West and the island of Sri Lanka. Though this stone is relatively hard it should be protected when worn as a gemstone since its near-perfect cleavage makes it susceptible to breakage. The color of natural topaz stone is most often colorless to yellow but can be treated to achieve many different colors though this stone can often be mistaken for yellow corundum otherwise referred to as sapphire or for citrine. Topaz can be cut into a variety of beautiful and unique shapes, forms and facets rivaling those of diamonds and other hard precious stones.

History

Stones mined in Russia were often pink in color and were once considered the sole property of the Czars in the nineteenth century and were referred to as imperial topaz. The known history of this stone dates back some three thousand years to ancient Greece and was sometimes referred to as topazos which means seeking or to seek. Topaz was very often confused with peridot stones and all stones that were yellow in color were once referred to as topaz. This stone has often been associated with sun in ancient cultures including the Romans who dedicated it to the sun god Saturn.

Birthstone Information

Yellow topaz is the birthstone of November and is associated with the astrological birth sign of Sagittarius. Blue stones are the birthstones of the month of December though blue stones do not occur naturally and are the result of a color enhancement process using irradiation.

New Age Beliefs and Powers Through The Ages

In a strange paradox of ancient beliefs, the Romans believe that this stone could, among other things, improve ones eyesight. In contrast the ancient Greeks believed that topaz could render the wearer invisible. The ancient Greeks also ascribed an increase in strength to the wearing of this stone. Like many other stones, topaz is thought to ward off physical illness and improve mental health. Some even thought that this stone could prevent the sudden onset of death. In the New Age community, blue stones aid the wearer in interpersonal communication and can aid in preventing a variety of diseases and illness.

Artificial Forms of Enhancement

Heat is sometimes used as an artificial form of enhancement which can cause a pale blue stone to fade and become colorless. If a brown stone contains chromium the color can be changed to pink or violet when heated. Stones that have been exposed to a process of irradiation turn blue.

General Scientific Information

The chemical name Al2SiO4(F,OH)2 also referred to as aluminum fluorosilicate.

Topaz is generally colorless but can be found in colors ranging from a pale blue to yellow, pink and sometimes brown.

Hardness measures 8 on the Mohs scale - the Mohs scale measures the hardness of metals, minerals, gemstones and crystals on a scale of 1 to 10. For example the hardness properties of most quartz crystals fall around 7 on the scale, as does steel and titanium. Diamond is the hardest known substance on the Mohs scale coming in at a hard 10. To most consumers hardness generally reflects the stones able to resist scratches and cracks.

The cleavage is perfect.
The Birefringence is weak and ranges from 0.008 to 0.011.
The index of Refraction is ranges from 1.606 to 1.638 and generally indicates the purity of the stone.
The Specific Gravity is ranges from 3.4 to 3.6.
The Crystalline System is orthorhombic.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer for the popular jewelry site: JewelrySalesandService.com. Provides information on jewelry, rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and watches. His website, www.JewelrySalesandService.com also has information on diamonds, birthstones, gemstones, pearls, gold, sterling silver, and platinum.
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