Topaz is a gemstone formed from the following compounds: aluminum, flint, iron and oxygen. The stone is called heavyweight because of its property - large specific gravity.
There are several possible origins of the name, but no one is sure about the reliability of these sources.
According to one version, the stone was named after an island in the Red Sea. Another origin of its name claims to come from ancient literary language of India, which translated means heat or fire. If you believe the second version, you could assume that the first topaz found was a yellow one.
When thinking of this mineral, most people immediately think of a blue hue. However, this is not entirely true, as the wide variety of the rock has a very rich color palette to offer. It can be lemon, black, orange or green. There is also a striped topaz, rainbow topaz and many other shades and colors.
In this article, we will only look at the main types of the stone.
The yellow topaz can be considered as the oldest found.
According to historians, this mineral was discovered over two thousand years ago and is still extracted today. The coloration of this type of stones has very many shades: from light yellow to darker shades like brown.
Yellow topaz is more often called honey or golden topaz.
Colorless topaz is widely used. It gets or, rather, loses its color thanks to its near surface location. Due to the sun rays, the topaz of any color turns into colorless. Sometimes it gets a diamond cut and is sold as a diamond.
In fact, one of the most famous gemstones in the world - a colorless topaz thought to be a diamond. This is a 1680 - carat stone known as the Braganza Diamond, which belonged to the Portuguese royal family.
In 1740 in Brazil, prisoners found a treasure.
Portuguese prisoners washed out the sand in search of gold and found a diamond of roundish shape. It possessed a white color with a yellowish tint. The stone was sent to the Portuguese capital.
Probably the convicts were freed for the find, but since the story is very old, their fate remains unknown.
The name "Braganza" comes from the ruling Portuguese dynasty.
They drilled a hole in the jewelry and wore it as a pendant. Until someone in the dynasty put it in his crown.
The further fate of the jewel is concealed by the Portuguese authorities.
One might think that the stone disappeared after the death of King John VI in 1826. Most likely, it is in the treasury of the country. According to other rumors, it was split in two and divided into two diamonds. This story is very interesting, but is shrouded in mystery.
This is understandable, because if it is found out that the diamond is not real, it turns out that in the crown of the Portuguese rulers was a simple topaz. Who and in what way found out that the Braganza was half noble remains unknown.
But if this is a mistake and the diamond is genuine, then its price is tens of millions of pounds. In which case, the Portuguese authorities are hiding it for a reason. So it remains intact.
The most popular color is blue. In fact, blue crystal is the best-selling gemstone. The combination of sparkle, shine and clarity for an attractive price makes it an excellent jewelry.
However, blue topaz is very rarely found in nature and that too only in pale light blue.
The amazing shades of blue you find on the market are the result of widespread procedures of enhancement. Usually it is irradiation followed by heating.
These methods allow to get the following colors and shades
:- dark blue color with green tint, known as "London Blue Topaz"-
a very deep light blue with medium blue, also known as
and a pale light blue, called"
The most valuable color is called "Imperial Topaz".
The exact color for "Imperial Topaz" is not determined, so a wide range from golden orange to peach and pink is sold under this name. Some bright pink colors are the result of heat treatment.
It is important to remember that pink topaz bleaches very quickly under the sun's rays, which can cause it to become pale after only a week. Therefore it is better to buy such jewellery for evening outings.
Smoky topaz (smoky quartz)
On the Internet you can find information about a gemstone called "smoky topaz". Scientists claim that such a mineral does not exist. People are very surprised when they hear it, because the smoke topaz is widely used. How can such a thing be true?
The answer lies in the fact that some sellers sell smoky quartz, a very attractive, but cheap stone, under the name of a more expensive one. This is not only unfair to the buyer, but also to the Smoky Quartzwhose uniqueness is being overshadowed.
The largest deposits in the world are Brazil and Sri Lanka, these two countries are the main suppliers in the world market.
It is also mined in the USA, Japan, India, Mexico, Pakistan and Ireland.
Mining also takes place on the African continent: in Zimbabwe, Namibia and Madagascar.
Australia, Poland, Norway and Scotland are not left behind either.
In the world there are very many large topazes of high quality.
Of course, these are in museums.
Of the Russian heavyweights, the stone weighing 10 kilograms, which is located in the Mining Museum, in today's Saint Petersburg University, is noteworthy.
The topaz "American Golden", obtained in Brazil, weighs 4.5 kilograms.
You can see it in the National Museum of Natural History.
In the Russian Ural deposits in Lake Ilmen, stones with weights up to 30 kilograms were extracted as late as the 19th century.
A large and clean topaz, worked by nature itself, was discovered in Brazil. It was exhibited in Vienna in 1976.
In the middle of the 20th century a crystal with the weight of 117 kilograms was found in Ukraine.
The largest of the stones found, weighing 5.8 tons, was discovered in Minas Gerais.
In Norway there is a mineral weighing 62 kilos. This specimen is perhaps not the cleanest, despite that the size is remarkable.
Very many museums and universities in the world have in their exposition unique and large faceted topaz.
The stone is really very old and beautiful and takes a worthy place in the series of semi-precious stones.
The quality and beauty of silicate crystals, also called topaz, amazes very many jewelry lovers. And unlike diamonds and emeralds, such jewels, because of their cheapness, can be worn by many beauties.