Astral Topaz: November’s Birthstone From the Sky

From azure blue to yellow sun to orange sunset, topaz is the jewel of the sky. The pure transparency plus the vivid colors of topaz remind one of being on top of a mountain and reveling in the changing beauty of the sky.

Topaz variety

Topaz is clear and transparent when pure and it’s the impurities that give it its various shades of yellow, gold, pink, orange, red, light-purple, light-brown, green, and blue. Blue topaz has become very popular and its color ranges in tone from the very light sky blue to the mid-toned Swiss blue, and finally, to the darker-toned London blue. Pink and yellow precious topazes are particularly well sought after as they are quite rare, with some of the yellow gems exhibiting the even rarer (among topazes) cat’s eye effect. Imperial topaz shows the characteristic but varying combinations of pink, yellow, tan, orange, and red hues.

Topaz charm

Topaz legends ascribe various beneficial effects on someone wearing this gem such as better vision, greater strength, increased intelligence, higher creativity, and so on. When choosing topaz jewelry pieces, consider carefully the design of the settings, making sure that the gem is adequately protected from the jolts and knocks of daily use. Jewelry worn on parts of the body that do not often come into contact with everyday objects are the ideal pieces for setting topazes. Earrings and Necklaces, for example, are ideal mounts for topaz gems.

Topaz is harder than quartz and ranks 8 on the Mohs mineral hardness scale. Topaz is in fact the indicator mineral for that rank. Topaz also exhibits a perfect cleavage in one direction which make it less tougher than other gemstones such as beryls and sapphires. But when set properly in well-designed mounts, topaz gems can last a lifetime and can easily outshine other more well-known gems.

High-quality topaz gems have no visible blemishes (surface scratches) and few or no visible inclusions (internal “bubbles” or tiny trapped non-topaz crystals). Large topaz gems of the highest clarity (“flawless”), vivid colors, and sparkling cuts command the best prices. The pink, red, or deep-yellow colored natural topazes, especially cat’s eye topazes, are the most valuable.

Famous topaz gems

Considerable topaz gem deposits can be found in many parts of the world from the Americas to Asia, Europe, and Russia. Famous topazes include the colorless Braganza (previously mistaken for a diamond) on the Portuguese Crown, the El-Dorado Topaz (31,000 carats, yellow-brown color), and the Lua de Maraba (>25,000 carats, gray color). All of these topazes are Brazilian in origin.

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