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Topaz

In ancient times people believed that topaz is a stone of the inner enlightenment which gifts women with beauty, and the men – with good judgment. In Medieval Europe topaz is considered the "stone of the court”. People believed that its holder was entitled to rely on the mercy of the powers and that he himself will become rich.

History

This gem was knew in ancient Egypt and Rome. Romans imported it from Ceylon island (Sri Lanka), which even today is a rich source of many different precious stones. In fact in antiquity the name topaz were called many different gems, especially those in yellow, golden-brown and green. The name comes from the name of the island Topazion / Topazios (currently Zabargad) in the Red Sea.

topaz necklace

Topaz was particularly popular in Europe in the Medieval, although it was used for ornaments especially for the royal courts, as well as items related to religious worship. Significant quantities of topaz began to arrive in Europe in the 18th century from the Brazil mines. At that time the colorless topaz mined in Brasilia was called "slaves’ diamond " and was often offered for diamond, which seemingly differs only marginally.

Colors

The pure topaz is colorless, but it also occurs in a wide range of colors: yellow, blue, pink, gold, green, red and brown. These colors are rarely saturated. The most common color is yellow with a reddish tinge, and the most desired is pink to orange-red (Imperial Topaz). Colouring agents are usually iron and chromium.

topaz different colours
impeiral topaz

The term "imperial" topaz probably comes from Russia. In 19th century there was mined topaz with violet tint which was designed exclusively for the imperial family. Currently this definition is used for pink, orange and red topaz from Brazil and some from Pakistan.

Golden topaz can have different shades of yellow, from honey to brown. The stone is transparent and has glass glitter.

topaz golden

The more attractive and more expensive than the gold topaz is the blue topaz. Blue topaz is a natural mineral, but almost all commercially available blue topaz is produced by less attractive colored stones. They are further processed by heat to achieve deeper color. This treatment provides a stable blue color. Such gems with bright and deep colors have their own names - dark blue (London Blue), Blue (Sky Blue), dark blue (Swiss Blue) Topaz and "Maxi Blue" (deep and intense blue).

London Blue

topaz london blue

Sky Blue

topaz sky blue

Swiss Blue

topaz swiss blue

Maxi Blue

topaz maxi blue

Due to the proximity blue topaz can easily be confused with aquamarine.

Mystic topaz is a colorless topaz with a micron thick coating of titanium, giving it a greenish tint with overflow into other colors of the rainbow. This rainbow effect is extremely eye grabbing. Still there are some precautions for its owner – the artificial cover might be easily damaged by scratches.

mystic topaz
mystic topaz ring

Colored topaz must be kept away from too much light which makes their color pale. Although some of the stones "rest" in the dark and restore their color. They also change color irradiated by X-rays and heat. In the latter case, they become colorless or pink. Most persistent color of topaz is the blue. Still it is the most rare in the nature.

Topaz gems are obtained by cutting the raw mineral. They are extremely beautiful. Especially prized are jewelry inserts of transparent topaz or two-tone stone. When cut, due to the mixing of colors, these crystals look unusual and gorgeous. Topaz gems fit perfectly combined with other precious and semi-precious stones like sapphires, rubies, citrine, amethyst.

Famous Stones

The largest faceted topaz and the largest cut stone in the world is El Dorado. It weighs 31000 carats, which is equivalent to 6.2 kg. It is emerald faceted. El Dorado was found in Minas Gerays in Brazil - the main source of natural topaz. Uncut stone weighed in its discovery in 1984 37 kg. The weight loss when cut is huge - about 30.8 kg due to the poor quality of the material, which had to be removed in order a perfect topaz with perfect cut, color and clarity to be created.

El Dorado

topaz eldorado

Lua de Maraba

topaz lua de maraba

"Lua de Maraba" means "Moon Maraba" in Portuguese. Topaz with this name is the second largest in the world among faceted topaz stones. It was found in the town of Maraba in one of the topaz mines in the Brazilian state of Pará. Time and place of discovery is unknown. As El Dorado "Luna Maraba" is included in a collection of “Crown jewels” exhibited in Madrid (Spain). It was purchased there from China. The stone is cut octagonal and has dimensions: 18 x 15 x 10 cm. Faceted stone weighs 25 250 carats and has a very rare grey tint.

The Lindsay

Topaz Lindsay is not cut. It is exhibited in the gallery of the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institute together with the American Golden Topaz, Sphere Golden Topaz, Topaz Freeman and other famous stones. It is uncut stone slab weighing about 32 kg. Like most other massive topaz, it comes from the state of Minas Gerays in Brazil.

Freeman

Topaz Freeman is another massive topaz owned by the collection of gems at the Smithsonian Institute. Just like Lindsay topaz Freeman is a flat crystal with a pyramid narrowing at one end. It is also of Brazilian origin. It is the only larger and more massive topaz than Lindsay, weighting approximately 50.5 kg.

Azul

topaz azul

Azul in Spanish means blue. This reflects the identity of the stone to the blue topaz. As many stones in the collection program “Royal jewelry” this topaz was found in Brazil. Subsequently it was cut in the form of cushion-cut diamond weighing 8225 carats. Originally it was colorless. Its blue color was acquired through artificial improving in one of the traditional ways: either by irradiation with gamma rays or X-rays or electron bombardment.

Braganza

There is another colorless stone called "Braganza". It is considered one of the largest topaz in the world. Stone belonged to the King of Portugal. This topaz has the strange form of chicken egg. It weights 1640 carats and costs 57 million pounds. This is one of the cases when the Brazilian topaz was adopted as a diamond and crowned the Portuguese governor.


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