Other: Blue topaz is the gem of the 4th anniversary and Imperial topaz is the gem of the 23rd anniversary.
Many consumers know topaz as simply an inexpensive blue gem. They’re
surprised to learn that its blue color is hardly ever natural: It’s almost always caused by treatment. They might also be surprised to know that topaz has so many more colors to offer gem lovers, including pinks and purples that rival the finest fancy sapphires.
Topaz is allochromatic, which means that its color is caused by impurity elements or defects in its crystal structure rather than by an element of its basic chemical composition. The element chromium causes natural pink, red,
and violet-to-purple colors in topaz. Imperfections at the atomic level in topaz crystal structure can cause yellow, brown, and blue color. Brown is a common topaz color, and the gem is sometimes mistakenly called “smoky quartz.”
Topaz actually has an exceptionally wide color range that, besides brown, includes various tones and saturations of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink, and purple. Colorless topaz is plentiful, and is often treated to give it a blue color. Topaz is also pleochroic, meaning that the gem can show different colors in different crystal directions.
The majority of topaz is colorless and is called topaz. The next most abundant color of topaz is blue and green. The most frequently seen stones in jewelry are the shades yellow or sherry brown, and pink. Clear, pink, blue and honey-
yellow varieties of topaz are especially valued. The most sought after and expensive colors are called “imperial topaz.” In the past, it was thought that all yellow gems were topaz and that all topaz was yellow. We now know topaz varies in color from pale blue and colorless, to yellow, orange, brown and pink. The pink stones so popular in Victorian jewelry were produced by heat-treating golden-brown topaz from Brazil.
Some topaz is coated with a metallic oxide that gives the stone a multicolored iridescent luster. These stones, known as "mystic topaz," appear to change color if the observer moves the stone under a light or changes the angle of observation.
Most authorities agree that the name topaz comes from Topazios, the old Greek name for a small island in the Red Sea, now called Zabargad.
Some scholars trace the origin back to Sanskrit (an ancient language of India) and the word topas or tapaz, meaning “fire.”
The ancient Greeks believed that topaz gave them strength. In Europe during the Renaissance (the period from the 1300s to the 1600s) people thought that
topaz could break magic spells and dispel anger. For centuries, many people in India have believed that topaz worn above the heart assures long life, beauty, and intelligence.
The name for imperial topaz originated in nineteenth-century Russia. At the time, the Ural Mountains were topaz’s leading source, and the pink gemstone mined there was named to honor the Russian czar. Ownership of the gem was restricted to the royal family.
In Hindu mythology, the word for topaz means heat. Topaz is one of the sacred stones of the Hindu’s Kalpa tree. It is well known and very sacred to the
Hindus. It is one of the 9 sacred stones upon a talisman of nine gems. The Hindus believe that worn as a pendant, this gemstone will relieve thirst, sharpen intelligence and lengthen ones life.
In Africa, healing rituals with topaz are practiced to establish communion with the realm of the spirit. The Bushmen who bring it to their shamanic work both for journeying, working with ancestors, and for healing, treat the stone as a highly sacred one.
Topaz was once was considered one of five elemental substances that would bring protection to the deities. The figure of a falcon engraved upon a topaz would bring the wearer goodwill and kindness of the powers that be. It was also thought that this would help one attract wealthy patrons who would support artistic endeavors.
Topaz in particular has been said to work with ones creative energies. topaz is also excellent for promoting concentration. Many believed wearing a topaz ring would keep death from coming prematurely and would control insomnia and greed. topaz has also been long believed to be useful for those unable to control lust- a good stone for people with sex addictions.