Topaz is a derivative of the word “Topazios”, the ancient Greek name for the Egyptian island in the Red Sea now known as St John’s Island. Interestingly, this island never produced topaz, but it was once a source of a yellow gem, which was confused with topaz before the development of modern mineralogy. Some scholars believe that the word “topaz” comes from the Sanskrit (language of Hinduism) word topas or tapas, which means “fire” or “heat”.
Today, Brazil is the largest producer of quality topaz gemstones. Other producing countries include Pakistan, India, Russia, Australia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Mexico, Germany, and the U.S (mostly in the states of California, Utah, and New Hampshire).
The red colour topaz, often refereed to as ‘imperial topaz’, is considered the most valuable of all colours. Blue used to be the rarest colour of topaz, but today it is the most common, thanks to a stable colour enhancement process developed in the 1970s. Virtually all the blue topaz on the market today has treated colour. London Blue Topaz is the most widely known and available variety. Other colours include brown and pink. The topaz stone comes in a variety of sizes and shapes, but the round cut is considered today to be the most popular shape.
Some ancient cultures believed topaz to possess the ability to cool water, increase body heat, and cure fevers, give its owner dreams, or even grant a life with lots of intelligence and longevity. Ancient Greeks for example, believed that topaz gave them strength. During the Renaissance in Europe (from 1300s to 1600s), people thought that topaz was capable of allaying anger and breaking magic spells. In India, many people believed that long-life, beauty, and intelligence is guaranteed wearing topaz above the heart.
Topaz is not considered a hard stone, so care is required to avoid chipping or cracking. To clean the gem, it is recommended to use warm soapy water.
Blue topaz is the gem of the 4th wedding anniversary, and Imperial topaz for 23rd wedding anniversary.
If you are wondering just where you can get these beautiful stones from, you don’t need to travel to Brazil or any of the above listed countries, Razi is just a call away.