Topaz is an aluminum silicate that contains up to 20% fluorine or water. Its physical and optical properties vary according to the proportions of water and fluorine present. Golden brown and pink topaz contain more water and tend to form longer crystals. topaz is one of the hardest silicate minerals. It makes an excellent mineral specimen because of its high luster, attractive colors and well-formed crystals. Topaz rates an 8 on the hardness scale. It is a hard brilliant stone with a fine color range. In fact, the color
of a topaz is more important than the size in determining its value. topaz occurs naturally in a range of colors and is heat-treated to produce the more popular hues. True topaz is found in shades of colorless to yellow, orange, red or brown, and is sometimes treated by irradiation to produce blue colors. The term “imperial topaz” refers to stones with a fine peachy to reddish orange color. Today, pink, blue, and honey colored stones are the most sought after, while deep golden yellow and pink are the most valuable (natural pink stones are rare- most are heat treated yellow stones).
Topaz is the birthstone for the month of December, and the stone given in celebration of the 4th and 19th anniversaries of marriage. Topaz is a symbol of love and affection, and has been said to be an aid to ones sweetness and disposition.
Topaz gets its name from the Greek word topazion, which may originate from the Sanskrit tapas, meaning, “fire.” The name might also come from the name of the Egyptian island of topazos (now St Johns island) in the Red Sea. It’s found in Brazil, Nigeria, Australia, Burma, and Mexico.