This precious stone which was very popular in many ancient empires has been known to people for thousands of years. And precisely because its tradition goes back so far, we are not exactly sure of how it got its name. Many experts are inclined towards the view that it was named after a Greek island in the Red Sea. Today the island is called St. John’s Island (or also Zabargad), but in earlier times it was called Topazios. Topaz was never mined on the island, but another stone, peridot, was mined there and before the evolution of modern mineralogy, these two minerals could have been easily confused since they can sometimes look similar.

Another explanation for its name can be found in Sanskrit. This ancient language of India used to refer to fire as topas or tapaz so the name topaz could therefore have referred to one of the color variations of this beautiful gemstone.

Diamond ring with topaz in white 14k gold - KLENOTA Necklace in rose gold with topaz - KLENOTA

Topaz in legends, traditions and the horoscope

Like other minerals, the topaz also has its place in the field of esotericism. The ancient Greeks believed in its ability to give people strength. In India, they say that a topaz worn at the heart gives its owner beauty and intelligence and ensures a long life. In the renaissance, people wore topaz because it was meant to be able to break spells and to dissipate rage. Sailors in turn believed that it could calm stormy oceans. Fortune tellers today recognize topaz for its ability to strengthen health, bring joy, recharge energy and scare off nightmares as well as prevent sleepwalking. It is a stone that counteracts all negative energies. It symbolizes love and is good for artists.  

The gemstone is identified with the sun and its element is fire. Along with citrine, it is the birthstone for the month of November but the blue variety of topaz is associated with December and 4th wedding anniversaries. Topaz best suits Pisces and Scorpio star signs, while the blue variety of topaz is suitable for Sagittarius and Aquarius. In the KLENOTA jewelry collection, you will find topaz in all its blue variants. Choose from rings, earrings and necklaces as well as several bracelets in a range of designs.

Minimalist bracelet in rose gold with topaz - KLENOTA Flexi bracelet with topaz in white 14k gold - KLENOTA

The scientific properties of topaz

Topaz is a mineral frequently formed in acidic pegmatites and rhyolites. Gemstone quality color variations are sometimes found in autometamorphosed tin granites and quartz veins in their vicinity. Under specific conditions, it is crystallized as a very pure aluminum silicate containing fluorine in cavities. Following the break-up of granite massifs, topaz crystals found their way into rivers, and due to their toughness, nowadays they can be found in river alluviums.    

The topaz is a rhombic mineral with the chemical formula Al2{SiO4(F,OH)2}. It forms perfectly bounded crystals and their drusen. Topaz comes in a wide variety of shapes, cylindrical in varying degrees and with grooves running lengthways. The mineral goes up to an 8 on the hardness scale. It has a conchoidal, uneven fracture, its luster is vitreous and its streak is white. Topaz is transparent or translucent. It slowly dissolves in hot sulphuric acid and when exposed to strong heat, it becomes cloudy. It fractures easily, making it different from quartz or beryl. And it is this quality which makes them a nightmare for gemstone cutters, since many natural topaz crystals contain small cracks. Such stones then cannot be cut. 

 Topaz colour variation - KLENOTA

Topaz colors and varieties

Like some other gemstones, the topaz comes in a wonderful variety of colors. It is an allochromatic gemstone which means that it can therefore also be colorless and any color in it is caused by trace elements of various added metals, defects in its crystal structure or by inclusions.

Beautiful yellow crystals with a hint of orange are called Golden Topaz and their yellow color may be caused by defects in the crystal lattice.

If such a yellow crystal is pleochroic and also displays a red color, it is called an Imperial Topaz. This type of topaz happens to be one of the most expensive and most valuable there is. It acquired its name in 19th century Russia and was named in honour of the tsar. At that time, topaz was mined mainly in the Ural Mountains and owning such a stone was a privilege reserved for the royal family.

In addition to the yellow color, imperfections in the crystal structure may also result in a brown color. Such topaz are called champagne and are one of only a few naturally occurring brown stones. They can be easily confused with smoky quartz. Stones with a brown-yellow color are called Sherry Topaz

Adding trace amounts of chromium will color topaz pink, purple or red. If vanadium is present, the stones will be pink to purple in color.

Minimalist layering rings in white gold - KLENOTA topaz

In addition to the colors already mentioned, topaz is also naturally green or blue. And a naturally occurring blue color topaz is an extremely rare stone. Such pieces are truly unique and expensive. Their blue color is due to the addition of iron or the disruption of the crystal’s lattice by natural irradiation.

However, even the less attractive colorless variety of the stone is not wasted. It is very often used as the raw material which is then treated in specialized laboratories to artificially create beautiful blue colored jewelry grade topaz.

The various types of modified blue topaz found in jewelry: the sky, Swiss and London topaz

Even in ancient times, the topaz was one of the most valuable and popular stones but after the discovery of large mines in America its price fell drastically. However some varieties have remained rare and quite expensive. These are the natural blue, imperial, pink and honey yellow topaz varieties.

The popular blue topaz which is sold most frequently today is artificially treated by irradiation and annealing. These treatments are universally accepted and make these beautiful, quality stones available to many more people. With every KLENOTA jewelry piece you buy, you will receive a Certificate of Authenticity free of charge with all the information on the materials and gemstones used.

Light blue topaz is referred to as sky blue, topaz with medium blue tones is called Swiss blue and richer darker blue color gemstones are known as London blue.

prstýnek z růžového zlata s topazem - KLENOTA

Why and how to choose topaz jewelry

The indisputable advantage of topaz gemstones is that they contain very few visible inclusions. They are also a great choice if you really want a deep blue stone at a reasonable price. For example, an equally large saturated aquamarine costs drastically more than a commercially available topaz.

The cut for precious stones always follows the shape of the starting raw material so that the size of the cut gemstone is as high as possible. The same is true of topaz. Its crystals are often elongated, so gem cutters often choose an oval cut or a shape called the pear or a teardrop. In addition to these shapes, a jewellry store will also offer other more or less traditional cuts, such as the round or cushion

Blue topaz looks its best when combined with white gold and diamonds. On the other hand, it looks a little more cheerful and warmer when combined with yellow gold.

Topaz stud earrings in white 14k gold - KLENOTA Topaz ring in white gold - KLENOTA

How to look after a topaz

Topaz is one of those everyday gemstones that retain their beautiful appearance even with minimal care. Despite this, keep in mind that they lose their color when exposed to higher temperatures. They don't even mind light as much as they mind heat. Therefore, we recommend storing them in a room which is cooler or at least away from heat sources such as heaters or radiators.

Because of the fact that they fracture easily, they are also quite prone to chipping. Therefore avoid any blows or mishandling. 

Where is topaz mined

Rare imperial topaz is found in alluviums in Ouro Prêto, Brazil. It has been mined there since 1760 and this is thus far the only known deposit of imperial topaz in the world. Rare pink topaz is mined along with other varieties in Brazil and Pakistan. Blue pieces are found in the Ural Mountains in the Murzinka area as well as in Siberia in the alluviums around the Urulga River and surrounding Nerchinsk. Brown topaz is also found there.

Other important sites are in Sri Lanka and Ukraine, Namibia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. Blue topaz is the stone of the state of Texas where there is also a small deposit which is not however used for commercial purposes.

Diamond earrings with topaz - KLENOTA

Records and interesting facts

Most topaz of record proportions comes from Brazil, specifically from the mines in Minas Gerais state. The largest raw topaz found there weighed an incredible 597 pounds.

The largest cut topaz is called the El Dorado and it is even considered to be the largest polished gemstone the world has ever known. In its raw state, it weighed 81.5 lbs. After it was cut into the emerald cut, it remained a respectable 13.6 lbs (31,000 carats). It has a golden yellow color and was named after the famous city of gold. The world's second largest cut topaz is the yellow beauty known as the American Golden. Before it was cut, it weighed 26 lbs. After it was cut and polished, a process which took two years, a 10 pound (23,000 ct) gemstone remained.

Like other gemstones, the topaz is also found in royal jewels. For example, the Barganza topaz has been set into the Portuguese royal crown. It is a clear topaz, so for a long time it was believed to be a diamond. It was found in 1740 in Ouro Prêto in Brazil. And some 500 topaz also adorn the English royal crown.

Luxury diamond ring with topaz in yellow 14k gold - KLENOTA topaz