Detailed sheet


All the yellow stones were called topazes before we learned the difference from the others. This name probably comes from the island of Zebirget, former Topazos , on the Red Sea, where the peridot was found in the Middle Ages, unless it comes from the Sanskrit “tapas” for fire.
The color is rarely vivid, a yellow-orange, but the most sought after is the pink to orange-pink color, coming from Brazil, it is called “imperial” in honor of the Emperor Don Pedro.
It is the standard hardness number 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, ranging from 1 to 10.



fluorine - alluminium silicate


Main color


Other colors

blue, brown, colourless, orange, pink, red, purple

the most beautiful are pink-orange, called "imperial"

Color of streak





8.0 to 0.0


3.50 to 3.57





easy cleavage that makes it fragile




also translucent

Refractive index

1.608 - 1.642

Double refraction


low, biaxial positive, the highest indices are for pink or intense orange varieties

visible double refraction






Number of colors


light for yellow and low for the blue ones, and net for the pink -red and intense orange

Absorption spectrum


for the pink variety and according to the origins



by color but still low in yellow or orange


rutile, peculiarities of growth, liquid-gas inclusions, plans droplets, twin planes


head prisms, with many facets, often with octagonal cross section with longitudinal striations.

crystals system



Astrological sign

Capricorn, Gemini, Libra, Pisces, Scorpio, Taurus, Virgo



Chinese astrological sign



It is found either in pegmatites or in alluviums. The lodging of Schneckenstein (Ore Mountains in Saxony, Germany) was the most famous but it only is of historical interest. Currently, Brazil is the largest producer, who provides the finest specimens, especially of “imperial topaz” : the “imperial” mine of Capao is located in the region of Ouro Preto, near Belo Horizonte. About 40 kg are removed each month, but only 600 g will be cut, so about 3 000 carats in the end.
It is also found in Scotland, in Northern Ireland, Australia, Burma, China, United States, Japan (with large colorless crystals), Madagascar, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia (red-violet topaz of Marengo in Siberia, and transparent blue crystals of the Urals), in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
In 1964, a blue topaz of about 100 kg was found in Ukraine and the Smithsonian Institution, holds, cut, several thousand carats.

use in jewelry

The colored topaz are cut in grades or scissors, or oval-sized in a “Portuguese”cut, the colorless are cut brilliant, those rich in inclusions are cut cabochon or faceted.
The transparent ones are used in the optical industry as lenses. When in Powder, this very hard stone, is used for polishing.
Its easy cleavage makes it fragile to crimping so it is to be used with caution.
The name “Royal topaz” was used for orange sapphires: it is prohibited in jewelry.
The blue topaz is the stone anniversary of the fourth year of marriage and the imperial topaz is the stone for the anniversary of the 23rd year of marriage.

Daily care
and precautions

It is very hard … but beware of shocks due to cleavage. Cleaning with water containing detergent, rinsing with water without lime and then with alcohol.

imitations and

Sometimes some heated citrines or amethysts are sold as golden topaz (“Spanish topaz”, “topaz from the Urals”, “burnt topaz”) but serious jewelers only speak as topaz for the real one.
We can also heat up to 450 ° C some real topazes in order to accentuate the color. It is to be noticed that the topaz itself can be used to imitate diamond if it is colorless.
Synthetic ones are known since 1976, including the blue ones. By heating or irradiation some turn pink, or colorless or blue. Some topaz in which the blue color was obtained by irradiation, being radioactive, and are now banned from sale.

healing properties

Indian doctors were using this stone to tone the heart of their patients and help their bloodstream. The Chinese believe that it levied the sun’s energy and so transmitted energy and good health and encouraged everyone to hang one in his house. Its color would determine its powers. The colorless one brings light and promotes intellectual activities, clarifying ideas, helping concentration, and the blue one generates dialogue, listening to others, communication between people, raising friendships. Many put it on the solar plexus chakra to release anxieties, and it would act on the nervous system, in case of insomnia (Frontal chakra).
The very bright flashing topaz, it is sought because it propagates cheerfulness, happiness, spurs the body.
The pink would regulate the blood flow and vascular exchanges, also acting on the lungs, liver, kidneys.
The green one, very rare, would have potent effects on the liver activity. In the Middle Ages Andreas, Bishop of Caesarea said that many who suffered of eye’s runoff could use topaz to dry them. It was the stone of St. Matthew because it had been given to him to enlight his community whose heart was darkened.
According to the Baroness of Staffe (- The gems and jewelry -, Paris, 1896), it inspires the horror of blood and topaz must be a present to men deciding for war. Its astrological correspondences are Leo and Gemini for the golden topaz and Sagittarius and Aquarius for the blue topaz.


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