The November birthstone is topaz, a lustrous gem that spans from fiery orange to icy blue, with many magnificent shades in between. It is a silicate mineral of aluminum and fluorine with the chemical formula Al2SiO4(F, OH)2.
The name topaz comes from Topazios, the old name for an island in the Red Sea. However, no topaz was ever produced on Topazios! The island was a rich source of peridot, a different gem commonly confused with topaz. Some scholars have traced the origin of the word topaz all the way back to the Sanskrit word tapaz, which translates to “fire.”
Blue topaz is very plentiful and popular. However, this type of topaz usually starts out with a clear coloring, and turns bright blue after treatment. Topaz is unique because it is pleochroic, which means that the gem may appear to be a different color depending on the direction it is viewed in. Topaz can come in huge crystals. A transparent topaz crystal discovered in Brazil weighed almost 600 pounds! Topaz can also be polished to the point where it is incredibly shiny and even slippery to the touch. It is said that topaz stones contain energy from the sun, giving topaz soothing and healing properties. It is believed the stone can bring fidelity and gifts of courage and wisdom to anyone who posses it.
Topaz also has mystical qualities that verge on the metaphysical. Golden topaz is most commonly found in Russia and Brazil, though it is mined in a handful of other places in the Southwest: Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and Utah. It is often found in a golden pink color. Spiritually, topaz has been known as a stone for friendship that will attract people to the wearer. It also is known as a stone that can manifest good things into your life by wearing it, meditating while wearing it, or even placing it under your pillow. For those who are looking to release tension and negativity, topaz may be able to help too! If you are purchasing topaz, don’t confuse golden topaz with citrine or smoky quartz; those stones are often sold as topaz. (Of course, we can assist with this.)
Precious topaz typically comes in orange and is the most common form of the stone. Historically, this one is a symbol of friendship. (It is also the state gem of Utah.)
Imperial topaz was mined in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 19th century, and it is said that pink topaz from those mines was restricted to the family of the Russian Czars. Typically, this term is ascribed to pink, orange and red topaz, which comes largely from Ouro Prêto, Brazil. This Brazilian topaz can be bright yellow to deep golden brown.
Our jewelers have skillfully crafted topaz stones into unique and show-stopping pieces. With its spectrum of colors, its spiritual signifcance, and its beautiful sheen, topaz makes a wonderful addition to any piece of jewelry, whether you were born in November or not!