INFORMATION ABOUT TOPAZ IN ESTATE JEWELRY AND ANTIQUE JEWELRY
The value of topaz is based primarily upon color, brilliance and clarity. The most valued color is a rare, sherry colored stone, which is called Imperial Topaz. Sherry-colored and natural pink topaz command high prices. Light blue, colorless and pale yellow stones are of less value.
BIRTHSTONE AND ANNIVERSARY
Topaz is the birthstone for November and the 23rd wedding anniversary stone.
ORIGIN OF NAME
The origin of the name "topaz" is uncertain. It may have originated from the term "topazos" which means to seek. This is the name of a small island in the Red Sea, which has many peridot stones. Most likely, the Sanskrit term "tapaz" means "fire" is the actual origination of the name. The term topaz was used in ancient Egypt and Rome.
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Blue Topaz Diamond Ring Estate Jewelry
Topaz is found in Brazil, US, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Mexico, Australia and Myanmar. Brazil is the largest producer of Topaz.
TOPAZ ESTATE JEWELRY HISTORY
Ancient Egyptians and Romans both used topaz for jewelry making. Romans obtained their topaz from Sri Lanka. In the 17th century, buyer and importer, Jean Baptiste Tavernier mentions topaz in his notes of trips to the orient. Topaz was not very popular during the middle ages. During the 18th century, it was used more frequently in fabulous diamond jewelry in Spain and France. During the 19th century, it was popular to use topaz with amethyst in earrings and necklaces in France and England. Topaz was a popular stone during the Victorian Jewelry Period and later became used during the Art Deco Jewelry era.
During the middle ages, topaz was believed to provide mental toughness and prevent mental disorders, in particular - sudden death. During the 11th century, it was recommended as a cure for weak vision. Topaz has also been recommended as a cure for madness, increasing wisdom and a coolant for boiling water.
Topaz is found principally in gem pegmatites, where fluorine is abundant. This rich-volatile area stimulates the growth of large crystal. Storm weathering is of pegmatites release topaz into streams and rivers. Topaz concentrates in alluvial gravels.
TOPAZ ESTATE JEWELRY AND ANTIQUE JEWELRY CARE INSTRUCTIONS
Strong heat or light may cause natural brownish stones to fade. Yellow non-irradiated stones from Brazil and pink or blue stones are generally stable. Avoid ultrasonic, steam cleaners or strong heat. Topaz should always be removed prior to washing one's hands, cleaning house or swimming. Sudden extreme temperature changes should be avoided to prevent cracking.
TOPAZ VARIETIES USED IN ESTATE JEWELRY:
BLUE TO GREEN TOPAZ - the most available form of topaz. Blue topaz is often produced by irradiating and then heating light brown and near colorless topaz stones. Topaz in medium to dark green colors are not natural. Most natural blue topaz will come from the Minas Gerais region in Brazil. Blue topaz which resembles aquamarine, is distinguished by a more brilliant luster and a higher specific gravity. It is always found in pegmatites or their secondary deposits.
PINK OR RED TOPAZ - red or strong pink topaz are considered the most valuable types of topaz. Most pink topaz is heat treated brownish-yellow from Brazil.
GOLDEN YELLOW TO ORANGE TOPAZ - with intense color and reddish to pink overtones is called Imperial Topaz. This is considered the most valued topaz stone. The sherry-red colored, Imperial Topaz is mined in Brazil. The Soviet Union once had a field with Imperial Topaz, however this has been exhausted. The sherry-red variety may have a slight blue hue. The pink topaz type, that has chrome traces, is extremely difficult to find and is generally reserved for collectors. Often citrine or other stones are sold as yellow quartz. In Brazil, there are pale yellow topazes that are found which when cut resemble yellow sapphires.
COLORLESS TOPAZ - most topaz is light brown when mined and then turns colorless after exposure to light or low heat. Colorless topaz is often used to simulate diamonds.
Crystal system: orthorhombic
Cleavage: perfect in one direction
Refractive Index 1.61 - 1.64
Double Refracting, biaxial positive
Specific Gravity: 3.50 - 3.57
Topaz has a hardness of 8, on the Moh's Scale. Because of the perfect cleavage of topaz their toughness is considered poor and they may break easily. Stones may break or chip easily if dropped.