Topaz – November Birthstone
November has two birthstones of which Topaz is one. This gemstone is available in a rich rainbow of colours. Often confused with Citrine Quartz (yellow) and Smoky Quartz (brown) Quartz and Topaz are different and unrelated mineral species. The most prized colour of Topaz is called Imperial Topaz after the Russian Czars of the 1800s and features a magnificent orange body colour with pinkish undertones. Topaz also comes in yellow, pink, purple, orange, and the many popular blue tones. The meaning of the word Topaz comes from the Greek word “tapazos” meaning “to seek” and it is said to have been one of the stones in the breastplate of the high priest in the Bible.
Topaz is a hard silicate mineral which gets its colour from impurities or defects in its crystal structures, which turn it gorgeous shades of yellow, blue, red, green, brown, violet and pink. Topaz can also be colourless, and colourless Topaz is often heated to create blue gemstones. Brazil is the largest producer of Topaz. The biggest uncut stone, a specimen found in Brazil weighing almost 600 pounds, is on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. A famous cut Topaz in history is found among the crown gemstone of Portugal, a magnificent yellow stone weighing 12 ounces.
The stone was believed to be symbolic of the Egyptian Sun God Ra, with its brilliant golden glow and fiery intensity. Topaz was once thought to strengthen the mind, increase wisdom, and prevent mental disorders. During the Middle Ages, the Topaz was used mostly by royalty and clergy which may explain the medieval custom of giving Topaz rings to heads of state, diplomats, and royalty. According to legend, the Topaz was believed to control heat, having the power to cool boiling water and consequently, anger in a person, cutting through their despair, rage or confusion and lending clarity of thought to the wearer of the gemstone.
Topaz symbolizes love and affection, and is said to give strength and intelligence to the person who wears it. The Topaz is believed to promote clarity of thought, enhance one’s creativity and relax the mind and body and aid in tissue repair and regeneration.