7 things you didn't know about topaz
Topaz is one of the two birthstones for the month of November. This mineral occurs in yellow, orange, brown, pink to red to violet-red, blue, light green, and colorless. It has a hardness of 8, one of the highest on the Mohs scale.
These are some facts that you did not know about topaz:
PAAR 14 k yellow gold ring with a 3mm round topaz and 1.5mm round band
1. Pure topaz is colorless and is often used as a substitute for diamond.
2. The Egyptians believed that the yellow variety of topaz was a personification of Ra, the Sun God, due to its intense and vivid color. That is why topaz is found in Egyptian talismans and other artifacts.
3. Due to the lack of natural blue topazes, colorless topazes are irradiated to transform them into different shades of blue. Depending on the time, strength and type of irradiation, different shades of blue are obtained: sky blue, Swiss blue or London blue. It takes experience to be able to distinguish between a topaz that has been irradiated and a topaz that is naturally blue (and therefore more valuable).
4. It is believed that the name 'topaz' comes from an island in the Red Sea called Topazos (today called Zabargad) which means peridot in Arabic. This means that what the Romans thought to be topaz was actually peridot until the Arabs discovered it. Others believe that the origin comes from the Sanskrit word tapas, which means "fire".
5. The rarest and rarest topaz (less than 1% of all topaz) is the Imperial Topaz, an orange-colored topaz that was first found in Brazil.
6. The "Braganza Diamond" is actually one of the most famous colorless topazes - it weighs 1,680 carats and sits in the crown of Portugal. At first it was believed to be the largest diamond ever found, until its true identity was revealed.
7. Mexico is one of the countries with the most topaz deposits in the world along with Brazil, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the United States, Namibia, Nigeria, Madagascar and Russia.