Those celebrating their birthday in November, are fortunate to have the exquisite Topaz as their birthstone. These stunning gemstones are found in abundance in most of the gem-stocking areas all over the world.
Even though the Topaz gives an impression of royalty, it is, surprisingly, one of the more affordable birthstones available to purchase these days. The November birthstone has everything going for it; precious, beautiful, and affordable.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is often seen by many fans and photographers, wearing her stunning pave drop earrings made with white topaz, which confirms, without a doubt, that the topaz birthstone is pure class and elegance!
History Of Topaz
For thousands of years, all yellow gemstones were thought to be variations of the topaz gemstone. However, many years later, mineralogists discovered that the gem actually occurs in a variety of colours and that many other yellow stones are actually different stones altogether!
In Europe, during the Renaissance, it was believed that the topaz could calm anger and break spells. To Hindus, the topaz was sacred and believed that a topaz pendant could bring the wearer longevity and wisdom. The gemstone was also sacred to African shamans and was used as part of their healing ceremonies.
The Ural Mountains in Russia was the leading source of the gemstone during the 19th century, with the pinkish-orange topaz being the most prized of all. It was called “Imperial Topaz,” in honour of the Russian czar, and only royals were permitted to own it.
However, large deposits of topaz were discovered in Brazil in the mid-19th century, which resulted in the gemstone becoming widely available and more affordable to everyone.
During the 1960s, processes were developed that used irradiation treatment, to turn the common, colourless topaz, blue. The blue topaz now floods the market and is one of the cheapest gemstones available to purchase.
Varieties of light blue topaz are found in Texas but is not commercially mined in the area. The blue topaz, in 1969, became an official gemstone of Texas – which is the same year that Utah made the topaz its official state gemstone.
What Does Topaz Symbolise?
The Topaz gemstone is believed to be the symbol of love and affection, and also gives the wearer increased intellect and strength. It was also thought to balance strong emotions and calm angry feelings. The Greeks of ancient times believed that anyone wearing the topaz would become invisible!
The November birthstone is also a symbol of honour and was believed by many, to bring wisdom and longevity.
What Is The True Colour Of Topaz?
The November birthstone is, in actual fact, colourless, but certain impurities can give it just about any hue, with yellow to amber being the more traditional colours.
Blue topaz gemstones are rarely found in nature. Those sold in jewellery shops have most times been treated to give them a blue shade.
Imperial topaz is a reddish-orange coloured stone with pink undertones and is the most valuable of all.
Production And Durability Of Topaz
Brazil is the primary producer of high-quality topaz gemstones, with other sources being India, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Australia, the USA (Utah, New Hampshire, and California), Mexico, and Germany.
Topaz, measuring 8 on the Mohs Scale, is an incredibly durable and hard gemstone. It has perfect cleavage, making it prone to cracking or chipping. However, if cut correctly, topaz gemstones make extremely durable and wearable jewellery pieces.
How To Buy Topaz
Traditionally, the topaz is a gift for those born in November, but it is also given as gifts to those celebrating their 19th wedding anniversary. Certain topaz gems, the blue and imperial, respectively, are also given to acknowledge and celebrate the 4th and 23rd years of marriage as well.
Topaz has become relatively common and somewhat inexpensive since it was recognised as being more than a simple yellow gemstone. The November birthstone can be judged according to the same parameters as diamonds.
Colourless topaz gems, in fact, are becoming more popular to use in jewellery, as cheaper alternatives to diamonds.
When purchasing topaz, remember that the gemstone is frequently treated with irradiation to produce beautiful colours, especially blue. Since these procedures are almost exactly the same way that topaz stones are formed in nature, it is almost impossible to tell if the topaz has been treated or not. It is best, therefore, to visit a professional jeweller who can help you to choose a good-quality topaz.
Because of its intense, reddish-orange shade, the Imperial topaz is the most valuable of all. Orange, yellow, and brown topaz are more readily available and less expensive, but the pink and red hues can be enhanced if treated with heat.
Some of the largest gemstones ever cut in the world have come from topaz crystals! Brazilian mines have produced the two largest topaz gems in the world, namely the blue “Brazilian Princess,” of 21,327 carats, and the yellow “American Golden Topaz,” of 22, 892,5 carats.
Smaller topaz gemstones however are relatively inexpensive. Not only are they affordable to most people, but they also come in a wide variety of colours, making it easy for people to find the topaz that suits them best.