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Topaz: Unveiling the Beauty and History of the Gemstone

Topaz: Unveiling the Beauty and History of the Gemstone

A blog that explains the history, meaning and types of topaz.

Topaz, a captivating gemstone, holds a special place in the world of jewellery and gem enthusiasts. Known for its dazzling array of colours, topaz has a rich history and a diverse range of cultural associations.

Topaz Overview

The name "topaz" is believed to have originated from the Greek island "Topazios" now known as Zabargad. This was a fitting name since it was a main source of peridot that was sometimes confused as topaz. Topaz can come in many different colours such as yellow, white, pink and blue. 

Topaz Birthstone

While not the traditional birthstone for November, topaz is often associated with this month. Alongside citrine, both of these gemstones are considered November birthstones due to their association with SagittariusTopaz, with its warm and vibrant colours ranging from yellow to orange, is believed to resonate with the energetic and optimistic nature of Sagittarians. The golden hues of topaz are seen as symbolic of the fiery and adventurous spirit associated with this zodiac sign.

Topaz Hardness

Topaz is a hard and durable gemstone with a MOHs hardness rating of 8. This makes it suitable for various types of jewellery, including rings and earrings. Its excellent hardness ensures that it can withstand daily wear and tear, maintaining its beauty over time.

Topaz History

Topaz has a rich history that dates back centuries. In ancient Greece, topaz was believed to have the power to increase strength and make its wearer invisible in times of danger. Greek warriors often carried topaz amulets for protection in battle.

Topaz was used in ancient Roman jewellery and carvings. Romans believed that topaz had protective properties and associated it with Jupiter, the king of gods in Roman mythology.

The ancient Egyptians believed that topaz received its golden hue from the Sun God Ra. Egyptians believed that the golden hue of topaz represented the life-giving and radiant energy of the sun. The gemstone was often used in various forms of jewellery, including amulets and talismans, as it was believed to bring protection and good fortune.

In medieval Europe, topaz was thought to have healing powers and could dispel enchantments. The gemstone has been used in royal jewellery, including crowns and rings, symbolising power and authority.

Topaz is mentioned in various Islamic texts, and it has been associated with virtues such as protection from harm and increased strength, similarly to many other cultures and religions. The gemstone's significance is reflected in its use in historical Islamic jewellery and artefacts.

Topaz Origins

Topaz is found in various parts of the world, with notable deposits in countries such as Brazil, Nigeria, Russia, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and the United States. Each location contributes unique characteristics to the topaz gemstone, resulting in a wide range of colours and qualities.

The most famous topaz mining site is Minas Gerais in Brazil. One of their most important mines is Capao do Lana which was inaugurated in the early 19th century and has been the home of many precious gemstones. One of the rarest topaz colours, pinkish purple, is found in tis mining site, making it even more popular. In Africa, topaz extraction unfolds in countries like Nigeria, Zambia, and Madagascar. The garnets from these African countries come in a vivid spectrum of colours, ranging from striking reds to vibrant oranges, each gem reflecting the geological diversity of its origin. The Ural Mountains of Russia frequently encounters clear and sky blue topaz but it's the home to one of the most famous topaz gemstones, the imperial topaz. Russia was the most popular source of topaz in the 19th century and at the time of its discovery, it was named after the Czar in power.  In the United States, topaz can be discovered in various states, including Texas and Utah. 

Topaz Types

The colour variations of topaz are often classified into different types:

Imperial Topaz

This type of topaz features a deep reddish-orange to pinkish-orange colour. It is considered one of the most valuable and rare varieties. As mentioned before, imperial topaz was firstly found in Russia but has been found in various sites in Brazil. 

Imperial topaz

Blue Topaz

Blue topaz is one of the most popular varieties and ranges in colour from pale sky blue to a vibrant Swiss blue. It is often enhanced through irradiation to achieve its blue colour. Naturally occurring blue topaz is not very common. However, pale blue topaz can be commonly found in Brazil, the United States, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, China, Russia, Mexico, and more.

Sterling Silver Sky Blue Topaz Bracelet, £75, South of France Collection

Pink Topaz

Pink topaz, ranging from delicate pastel shades to vibrant pinks, is a sought-after and feminine choice. Most pink topaz come from orange material or in really pale shades. However, they're mostly found in Pakistan and Brazil.

Pink Topaz

White Topaz

While colourless, white topaz is valued for its brilliance and clarity, often used as a diamond alternative in jewellery. It is very naturally abundant therefore can be found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Russia, Pakistan, and Madagascar. 

White topaz

Topaz Meaning

Throughout history, topaz has been associated with various symbolic meanings. In ancient times, topaz was also considered a symbol of love and affection. It is now believed to bring strength, intelligence, and protection to its wearer. This gemstone represents clarity to the mind, enhancing mental focus and promoting a sense of balance. As a symbol of courage, topaz is thought to empower its wearer to overcome challenges and navigate life's journey with resilience. Throughout history and various cultures, topaz has been used in many different ways, with one of the favorite being in precious jewellery. 

Famous Topaz

One of the most famous topaz gemstones is the "Braganza Diamond," a colourless topaz that was once thought to be a diamond. Very recently, Queen Camilla was seen wearing pink topaz and diamond earrings at a Royal Opera House rendition of Don Quixote. 

Celebrities Wearing Topaz Jewellery

At the prestigious 2020 Oscars' ceremony, Florence Pugh captivated the audience and left a lasting impression as she graced the red carpet adorned in a stunning ensemble. The focal point of her dazzling appearance was a magnificent Imperial topazes and diamond set, meticulously crafted by the renowned luxury brand, Louis Vuitton. The exquisite jewellery not only accentuated Pugh's elegance but also added a touch of opulence to her overall look. 

At the 2024 Golden Globes, Dua Lipa stole the spotlight by wearing a captivating Tiffany & Co necklace. The gold and platinum piece, featuring yellow beryl, topaz quartz, and diamonds, dated back to 1962, showcasing a perfect blend of vintage charm and contemporary elegance.

On International Women's Day on 2019, Princess Tessy of Luxembourg chose to adorn herself with our Sky Blue Topaz Ring from the South of France Collection, portraying it as a symbol of self-love and esteem.

Topaz Jewellery in the Press with Augustine Jewels

Augustine Jewels was recently profiled in luxury magazine The Wedding Edition for our beautiful Blue Topaz and Diamond earrings. 

Blue Topaz and Diamond Earrings

Blue Topaz and Diamond Earrings, £850

Last year Augustine Jewels was recognized in London Daily News for our exquisite ethically sourced gemstones, showcasing our exquisite Diamond Ring with Teal Topaz in Wedeln Design. 

Blue topaz Diamond ring

Diamond Ring with Teal Topaz in 18ct Yellow Gold, £5,000, Gstaad Collection

Augustine Jewels was also recommended in Life Magazine's Chelsea Life November Edition in their Christmas Guide, showcasing our Yellow Gold Teal Topaz Cocktail Ring.

Yellow gold topaz ring

Yellow Gold Teal Topaz Ring, £490, Gstaad Collection

Topaz Jewellery at Augustine Jewels

At Augustine Jewels we provide a wide array of beautiful jewellery that incorporate topaz. Most notably, topaz is used in our Gstaad Collection. Taking inspiration from the nature of this beautiful valley, the collection creates stunning pieces.  

Sky blue topaz

Sky Blue Topaz and Pear Topaz Ring, £390, Gstaad Collection

Short Teal Topaz and White Topaz Drop Earrings in Yellow Gold, £250, Gstaad Collection

Our most recent collection, the Aurora Collection, uses different shades of topaz to represent the beautiful hues of the Northern Lights phenomena. 

5 drop topaz earrings

Sky Blue Topaz, London Blue Topaz and Peridot 5 Drop Earrings, £490, Aurora Collection

Sky blue topaz and white enamel

Sky Blue Topaz and White Enamel Necklace, Yellow Gold Vermeil £290, 9ct Yellow Gold £595, 14ct Yellow Gold £900, Aurora Collection 

 

Aurora Statement Ring

Aurora Statement Ring, £4,500, Aurora Collection

Bespoke Topaz at Augustine Jewels

Here at Augustine Jewels, our individualised bespoke service invites active participation and collaboration from the customer in the entire selection journey. Crafted exclusively to align with your tastes, we provide a personalised and unique piece of jewellery that makes it a cherished and timeless creation.

Bespoke Teal Topaz Ring

Teal Topaz Ring, Bespoke Collection

Bespoke blue topaz ring

Blue Topaz Ring, Bespoke Collection

Bespoke White gold and Teal Topaz

Octagon White Gold Earrings in Blue Topaz & Morganite, Bespoke Collection

In conclusion, topaz stands as a captivating gemstone with a rich history and enduring charm. Its timeless appeal has allowed it find popularity in contemporary jewellery. Blue topaz truly stands out as a beautiful colour for this gemstone but all of its hues speak different inspiring stories. At Augustine Jewels, we find new and exciting ways to traditionally and innovatively incorporate topaz in order to appreciate its beauty. Embracing the allure of topaz allows us to incorporate a timeless and sophisticated element into our jewellery. 

Top 5 facts about Topaz
1.⁠ ⁠November Birthstone: While not the traditional birthstone, topaz is often associated with the month of November. It is believed to bring strength and healing properties to individuals born in this month, making it a meaningful and personal choice for jewellery.
2.⁠ ⁠Exceptional Hardness: With a Mohs hardness rating of 8, topaz is a durable gemstone suitable for various types of jewellery, including rings and earrings. Its excellent hardness ensures longevity and resistance to scratches, making it an ideal option for daily wear.

3. Similarity to diamonds: In many occasions during history, white topaz, a common natural gemstone, were mistaken for diamonds. Its main differences come from sparkle quality and durability, where diamonds win in both categories. 

4. Versatile White Topaz: While colourless, white topaz is highly valued for its brilliance and clarity. Commonly used as a diamond substitute in jewellery, white topaz offers an affordable yet elegant option for those seeking a sparkling and clear gemstone.

5. El-Dorado Topaz: The El-Dorado Topaz, weighing 31,000 carats, is known as the most substantial faceted gemstone in the world. This impressive gem, cut into a flawless emerald shape, has a captivating yellow hue.

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