"Who first comes to this world below
In dreary November's fog and snow,
Should prize the topaz amber hue,
Emblem of friends and lovers true."

The name topaz comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “fire.”  According to ancient lore, it could be used to control heat and was applied as medication to cure fever. It was said to have the power to cool boiling water, as well as excessive anger.

blue_topaz_gem1.jpgTopaz occurs in a range of magnificent colours – blue, pale green, varying shades of yellow, pink, red, brown and even black. Pure topaz itself is a colourless stone, the coloured variants occur due to minor element substitutions and defects in the crystal.  Some colours are unstable and can fade away; for example, brown topaz can be bleached by sunlight. In other stones, colour changes can be induced by heating.  

This gem, with its lively fire, clarity, beautiful colours and hardness is ideal for jewellery. Pure topaz, when brilliantly cut, can often be mistaken for a diamond.

red topaz1.jpgBecause of its rarity, topaz is an expensive gem.  The rarest colour - and therefore the most valuable - is red.  Imperial topaz - sherry coloured varieties of brownish-yellow, orangy yellow and reddish brown - are the most popular topaz stones and command high prices, as do pink coloured stones. Light blue and pale yellow topaz are of less value, but are nevertheless stunning in beautytopaz_raw1.jpg

During the Middle Ages, the topaz was used mostly by royalty and clergy. A 13th century belief held that a topaz engraved with a falcon helped its wearer cultivate the goodwill of kings, princes and magnates.

Topaz was once thought to strengthen the mind, increase wisdom, and prevent mental disorders. It was thought to guard against sudden death. Powdered topaz added to wine was used to prevent asthma and insomnia. A cure for weak vision involved immersing the stone in wine for three days and nights, then rubbing the liquid on the eyes.

November Birthstone Gifts