November Birthstone: Topaz


Friday 12th November 2010

Sometimes confused with citrine, the other November birthstone, topaz has a long and illustrious history.  Topaz is mentioned in ancient texts dating back as early as two thousand years, including the Bible.  Over this expanse of time it has been thought to possess magical qualities, including the power to dispel sadness, anger, nightmares, and also to render the wearer more attractive, intelligent, fertile and happy.

The most desired hue is a golden yellow-orange, also known as Imperial topaz, with an autumn glow which makes it a fitting gem for the month of November.  It does also form, due to various impurities or lack thereof, in brown, blue, green, red, pink and colourless.  Perhaps the most famous topaz is the Braganza 'diamond', a 1680 carat colourless topaz which is presently part of the Portuguese crown jewels.

Topaz can be found on every continent except Antarctica, though historically most gem quality stones have been mined in Germany, Russia and Brazil.  Its natural durability—with a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale—along with its symbolic associations with protection and beauty make topaz an ideal gift for anyone born this month.


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