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Table of Contents

Topaz Consumer Information

As provided and validated by various gemmological organizations, laboratories and the "World Jewelry Confederation CIBJO

Color

Topaz occurs in a broad range of colors

Yellow and golden colors are most known for topaz

Topaz sometimes includes a soft blending of pinkish orange to reddish orange colours, which the gem trade has called “imperial topaz”

Natural blue topaz exists but is generally pale

Clarity

Topaz from most sources is reasonably clean and eye-clean stones are both desirable and possible

Pink and red topaz are normally only available in small stones and a slightly higher degree of inclusions are tolerated. These inclusions are usually liquid inclusions

Occasionally trapped minerals such as rutile can be found in topaz.

In very rare cases, tiny ribbon like hollow tubes, forming in parallel fashion, cause cat’s eye effect.

Cut

Topaz has perfect cleavage in one direction, so carvings are rare. When they do occur, especially by known artists, they are soon collected.

Treatment

Heating: In some cases, yellow or brown topaz may be changed to pink or red colours

Irradiation / followed by heating: this treatment begins with induced irradiation causing colourless topaz to turn brown or brownish green. A heat treatment follows, turning the material blue. In rare cases, some material may retain residual radioactivity which has generally disappeared before it reaches the end consumer

Care

While topaz is quite hard, its toughness and resistance to blows is considered poor because of its perfect directional cleavage. Treated gems may be even more vulnerable to cleaving. Ultrasonic cleaners and steamers should be avoided. A soft, damp cloth remains the best way to clean topaz and topaz jewellery.
Colour is the principal feature of topaz with pink to orange to reddish orange combinations being among the most collectible. Size of the gemstone is also an important attribute, even in irradiated material where huge museum-quality gems are occasionally available.

What is Mystic Topaz? Information provided by Dutch Gemological Laboratory

Create: 30/10/2008
Last reviewed: 16/01/2013

What is Mystic Topaz ? CAMEOS

‘Mystic Topaz’ is ”real” Topaz that is coated to add color. Much of the Topaz that is found in nature is in fact colorless, or ‘white’. To add color, Topaz can be coated with an ultrathin layer (film), which is similar to the coatings used on camera lenses.

Such coatings can add a particular color to the treated stones, or, In the case of ‘Mystic Topaz’, the coating creates interference effects, displaying a rainbow effect of various colors. This effect may give the Topaz an artificial appearance (see photos), which sometimes causes confusion about the nature of the material.

Quality:

The quality of the created rainbow effect in Mystic Topaz (is it really pleasing to the eye or not) and the visibility (or absence) of inclusions could determine the difference in quality between the individual stones.

Potential problems with Mystic Topaz:

Coatings can be scratched or damaged easily. It should therefore be handled with the same care as pearls for example. The coating is sensitive to chemicals and therefore one needs to remove the jewelry when doing household activities that include bleach for example or before going into a swimming pool.

Although Topaz is a hard substance, it can be cleaved rather easily and perfectly in one particular direction. Therefore, boiling in water or the use of an ultrasonic cleaner are not recommended when cleaning pieces of jewelry set with Topaz.

The particular rough in the second photo  comes from the Elahera district, Sri Lanka, a locality where large chunks of colorless topaz are found.

Hanco Zwaan Ph.D., FGA
Netherlands Gemmological Laboratory

mystic-topaz-1
mystic-topaz-2

More on (Mystic) Topaz:

Best way to clean Mystic Topaz
Wikipedia on Topaz in English and Dutch
For those who are into it: Healing properties

Topaz References in Antique Gemological Books

Blue Topaz

355 carat Natural Blue Topaz (bottom page)

Blue Topaz in association with Chrysoberyl

Many Blue Topaz localities

Blue Topaz occurrences

Chittagong District Australia Blue Topaz

Pale Blue Topaz” called “Brazilian Sapphire”

Refraction of Blue Topaz and influence of light (bottom page)

Classic Topaz Localities — World

Topaz from Ouro Preto (Villa Rica), Minais Gerais, Brazil etc.

Topaz in the United Kingdom

Also in England, Ural, Brazil, Germany, India, Ceylon, USA and Rhodesia

Yellow Topaz

“Moguk Diamond” = “Yellow Topaz

“Yellow Topaz” = Chrysolite (see Nicols)

Yellow-Green Topaz by the Greeks (diamonds)

Yellow Topaz mines Ouro Preto

Preferred color of Yellow in antique jewelry

Sapphire with stripe Yellow Topaz

Ancient Lapidary Knowledge presented in Orpheus poem

Famous | Important Topazes | Bible

Famous Topazes such as Braganza Diamond

Famous French and English Collections, Topaz Crystals, Cut and Engraved

“Exceptional Topazes” , Crystalline and Engraved from classic localities

On Radiating Topaz, the bible and spiritual meanings

Biblical Topazes

Topaz References before 1600

Georg Agicola on Topaz and more Topaz (footnote 44)

Nicols (1652) on Topaz or Chrysolite (2 chapters)

Tavernier (who brought Hope diamond to Europe) on Mogul’s Oriental Topaz (footnote 6 cnt’d next page footnotes) and famous Aurangzeb’s Topaz (footnote 1) as well as the famous Topaz of the Great Mogul

Al-Biruni on Topaz

Albertus Magnus

Topaz Cuts | in Jewelry

Topaz cuts and settings

Pink Topaz

19th Century Heat Treatment

Heating Yellow to “Pink Topaz”: how it started

Heating to Pink Topaz (using Asbestos)

Pink-ing of Yellow Topaz

Firing process of Yellow to Pink (bottom page)

Pink Topaz Prices (1800’s)

Dichroism in “Pink Topaz”

Pink Topaz Overview

Classic Topaz Localities in the USA

Read about the discovery and the geology of Topaz Mountain, Thomas Range, Utah by George Frederick Kunz!

Mason County Texas

Hamdon Hill, Maine

George Frederick Kunz on Topaz in the USA