Topaz is the accepted birthstone for November. Blue topaz is the accepted
anniversary gemstone for the 4th year; Imperial topaz for the 23rd year of
Most people think of topaz as a transparent golden yellow gemstone. However,
this gemstone occurs colorless as well as orange-yellow, red, honey-brown
(dark sherry), light green, blue and pink.
The name topaz is derived from the Greek word meaning "to shine" and also
implies "fire". Orange-red "Imperial" topaz and pink colors are rare and
The lore, magic and romance of topaz goes back many thousands of years. It
holds the distinction of being the gemstone with the widest range of
curative powers. The Greeks felt it gave them strength. In addition, it
supposedly cooled tempers, restored sanity, cured asthma, relieved insomnia
and even warded off sudden death. Topaz is said to make its wearer invisible
in time of emergency. It proved the loyalty of associates by changing color
in the presence of poison.
As part of the normal fashioning process, most brownish to sherry brown
topaz are heated to produce a permanent pink color. Certain types of topaz
are irradiated and heated to produce shades of blue.
Topaz is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and China.
Smoky Quartz or Citrine are often used an alternative to topaz because it
appears in many of the same colors as topaz. Unlike topaz, smoky quartz and
citrine are readily available and inexpensive even in large sizes.