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TOPAZ




 

The name topaz was derived from the Island of Topazos in the Red Sea, which probably refers to Zeberged, ancient source for peridot. But it is more likely that the name derives from the Sanskrit word "tapas" meaning fire. The Egyptians believed that topaz was colored with the golden glow of the sun god Ra. The ancient Greeks believed that it had the power to increase one’s strength and make its wearer invisible in cases of emergency. The Romans associated topaz with Jupiter, who is also the god of the sun.

In the 19th century, pink topaz was discovered in Russia. The gemstone was so coveted that only the Czar, his family, and those he gave it to were allowed ownership. When worn as amulet, topaz was said to drive away sadness and strengthen the intellect. Mounted in gold and hung around the neck, it was believed to dispel bad charms. Reduced to powder and put in wine, topaz was a cure for insomnia, asthma, burns and hemorrhage. Topaz was also said to change its color in the presence of poisoned food or drink. All these mystical powers were believed to increase and decrease with the phases of the moon. One of the most famous topaz gems is a giant specimen set in the Portuguese Crown.


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