November only has one birthstone, but it is one of the most beautiful gems in existence. Topaz symbolizes eternal love and affection, and these stones are beautiful when used in any type of jewelry. What is the history of this rich-toned gem, and what should November babies know about their birthstone?
The Basics of Topaz
While most people associate topaz with a deep, rich bronze hue, it is actually a colorless stone. The color variations come from impurities in the stone. Topaz can be found in a comprehensive range of colors, including blue, yellow, orange, colorless, purple, brown and red. Blue topaz is considered to be the rarest when it is found authentically in the wild, but there is heat-treated blue topaz available that has been artificially created. As a result, there is a lot of blue topaz available for sale today that was not found in nature. The most valuable variety of topaz is Imperial Topaz, and it has a brilliant and bright orange shade with pink undertones.
Topaz is an 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, but it can be susceptible to cracking and chipping over time. Avoid steam cleaning or sonic cleaning topaz stones, as they can be damaged in the process. It’s best to use warm water with mild soap and avoid putting the stone through radical temperature changes.
The History of Topaz
Topaz has roots centuries ago in ancient Greece. Ancient Greeks thought that topaz granted them superior strength in battle, and often donned it before they went into war. Medieval Europeans thought that topaz could block magic spells and hexes from hurting the target, so many rulers and soldiers would wear it out of superstition. In India, people also treasured topaz for the belief that it could enhance beauty and ensure a long, healthy life. During the Middle Ages, topaz was crushed into a fine powder and blended with wine to help the imbiber sleep.
One of the biggest sources of topaz is Brazil, where stones in all shades are harvested. Northwestern Pakistan is also well known for its rich pink topaz mines, and other popular harvesting sites include Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and even the United States.
Find Out the Value of Your November Birthstone
Whether you have a family jewelry piece you are interested in learning the value of or you’re looking to expand your collection, SAZ Gem & Jewelry Appraisal is here to help. For more information, give us a call at 425-785-1871.