Topaz: a “heavenly” stone with a strong character
Unusual and incredibly beautiful stone topaz has long been considered almost mandatory in women’s jewelry wardrobe. The different colors that this semiprecious stone boasts, as well as the universal compatibility of the mineral with base precious metals – gold in different shades and silver – all this makes topaz jewelry the best gift for loved ones.
Jewelers do not stand aside: many admit that working with this gem is a real pleasure for them. Do you know that there are stones that change color depending on lighting and other factors? The many-faced topaz is one of them. And this allows the jeweler to realize almost any fantasy. Different cuts highlight the beauty of this gem in different ways. So, the number of jewelry solutions that give birth to beautiful jewelry with this stone is almost unlimited!
The story of the appearance of a beautiful stone
It is believed that the first topaz was revealed to mankind about three thousand years ago, but the details of this mysterious story still elude the hands of researchers. Why was topaz named that way? Where did you find him? How did the ancients relate to him? All these are questions for which there is no single answer. There are only versions, versions, versions …
In the Red Sea, near Ethiopia, there is the island of Topazios (its other name is Topazion). There is a version that it was there that they first found this gem. It is believed that sailors were shipwrecked there: they did not see the island, always shrouded in fog. In search of food and water, unfortunate sailors began to look for roots and sources of fresh water, when they suddenly stumbled upon beautiful stones. Since then, topaz is considered the patron saint of sailors.
Later, the Roman writer Pliny spoke of a sparkling golden stone, and the researchers immediately decided that it was a topaz. However, after a considerable amount of time it turned out that it was a question of another stone – chrysolite. But the error turned out to be so persistent that for a very long time any stone of a yellow or brown hue was referred to only as topaz.
It may be that topaz was named after the word tapas, which in the language of ancient India means heat or fire. The symbolism here is understandable: the blue topaz, which we most often represent when speaking about this stone, is far from its only variety. Warm brown or yellow gems, very common in antiquity, could well be associated with fire. There are indirect evidence of this – the beliefs of different peoples:
the Egyptians believed that the golden topaz was due to the origin of the Sun God, who bestowed on him a bright solar glow;
the Romans saw the connection between topaz and the god Jupiter, “responsible” for the heavenly luminary.
As usual, in the case of such an ancient history, no one can say with certainty whether at least one of these versions is true, and if true, how much. However, ambiguity and mysticism fit into the nature of topaz very organically.
This stone is now mined in many countries, and on the planet it is quite common. Most often, quality crystals come from Brazil. Even the largest blue topaz in the world, Marabella, was found there. And its weight (after cutting) was incredible 1.65 kg. Other supplier countries include:
It is interesting that in our country quite a lot of topazs are mined, mainly in the Zhytomyr and Volhynia. Incidentally, the largest of the existing wine-yellow topaz was found in Volyn. According to the miners, the weight of the “pebble” was more than 115 kg, and in height it reached more than 80 cm.
Such a different topaz
Despite the same name, in nature there are many varieties of topazes. Of course, all these pebbles have common properties. But no less differences, especially visual ones.
Hardness Above All
The most important property that distinguishes topaz from its semiprecious counterparts is its incredible hardness. On the Mohs scale, which allows you to build a series from the most fragile to the most durable gems, topaz occupies a confident “eight” (compare with a diamond that has 10, and this maximum is harder). This means that such a stone is very durable and incredibly resistant to damage. But there is a flip side to the coin: because of such a fortress, this “nut” is very difficult to process. It is hard to face it, jewelers make every effort to get a mysteriously iridescent color jewel out of an inconspicuous piece of rock. And you probably remember: strength and fragility are two different things. How strong a diamond is, and mechanical damage is contraindicated for him. With topaz – a similar situation. One wrong move of the jeweler – and the stone will break into small pieces. That is, the task of the master is extremely difficult: he must act decisively and accurately at the same time in order to realize jewelry fantasies.