A Writers Guide to Topaz

yellow topaz attached to feldspar

yellow topaz attached to feldspar

Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine. Pure topaz is colorless and transparent, although it’s often tinted by impurities creating colors such as wine, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, blue, brown, white, pale green, blue, gold, pink, and reddish-yellow.

Orange topaz is known as precious topaz.

Imperial topaz is yellow, pink, or pink-orange. Brazilian Imperial Topaz often has a bright yellow to deep golden brown hue; sometimes it’s even violet.

Mystic topaz is colorless topaz that has been artificially coated giving it a rainbow effect.

Natural pink topaz is extremely rare. Natural blue topaz is also quite rare.

The name topaz is derived from the Old French topace, Latin topazus, Greek tοpáziοs or tοpáziοn to Topazios– the ancient name of St. John’s Island in the Red Sea. The yellow variant was found there. However, it’s now believed the stone found was actually olivine.

blue topaz

blue topaz

The word topaz is related to the Sanskrit word “tapas” meaning “heat” or “fire” and to the Hebrew word for “orange” (the fruit), tapooz (תפוז), both of which predate the Greek word.

History and Lore

  • It was believed that one who wore topaz and thought really hard could become invisible.
  • Ancient Egyptians believed Ra, the Egyptian sun god, gave the stone its golden yellow color and wearing topaz would protect the wearer from harm.
  • In 13th century, it was worn exclusively by royalty and clergy.
  • Topaz as we define it today was not generally known before the classical era. In the Middle Ages, the name topaz was used to refer to any yellow gemstone.
  • That said, the word topaz is still applied to other gemstones:
    • Smoky topaz is smoky quartz.
    • Oriental topaz is yellow sapphire.
    • Bohemian topaz and occidental topaz are citrine.
rutile topaz

clear rutile topaz

Rutile topaz exhibits a type of asterism, which is when a cabochon cut gem appears to reflect a star on its surface cause by inclusions. In topaz, it looks like straw or golden threads. It’s also referred to as Venus Hair. In 1987, The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) conducted an investigation of “rutile topaz” stones. They determined that the inclusions are not rutile, but are limonitic stains. — It looks the same, just the cause is different.

Famous Topaz

  • American Golden Topaz: a giant 172-faceted, 22,892.5-carat yellow topaz
  • Brazilian Princess Topaz: a 21,327-carat flawless light blue gem, considered to be the largest cut gemstone in the world.
  • El-Dorado Topaz: the largest faceted topaz and the largest faceted gemstone in the world, weighing a 31,000-carats equivalent 6.2 kg; emerald-cut, good clarity, and a yellowish-brown color.
  • Lindsay Uncut Topaz: 70-pound vertical stone
  • Lua de Maraba: 25,250-carat octagonal-cut rare gray gem; the second largest faceted topaz in the world; in Portuguese the name means “Moon of Maraba”.
  • Freeman Uncut Topaz: a 111-pound vertical stone
Imperial topaz

Imperial topaz

Magical and Mystical Properties include

  • relieving asthma
  • relieving insomnia
  • stimulating metabolism and digestion
  • staunching blood flow
  • promoting relaxation
  • easing tension
  • encouraging self realization and confidence
  • protecting against disease
  • protecting against sudden or untimely death
  • protecting against envy
  • protecting against negative magic
  • protecting against evil
  • strengthening intellect
  • preventing bad dreams
  • promoting fidelity
  • combined with an equal amount of tiger eye, topaz will bring wealth and money
  • white topaz

    • helping to take on new projects
    • removing stagnant energy
    • activating cosmic awareness
  • yellow topaz

    • recharging physical stamina and strength
    • stimulating appetite
    • counteracting bad moods
    • recharging spirituality
  • mystic topaz

    mystic topaz

    blue topaz

    • reducing anger and promoting forgiveness
    • stimulating artistic inspiration
    • receptive to the angels of truth and wisdom
  • pink topaz

    • giving hope
    • dissolving resistance
  • rutile topaz

    • aiding in visualization
    • bringing deep insight
    • attracting love
    • used for scrying

Discharging & Recharging

Discharge topaz after each use by holding it under running water. To recharge topaz, place it in the sun for a few hours. (In stone therapy, when using stones to heal, their energy is used up, requiring the stones to be recharged.)

This is a reference for fiction writers and should not be taken as medical or spiritual advice.gemstone index

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  1. I gravitate towards blue topaz. I wonder if it’s because I have a hard time forgiving.

    1. That’s an interesting theory!

    2. Likewise. And very interesting indeed. I have trouble forgiving too!

  2. I need the yellow one.
    Bohemian topaz – do they all live together in one place?

  3. Hi Holly – these are always so informative … I love the colours … but think I’ll go for the pink one …

    Incredible how much can be found out about the various stones … and I love the ‘hair’ inside the Venus crystal .. really interesting .. cheers Hilary

    1. The hair was a cool new thing I learned about topaz. It’s pretty cool.

  4. I’m torn between the blue and the pink topaz, but then they are all beautiful.

  5. Fascinating as always! I think I’ve said it before, this series causes a lot of memories to resurface from my college days working behind a jewelry counter and the course I had to take to be allowed to sell diamonds.

    1. I hope they are at least pleasant memories. 🙂 I didn’t know, but it makes total sense, that you had to take a course to sell diamonds.

  6. The blue topaz is such a brilliant color. Loved learning more about the properties of topaz. 🙂

  7. That blue topaz is gorgeous, as is the mystic topaz.

  8. Such pretty gems. Fluorine is in Rifters #2. I won’t say how…

    My gal pals are meeting for lunch next week, so I’ll be making the minestrone salad. So I’ll be all set for you blog hop in Oct. 🙂 I’ll take lots of photos.

  9. Oooh, topaz!! There is a place here in Utah called Topaz Mountain. You can go there, camp, whip out your cool rock picking gear and go hunting for topaz! I had promised my kids this last summer to take them there. Man, I sure owe them for failing to do so. I know it would be so much fun!

    Thanks for this post!


  10. White topaz is activating cosmic awareness? Could it be used as a weapon for galaxy domination?

    1. I wonder if someone has tried that…

  11. My birthstone! I love it, but the only topaz I have is in a small ring. Seeing its properties, I think I need to wear it more often 🙂

  12. I had no idea there were so many different colors of topaz. When I was in 9th grade, I highlighted my hair with what the beautician called topaz and amber. Technically, I could call my hair now a very rare topaz color–blue up top and pink in the back. 🙂

    1. Ooo, you must have been very festive!

  13. I had no idea there were so many different colors of topaz. Interesting about all the mystic properties of it.

  14. I love reading about the magical and mystical properties… And love all the different colors… I loved topaz when I was a little girl!

  15. If it aids visualization and brings deep insight, it might indeed be a good stone for writers 😉

  16. Oooh, the mystic topaz is so pretty. So neat that effect can be created.

  17. I LOVE the blue and mystic topaz. Good thing my daughter isn’t reading this post. She’d start demanding I get her some jewelry with both. =)

  18. i remember when you did the gems for a to z – i loved hearing about them, and how lucky i got to read this topaz post today, my birthstone! i always thought it was so ugly and yellow/brown, but you definitely made it more valuable and precious and pretty to me! thanks!

    1. Aw, that’s great. Happy Birthday!

  19. I’m most familiar with blue topaz — didn’t know about the others.

  20. I love the blue topaz. So pretty.

  21. I didn’t realise Smoky topaz is smoky quartz. I love smoky quartz.

  22. I love the blue topaz…so pretty!
    I think there’s also a tropical bird called a topaz.

    1. So, you know I had to look that up. There is a ruby-topaz hummingbird. It look like it’s got a Mohawk because the color is so bright.

  23. Blue for me, thanks. And I’m definitely unforgiving. . .for a while, then I crumble and wish I hadn’t wasted all that time and energy holding onto a grudge. Grudges can be darned heavy.

  24. Thank you for all the information on the topaz. It’s my birthstone, too. I never knew there was so much to it.

  25. Such gorgeous gems. Thanks for sharing!

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