November’s Birthstone: Topaz

Topaz gemstone that can be placed in a setting at Forever Diamonds

Topaz Mining in the U.S.

Unfortunately, if you go mining for topaz in Arizona you won’t find yourself having any luck, but don’t be discouraged, because our neighbor to the north is one of the world’s best sources of this November birthstone.  Utah is home to Topaz Mountain where beautiful amber topaz and pink topaz crystals are found. Other states that mine topaz are North Carolina, Colorado, California and Idaho.  The world’s largest producer of topaz is Brazil but this variable gemstone can also be found in many other locales like Russia, Pakistan, China and the Ukraine 1.

Brief Topaz Background

Steeped in rich tradition and folklore, the topaz was used in the foundation of the gates to the Holy City of Jerusalem over 2000 years ago.  This gemstone was said to protect against enemies and to have a calming effect by dispelling anger, sadness and greed 2.  Tales even went so far as to claim you could place your hand in boiling water after a topaz was added and could bring out your hand unharmed, but we do not suggest you try this at home!

Blue topaz ring from Forever DiamondsThe Many Colors of Topaz

A yellowish-orange is the most common and widely-known color of topaz. However, much of the natural topaz mined is somewhat colorless and over the years treatments became very popular to create strong blue topaz.  Besides these two colors, this November birthstone can come in pink, purple and the most sought after Imperial topaz, which is red-orange with pinkish undertones 3.  Because topaz is often free of inclusions and flaws and can be cut into many styles it is often mistaken for a colored diamond, especially the pink topaz.  The benefit of topaz, however, is it’s much less expensive than diamonds and therefore may make a popular gift choice. But, beware of look-a-like stones called citrine, it is almost impossible to tell topaz and citrine apart so be sure to see the classification of the stone to ensure you’re getting what you want.

Color of a Topaz: Most common are yellow-orange
Variations on Color: blue, pink, purple and the rare, valuable red-orange Imperial topaz
Birthstone Month: November
Wedding Anniversary Year: 16 & 23

Whether a traditional topaz suits your taste or the rarer, Imperial topaz has caught your eye, let Forever Diamonds help you find what you are looking for in this magnificent stone of November.

1. “A Diversity of US Gemstones". Geoscience News and Information, 2014. Web. Retrieved September 18, 2014. <http://geology.com/gemstones/states/>

2. “Topaz” International Colored Gemstone Association, 2014. Web. Retrieved September 14, 2014.<http://gemstone.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=100:sapphire&catid=1:gem-by-gem&Itemid=14>

3. “Topaz Quality Factors”  Gemological Institute of America inc., 2002-2014. Web. Retrieved Sept 15, 2014. <http://www.gia.edu/topaz-quality-factor>