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Topaz Thursday, October 5, 2017

October 6, 2017
The Rockhound Connection
and numerous quotes and images from my Facebook friends.
These are the images and quotes that appeal to my sensibilities or the lack thereof.


Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine with the chemical formula Al2SiO4(F, OH)2.

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Marc Allen Fleischer to The Rockhound Connection
PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS! Presented here are semi-gemmy, high-quality natural rough crystals of Imperial Topaz! Topaz commonly contains inclusions and gas bubbles – True Imperial Topaz is of medium reddish orange to orange-red color. All Topaz is Allochromatic and derives its color via trace elements (or defects) in its crystal structure rather than by elements found in its basic chemistry. Chromium causes pink – red – and violet to purple colors, and when both Chromium and color centers are present, then Topaz will be colored orange. As early as 1751 there were reports of “Brazilian Rubies” – which in actuality were richly hued orange to red Topaz crystals. Even to the present day, this sherry-colored varietal has only been found in deposits near the colonial city of Ouro Preto – the Ouro Preto area of Brazil is the world’s major commercial source of Imperial Topaz. Imperial Topaz, approximately 4.4 cm and 5.3 cm – Ouro Preto, Eastern Brazilian Pegmatite Province, Minas Gerais, Brazil courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Fleischer Museum Archive photo.

Topaz – Double Terminated, Etched Floater

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Topaz – Double Terminated, Etched Floater
Agnus Dei Claim, El Paso Co., Colorado, USA
21.43 mm x13.54 mm x 10.03 mm
Collection of John L. Dolde

NFS — with Thomas Earl.

Large Cut Blue Topaz

Topaz – Double Terminated, Etched Floater has been unveiled 30 years after it was discovered
The stunning 9,381 carat stone will soon be on show in the National History Museum, so experts are unable to give an idea of its value because of insurance reasons.

Max Ostro discovered the flawless blue stone in its natural form deep in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil in the mid 1980s.

Hot Rocks.

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Naturally occurring blue topaz is extremely rare and tends to be very pale yet blue topaz is one of the most popular and affordable colored gemstones used in jewelry today. The color of blue topaz is almost always the result of a process that involves the exposure of natural colorless topaz to one or a variety of radiations and a final heat treatment to burn off undesired brown and green overtones. The irradiation treatment produces a significant amount of radioactivity and depending on the origin of the original material, it may take several years of “cool off time” until the gems can be verified as safe and sold commercially. When it was the treatment first introduced, treated blue topaz sold for up to $50 per carat but oversupply led to a collapse in prices essentially making irradiated topaz a mass-market gemstone and one of world’s most popular gemstones.
View Blue Topaz inventory –>
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This topaz from Brazil was found in the 1940’s, along with some of the giant topaz specimens seen in major museums. This one is about 33 cm tall and weighs about 10 kilos, as I recall. An Easter table in Maine, 1986.

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Mineral: Topaz

Information: Topaz(orange mineral in picture) is a well-known mineral by collectors, and occurs in large and beautifully shaped colored crystals. Gem quality topaz most commonly occurs in nature as a colorless crystal. When cut as a gemstone these colorless specimens generally have the lowest value. A significant amount of natural topaz also occurs in a color range spanning from yellow to brown. Small amounts of natural blue and pink topaz are found but the abundance of natural stones in these colors is very low. Those colors are formed from lighter-colored stones that undergo irradiation and heat treatment. There are many stones on the market that are heat treated to get their color, so be careful and aware of this when buying. If you are wanting to collect natural stones, then be aware of the misleading information that surrounds some gems in the market! The color of some Topaz specimens fade upon prolonged exposure to light.

Topaz is a silicate mineral most often found in igneous rocks of felsic composition. Topaz crystallizes in the orthorhombic system, and its crystals are mostly prismatic terminated by pyramidal and other faces. It is also found in some hydrothermal veins and the hydrothermally altered rocks that surround them. It is a common mineral of pegmatites and also found in the cavities of rhyolite and granite. Topaz is not an abundant mineral, but occurs worldwide in the type of rocks that are listed above. Topaz crystals in a matrix are rare and very much desired, since the perfect basal cleavage of Topaz causes it to separate from its base and form loose crystals. As always, make sure that when collecting topaz (any crystals for that matter), you take the right precautions to protect the specimens upon removal. Getting out topaz in the matrix can make your pieces very valuable compared to single crystals. Precautions must also be taken not to damage specimens when faceting, for pressure or improper faceting can cause a crystal to cleave and become ruined. There has been many times when clear Topaz and clear Quartz have been confused for one another, so do a specific gravity test to eliminate one of the two options!

According to the Roman author Pliny, the word Topaz derives its name from the Island of Topazos in the Red Sea, where it was first found, and he says the word Topazein means “to seek after” the island being so often lost amidst fogs. Some pirates who were weather-bound on this island and hard-pressed by famine, in tearing up roots for food accidentally discovered a yellow stone (believed to now be chrysolite: yellowish olivine) that was called topaz. The gem was called by Pliny “The Stone of Strength,” and he describes as the most valuable, stones that have a predominating tint of orange in their coloring. Albertus Magnus recommends it as a cure for gout, and Camillus Leonardus as a charm against hemorrhoids; lunacy, and sudden death; also to bring riches to its wearers, and the favors of princes. Alternatively, the word topaz may be related to the Sanskrit word “tapas”, meaning “heat” or “fire”! In the Middle Ages, the name topaz was used to refer to any yellow gemstone, but in modern times it denotes only the mineral Topaz.

Mineral Data:
Chemical Formula: Al2SiO4(F,OH)2
Composition: Aluminum fluoro-hydroxyl-silicate
Color: Colorless, white, yellow, orange, brown, pink, light purple, gray, light blue, greenish blue, green. Occasionally multicolored.
Streak: Colorless
Hardness: 8
Crystal System: Orthorhombic
Specific Gravity: 3.4 – 3.6
Luster: Vitreous
Cleavage: 1,3 – basal
Fracture: Subconchoidal
In Group: Silicates; Nesosilicates
Important Features: Great hardness and perfect basal cleavage
Environment: In igneous environments in granite pegmatites and in rhyolite. Occasionally in sedimentary alluvial deposits due to weather resistance
Rock Type: Igneous

PHOTO CREDIT: FMI/James Elliott MIM Museum

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Imperial Topaz – Ouro Preto Brazil – 2.5 x .7 x .4 cm – very clean, great color, great termination – intense color down the c-axis – $135 + shipping

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8.02ct Very Fine “Ouro Preto” Imperial Topaz

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Peach Topaz

99.76ct Apricot Peach Topaz from the Tribute Pocket, Pikes Peak CO.  Photo by – Tino Hammid

Golden Topaz from Juab County, Utah

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Golden Topaz from Juab County, Utah
The American Golden Topaz, a 172-faceted topaz weighing 22,892.5 carats (4.57850 kg), is the largest cut yellow topaz in the world, and one of the largest faceted gems of any type in the world. Originating from Minas Gerais, Brazil, it was cut by Leon Agee over a period of two years from an 11.8 kg (26 lb avdp) stream-rounded cobble owned by Drs. Marie L. and Edgar F. Borgatta. I

Red topaz from Tepetate, Municipio de Villa de Arriaga, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

2010.  Rob Lavinsky @

Blue Topaz from Erongo Mountain, Usakos and Omaruru Districts, Erongo Region, Namibia

2010.  Rob Lavinsky @

Sherry-colored topaz from Maynard’s Claim (Pismire Knolls), Thomas Range, Juab County, Utah, USA

2010.  Rob Lavinsky @
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