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The History and Meaning of Topaz

Derived from the Greek name “Topazios”, Topaz has been a beloved gemstone and has been primarily known for its variety of colors. Some scholars also trace the origin back to the Sanskrit word ‘Tapas’, meaning “fire.’’ Believed to be first discovered in Germany, 1737 and then again in Brazil in the 1740s, the gemstone had been fairly mixed up with others throughout the different eras.

Topaz was renowned as a stone with healing properties long before Europe’s appreciation of the gemstone as an allegory of status and wealth. For centuries the gemstone was shrouded in various myths held by different kingdoms, some of them were popular like the Ancient Egyptians believed that the sun god Ra had created the beautiful yellow hues resulting in the stone’s power to protect the wearer. The Ancient Romans on the other hand did not share their beliefs but they did believe that the stone could protect the owner from poison. One of the customary Ancient Roman myths held that if topaz was kept near a poisoned food or drink it would transform its color whilst alerting the wearer of the danger.

Topaz has been related to royalty too. When Brazil discovered 1,680 carats of topaz they confused it for a diamond. Because of this misapprehension, it was embellished in the Portuguese crown to serve as a visual reminder of the ruler’s power and wealth. Shortly afterwards, the ‘diamond’ was exposed that it was actually colorless topaz. Despite the mix up, the Portugese crown is still proudly in display to this date. Topaz also held great importance in nineteenth century Russia as at that time the Ural Mountains were the gemstone’s leading source and the pink topaz mined there was named to honor the Russian czar. The ownership of the gem was highly restricted to the use of the royal family only. 

As of today, Topaz is still famous for its healing properties, some of which are:

  • It is known to direct positive energy in the meridians of the body
  • Promoting truth and forgiveness
  • Aids in digestion and combats eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia
  • It fortifies the nerves and stimulates the metabolism.
  • It is known to treat the liver, gallbladder and the endocrine glands
  • It releases tension, inducing relaxation

However, some people believe that the mystical properties of the gemstone can only help those in particular whose birthstone happens to be topaz. Unlike the other gemstones, Topaz is named to be the birthstone for two months as it is found in a variety of colors including red, brown, orange and blue. The unique shade of light yellow is the birthstone for the people who are born in November and the blue topaz is for the month of December.

Regardless of the birth month, topaz is upheld for its charm and inexplicable beauty.

The majority of mining for Topaz occurs in Brazil but is also found in Sri Lanka, Japan and Russia.

 
10kt Topaz Whimsical Dream Ring, $475.  

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