Feature Gems & Gemology, Fall 1986, Vol. 22, No. 3

Pink Topaz from Pakistan

In addition to the relatively recent discovery of significant amounts of emerald, aquamarine, and ruby, Pakistan has also begun to produce fine gem-quality pink topaz. In a small hillock of recrystallized limestone north of Katlang, narrow calcite veins encase pink topaz crystals up to 3 cm long accompanied by larger amounts of reddish brown, tan, and colorless topaz crystals. More than 70,000 ct of gem-quality pink topaz has been reported to date. The refractive indices, optic axial angle, unit-cell dimensions, and density of the topaz are influenced by a partial replacement of fluorine by hydroxyl ions. The color is due to trace elements—principally chromium (Cr3+). Treatment experiments revealed that the color of the brown, tan, and colorless topaz from this source may be improved by irradiation and heat.