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Topaz

Honey yellow. Fiery orange. Cyclamen pink. Icy blue. In warm or cool tones, topaz is a lustrous and brilliant gem.

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Reddish Pleochroism

Topaz’s reddish pleochroic color often appears at the ends of cut gems.

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Prized Color

Rich reddish orange is one of this gem's most coveted colors.

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Long Oval

Because topaz crystals are typically elongated, polished gems are often cut long.

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Columnar Crystal

This topaz crystal has a columnar prism with a “chisel-like” termination.

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Basal Cleavage

Parallel to the base of the crystal are weaker bonds between the atoms.

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Imperial

The color the trade calls imperial topaz is highly prized and very rare.

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Tools

Research

Figure 1. This 109.68 ct heliodor and 80.62 ct bicolor topaz are from the Volyn deposit in Ukraine. They are cut to leave natural etch faces on the pavilion/culet, while the crown and table are faceted. Photo by Robert Weldon; courtesy of Nomad’s.
Ukrainian Pegmatitic Heliodor and Topaz

Topaz and beryl from the Volyn deposit in Ukraine were popular offerings at this year’s Tucson shows.

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Figure 1. A fine 925 ct crystal that was formerly displayed in the Texas State Capitol and sat on the governor’s desk in 1969 when the legislature adopted blue Texas topaz as the state gem. This specimen was found in 1904 and now resides in the Hamman Gem and Mineral Gallery in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin (catalog no. B0344). Photo by Blanca Espinoza.
Topaz from Mason County, Texas

A comprehensive look at Texas topaz, detailing its gemological and compositional characteristics and providing a basis for using trace element concentrations to identify its origin.

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Bladed crystals of columbite radiate from a central point in colorless topaz. The mirror-like surfaces allow for reflections of neighboring blades, as seen in the top left crystal. Photomicrograph by Tyler Smith; field of view 2.90 mm.
Spray of Columbite Crystals in Topaz

A cluster of bladed columbite crystals is identified in colorless topaz.

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Review of Pegmatites and Their Gem Minerals, by Michael Menzies and Jeffrey Scovil.
Book Review: Pegmatites and Their Gem Minerals

Review of Pegmatites and Their Gem Minerals by Michael Menzies and Jeffrey Scovil.

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Historical objects containing Schneckenstein topaz
Research Publication Archive

Research Publication Archive

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This emerald-cut red beryl weighs 0.22 carats.
Topaz Crystals in Red Beryl

The first report of a topaz inclusion in rare red beryl from Utah.

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This suspected imitation was identified as a glass-and-quartz triplet.
Unusual Glass-and-Quartz Triplet Imitation of Emerald

An extremely convincing imitation of emerald is examined in Beijing.

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Topaz contains a twinned crystal inclusion resembling a boomerang.
“Boomerang” Inclusion in a Rough Topaz

A unique twinned crystal inclusion resembles a boomerang in a rough topaz.

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Historical objects containing Schneckenstein topaz
Gem Topaz from the Schneckenstein Crag, Saxony, Germany: Mineralogical Characterization and Luminescence

Characterizes yellow topaz from this historical source, with particular emphasis on its photoluminescence behavior.

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Light blue topaz displays an eight-rayed star effect.
Star Topaz from Vietnam

First report of an eight-rayed star topaz from Vietnam.

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