A Guide to Blue Topaz, White Topaz & All the Colors in Between

Topaz is available in virtually any color of the rainbow. Some of these colors occur naturally, while others are brought out using heat and irradiation treatment.

Throughout history and to the present day, topaz of every variety has been prized for its beauty and perceived healing properties. Each color of topaz is distinctive, not only in appearance but also in symbolic and spiritual meaning.

As its name suggests, imperial topaz is the most exceptional form of natural topaz. White topaz, the most common form of natural topaz, is often treated to give it a stunning blue color. This magnificent blue topaz is among the most popular topaz varieties.

Imperial Topaz: Gemstone Overview

Imperial topaz, also known as precious topaz, is the most valued form of the stone.

topaz-ouro-preto-brazilCharacteristics

Imperial topaz is a highly sought-after form of natural topaz. It can be yellow, red, orange or pink. Brazilian imperial topaz ranges from vibrant yellow to rich, golden brown.

The remarkable hardness of imperial topaz is what differentiates it from other, similarly colored gemstones. This quality makes it durable, versatile and resistant to scratching.

Imperial topaz is translucent with a brilliant, glass-like sheen. Imperial topaz gemstones display remarkable clarity with no visible imperfections.

History

In 17th-century Russia, pink topaz gemstones were mined exclusively for the royal tsars and their families. The stone’s desirability among Russian elites gave imperial topaz its name.

In 1918, in the wake of the Russian Revolution, the members of the royal Romanov family were assassinated. Since then, the legendary imperial family — especially the romanticized Princess Anastasia — have achieved an iconic, almost mythical status. During the murder investigation, a collection of topaz crystals was found among the family’s most prized personal possessions.

The family’s only son and heir to the throne, Alexei, suffered from the blood disorder hemophilia, and Alexei’s mother, Empress Alexandra, used the topaz crystals to alleviate her son’s illness.

Geographic Distribution

Imperial topaz is the rarest form of natural topaz. Most imperial topaz is mined from a small region in Brazil.

The Ural Mountains of Russia were once a source of imperial topaz. However, this topaz was reserved for the Russian royal family.

Today, virtually all the world’s imperial topaz is sourced from two mines in the city of Ouro Preto, Brazil. The scarcity of imperial topaz makes it incredibly valuable.

Symbolic Meaning

Imperial topaz is a birthstone for the month of November. In astrology, imperial topaz is linked to the Sagittarius sign.

For those who believe in the healing energy of crystals, imperial topaz is thought to restore one’s physical and spiritual energy, As well as to providing confidence and feelings of pride and self-worth.

It is also considered beneficial for those seeking to overcome limitations and achieve fame or success.

Varieties of Topaz

Topaz comes in a variety of colors. Topaz gemstones can be clear, blue, white, pink, green, brown, yellow, orange, purple or red. Some topaz gemstones even appear to change color when the light hits them at different angles.

Blue

Blue topaz is one of the most popular varieties of the gemstone. Most blue topaz is made from natural, clear topaz that has been treated with heat and irradiation to bring out a stunning blue color.

Blue topaz can range from the pastel shade of a soft, blue sky to a bold, electric blue to the vibrant, cyan hues of the tropical ocean waves to a rich, royal blue.

Blue topaz is a birthstone for the month of December.

Blue Topaz Quote

Symbolically, blue topaz is associated with knowledge and ideas. Some believe blue topaz provides mental clarity and focus and stimulates creativity and communication.

Like most associations with the color blue, the gemstone is believed to inspire a calm, peaceful state conducive to spirituality and meditation. Some even think natural blue topaz has the power to enhance psychic abilities.

Light Blue

Sky blue topaz is one of the most popular topaz varieties. Transparent, natural topaz is often treated to give it a soft, sky blue color.

Naturally-occurring sky blue topaz has been found, but it is exceedingly rare. Transparent topaz, on the other hand, is plentiful. This abundant, clear form of topaz can be treated with irradiation and heat to give it a blue tint.

Sky blue topaz can look very similar to the far more expensive aquamarine. To an untrained eye, the two stones can appear virtually indistinguishable. For this reason, sky blue topaz jewelry is a popular alternative to more costly aquamarine jewelry.

In 1969, a small deposit of rare, naturally pale blue topaz was discovered in Texas. Blue topaz was named the official state gem of Texas in honor of the find.

Dark Blue

Swiss blue and London blue are common trade names for darker blue topaz gemstones.

Swiss blue is the most vivid and brightly colored form of blue topaz. It is darker than sky blue topaz but lighter than London blue topaz.

London blue topaz has a deep, blue-grey hue.

Natural topaz can be coated with a thin layer of titanium to create what is known as Mystic blue topaz. This coating creates a multifaceted, rainbow effect.

White

Most natural topaz is white or clear. Colored topaz tends to fade to white or clear over time as it is exposed to sunlight.

White topaz offers an appealing alternative to diamonds. It features a similar look and hardness, but it is significantly more reasonable in price.

Clear, white and silver topaz are thought to embody the spirit. These highly vibrational crystals are linked to the crown chakra, which is thought to help us achieve elevated consciousness.

Some spiritual practitioners believe white topaz can help us access our inner selves and gain an enlightened understanding of our unique role in the universe.

The Braganza Diamond

The famous Braganza Diamond is not a diamond at all — it is actually white topaz. The gigantic topaz crystal was uncovered in Brazil in the late 18th century.

At the time, Brazil was ruled by the Portuguese Empire. The magnificent stone was sent to the royal palace of Queen Maria Isabella, a member of the royal family line known as the House of Braganza.

The imposing stone was set in the ornate Portuguese crown. For a time, it was said to be the largest diamond ever discovered. Later, though, it was revealed to be topaz.

Pink

Untreated, naturally occurring pink topaz is exceedingly rare and prized for its unique beauty and symbolic meaning.

Pink Topaz Quote

Pink topaz is considered a symbol of hope. It is believed to attract good luck in one’s love life. It is connected to the heart chakra and thought to facilitate true love, honesty, openness and integrity.

Brown or yellow topaz is sometimes treated to make it appear pink or peach in color.

Red

Red topaz is the most coveted form of the gemstone. Red topaz is a rare variant of imperial topaz, which is the rarest form of topaz. In other words, red topaz is the rarest of the rare.

Brown

Golden brown or amber topaz is a favored choice for jewelry.

Brown topaz symbolizes strength, motivation, confidence, security, stability and commitment.

Brown Topaz Quote

According to some metaphysical beliefs, brown topaz can be beneficial to those struggling with social anxiety or agoraphobia.

Brown topaz is considered a symbol of the earth element. It is said to provide good fortune to those who work outdoors or with animals. Some even believe the earthly gem can help nature-lovers connect with fairies and elves.

Yellow

Yellow topaz is a birthstone for the month of November. In astrology, yellow topaz is linked to the signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius.

Yellow topaz often appears to have a golden color, sometimes with a hint of peach or pink. Soft, golden topaz is sometimes referred to as champagne topaz.

Yellow Topaz Quote

Symbolically, yellow topaz is associated with the sun. In ancient societies — and even in the present day — yellow topaz is believed to be imbued with the sun’s powerful energy.

Yellow topaz is thought to inspire happiness, sincerity, dedication, inner calm and personal fulfillment. The sunny gemstone is used to counter negative energy and alleviate depression and anxiety.

According to metaphysical beliefs, yellow topaz can help ease problems of the liver, poor appetite, coughs and colds, fever and digestive issues. It is also used to soothe aggressiveness, relieve insomnia and alleviate memory loss.

Historical Significance and Spiritual Meaning of Topaz

Throughout history, topaz has been prized for its striking natural beauty and perceived metaphysical powers.

Etymology

Some scholars claim the word topaz was derived from the ancient Indian language Sanskrit. In Sanskrit, the words “tapaz” and “topas” signify fire. It is likely the ancient Indians saw a resemblance between orange-red topaz crystals and the burning glow of a blazing fire.

Another theory posits that topaz got its name from the Island of Topazos in the Red Sea. According to this theory, the ancient Romans discovered what they believed to be a new gemstone in this region and named it topaz. Later, though, they realized the stone was actually peridot, an olive-green gem.

Ancient Civilizations

In ancient Greece, topaz was believed to be a powerful source of strength for anyone who wore it. Some ancient Greeks even believed the stone could provide the power of invisibility.

In ancient India, spiritual practitioners believed topaz was connected to the throat chakra and could, therefore, promote self-expression and communication.

In ancient Egypt, topaz was associated with the sun god, Ra. For the ancient Egyptians, topaz resembled the golden rays of the sun. They believed topaz could bring them good fortune because of its connection with the powerful sun deity. The faithful wore topaz so Ra would protect them from harm.

The ancient Romans also associated topaz with their sun god, Jupiter.

Orange-blue bicolor topaz

The Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, topaz was used to enhance mental function and ward off disorders of the mind. It was also used to treat asthma, insomnia and bleeding.

Medieval Europeans believed topaz was imbued with magical properties, such as the power to change color to warn of poisoned food or drink. They also considered topaz a harbinger of good luck.

The Early Modern Era

In the Bible, topaz is among the gemstones in the sacred Breastplate of Aaron, sometimes referred to as the Priestly Breastplate or the Breastplate of Judgement. The Breastplate was worn over the High Priest’s holy vestments to help him communicate with God.

Aaron’s Breastplate featured 12 unique gemstones. In the first century A.D., a Roman scholar created the first list of birthstones in history based on Aaron’s 12 gemstones.

Geographic Distribution of Topaz

Most natural topaz is mined in Brazil and Sri Lanka, but some is also mined in the United States, Australia, Russia, India, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Nigeria and Namibia.

colonial mining town in Minas Gerais, Brazil

Minas Gerais, Brazil

The state of Minas Gerais is the source for about 80 percent of Brazil’s gem and mineral exports. Minas Gerais is especially noteworthy as a major deposit of natural topaz. The city of Ouro Preto is a famous source of rare, highly sought-after imperial topaz.

Utah State Gemstone

Topaz is the official gemstone of the state of Utah. The Utah mountains are a source of topaz gemstones with a warm, amber hue. When exposed to sunlight over a prolonged period, these gemstones can fade to clear or a soft pink shade.

Topaz Benefits

Topaz is one of the most popular gemstones. Its abundance and varied color spectrum make it a favored choice around the world.

Holistic Health Benefits

For proponents of the healing properties of crystals and gemstones, topaz is esteemed as a bearer of health, good fortune, happiness, communication and love.

Topaz is believed to have a restorative effect on one’s overall physical and mental well-being. It is thought to promote emotional stability, honesty, openness, problem-solving, self-control, self-awareness and self-expression.

In addition to the general healing properties of topaz, distinctive benefits are associated with each variation of topaz. Blue topaz, for instance, is linked to communication, truth and wisdom. Yellow topaz is linked to confidence, optimism, charisma and pride.

Durability

Topaz is one of the hardest and most durable gemstones.

The Mohs scale is used to rank the hardness of gemstones. Harder gemstones are more resistant to being scratched. Topaz is one of the highest-ranking minerals on the Mohs hardness scale.

Reasonable Price

Natural topaz is relatively abundant and can be mined in numerous locations around the globe. For this reason, topaz tends to be reasonably priced.

Since topaz comes in an assortment of different colors, it can resemble multiple other gemstones. In many cases, topaz can look remarkably similar to other, pricier gems.

White topaz, for instance, is a popular diamond alternative. Sky blue topaz is an appealing alternative to the more expensive aquamarine.

Style

The stylish versatility of topaz in jewelry making is among the most noteworthy topaz benefits.

Topaz jewelry is incredibly popular. Rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings are made from a host of clear and colored topaz gemstones.

Strands of topaz beads can be layered to suit any body type or bone structure. Delicate jewelry with just a few strands of beads complements a petite build. Thicker necklaces with multiple layers of beads suit those with medium or large frames.

Topaz is available in a broad range of colors, so topaz jewelry can be mixed and matched to enhance any outfit. White topaz is especially versatile, as it matches just about anything. Colored topaz is a fashionable choice for eye-catching statement jewelry.

Final Thoughts

With so many distinctive varieties, topaz truly offers something for everyone.

Elegant, luxurious imperial topaz can make you feel like royalty. Classic white topaz can suit any mood or style. Vibrant blue topaz can evoke the soothing hues of the sky or the calming ocean waves.

No matter the occasion, stunning topaz jewelry can create the style and ambiance you desire.