Chase away the monotony of the all-pervasive holiday colors of red, white and green of December, by picking jewelry in the icy cool hues of the blue topaz. Popularly characterized as the December birthstone, blue topaz jewelry is also used to commemorate the 4th wedding anniversary. Here are some other lesser known facts about this gemstone.
What’s in a name?
So how exactly did topaz get its name? Greeks mined a gem they believed to be topaz (actually was chrysolite) from a Red Sea island called ‘Topazios’ or ‘Topazion’. Topaz might have also stemmed from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit word ‘tapas’ which means fire.
Blue Topaz: Legends & Folklore
- Greeks believed topaz could make its wearer invisible
- Romans believed it improved eyesight
- Egyptians wore it as an amulet to protect from injury
- Topaz was also believed to change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink
- Indians believed this gemstone aided the throat chakra for better communication
Many hued splendor of Topaz
Topaz comes in a variety of colors.
- In addition to the most popular color of blue, topaz is also available in clear, red, orange, pink, yellow, brown and several other color variations.
- The three main shades of blue topaz are light blue, also called sky blue topaz, medium blue called Swiss blue topaz and the deep blue color called London Blue topaz.
Topaz as Crown Jewels
- Red and pink topaz were popular among the 18th and 19th century Russian royalty and came to be known as “Imperial Topaz”. In addition, Imperial Topaz makes a popular 23rd wedding anniversary gift.
- “Braganza Diamond” set in the Portuguese crown is actually a 1680 carat, colorless topaz.
- The Green Vault in Dresden, Germany has a beautiful topaz set in its famous gem collection.