Imperial Topaz Gemstone Information


Imperial Topaz, with its distinct peach, pink, orange or champagne hues, is  the rarest topaz variety. The primary source is the Ouro Preto mines of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Desposits were also found in the Urual Mountains in Russia. In fact Imperial Topaz was named in honor of the Russian monarchy who prized its luxurious golden-sherry hues. Today Imperial Topaz is classified as a very rare collector's gem. See our Red Imperial Topaz as extremely rare example.

The price and value of Imperial Topaz vary depending on the size and quality of the gemstone.  True Imperial Topaz is always untreated, and material which has been colored by artificial means such as irradiation is not regarded as genuine Imperial Topaz.

 
Why Buy Loose Gemstones Instead of Pre-Set Jewelry?

 
There are many reasons, but basically it comes down to value and choice...

When buying your Imperial Topaz gemstone loose instead of a pre-set stone, you can be sure you are getting the best value for your money.  Loose gemstones are less expensive, a better value, and you can really see what you are paying for.  The most important part of getting the right price and finding the best value is to first see what you're getting.  A jewelry setting will hide the inclusions inside a gem, and can deepen or brighten its color.  With a loose stone you can much more easily inspect the gem and see it for what it really is.  In this way you can get a better idea of its true worth and be sure you are paying a fair price.

The second advantage of buying a loose gemstone is choice.  You are free to pick the exact color, cut, shape and variety of the stone for the setting of your dreams, be it yellow gold, white gold, platinum or silver; prong set or bezel set with diamond accents.  You can experience the joy of creating your very own, one-of-a-kind jewelry design. Choose from a variety of jewelry settings and styles to create a completely original presentation that will perfectly suit your individual gemstone and will be as unique as you are!

Imperial Topaz Ring              Imperial Topaz Jewelry 

 


Attributes

Origin Ouro Preto, Brazil
Color  Peach, pink, champagne.  Medium reddish orange to orange red, orange-yellow and yellowish brown
Refractive Index 1.610-1.630
Chemical Composition  Al2SiO4(F,OH)2
Hardness  8
Density  2.64 - 2.65
Crystal Structure Orthorhombic
Anniversary 4th 

Imperial Topaz is an aluminum, hydroxyl-flourine silicate. Strong chemical bonding makes it the hardest of the silicate minerals, with a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale.  The toughness of Topaz is fair, since it has perfect cleavage. Topaz has a refractive index of 1.610 to 1.630.  The refractive index (RI), measured using a refractometer, is an indication of the amount light rays are bent by a mineral. Birefringence is the difference between the minimum and maximum RI. When birefringence is high, light rays reflect off different parts of the back of a stone causing an apparent doubling of the back facets when viewed through the front facet. 

Most gems have a crystalline structure. Crystals have planes of symmetry and are divided into seven symmetry systems. The number of axes, their length, and their angle to each other determine the system to which a crystal belongs.  Topaz crystallizes in the orthorhombic crystal system, with an "Elongate Prismatic" crystal habit. Pinacoid, multiple domes and orthorhombic pyramid faces produce complex and multifaceted terminations that are well formed. Topaz has a chain-like lattice structure of irregular octahedrons. Topaz has perfect (easy) basal cleavage in one direction (in the plane perpendicular to the c-axis), with a conchoidal fracture, therefor it is a difficult stone to set without fracturing.

 
Color

Inperial Topaz color ranges from shades of  rich reddish orange, sherry red, vivid deep salmon pink, pink orange peach, champagne, yellow orange to golden yellowish brown colors. All imperial topaz is mined in Brazil.

While selecting Imperial Topaz, it is better to examine it under different light sources. Topaz are available in variety of colors and these colors are best examined under the proper light source. Colors like orange, pink and red are better judged under incandescent light. Whereas blue topaz gives radiant colors in daylight or fluorescent light.


Cut 

Imperial Topaz has perfect basal cleavage, therefore, it is comparatively easy to cut. Often it is cut as elongated stones and gets emerald cuts, elongated ovals, cushions and pear shapes. The pear shape with overly narrow shoulders is the shape that saves the weight of the gemstone. 


Treatments
 
Imperial Topaz is generally not enhanced by any type of treatment. Some irradiated topaz  is sold as imperial, but the name is reserved for natural topaz in the appropriate color range. The irradiated material is not color stable and is notorious for fading, and thus should be avoided.
 
AJS Gems fully discloses any and all known treatments to our gemstones.
 

Sources

Topaz crystals occur in highly acidic igneous rocks, such as rhyolite, and in metamorphic rocks.  It is also found as a constituent of pegmatite dykes and is often a by-product of mining for other gems such as beryl or metals like tungsten, columbium or lithium.

The world's entire supply of imperial topaz is mined from two mines, the Vermelhao mine and the Capao mine, at Ouro Preto in Brazil, where some experts say the deposit will be exhausted very soon.

 

Minas Gerais                                    Minas Gerais Imperial Topaz Source

The state of Minas Gerais in Brazil is famous as it produces 80% of Brazil's gems and minerals. The most important of all is topaz, which is mined around Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais. Most of the precious topaz and all of the pink topaz mined in Brazil is mined from an area less than 100 square miles around Ouro Preto. The Antonio Pereira Mine is where the Imperial Topaz is mined. The Imperial Topaz is the red and pink topaz - so called because they were used in the jewelry of the 18th and 19th Century Russian Czarinas.

The Brazilian imperial topaz mines are largely open air mines, and are said to be the last imperial topaz mines in the world, after the closure of the last Russian mines. The production of topaz at Minas Gerais, Brazil is much less, but their prices have gone up tremendously since the closure of the Russian mines.


Mythology
 
The origin of the name "Topaz" is supposed to be the Sanskrit word for fire - tapas - possibly because of its fiery orange yellow color. According to another theory, it got it name from the Red Sea's Island of Topazos, where the Romans found a stone, which they called 'Topaz', but which later was found to be Peridot.
 
Perhaps the most famous topaz is a giant specimen set in the Portuguese Crown, the Braganza, which was first thought to be a diamond. There is also a beautiful topaz set in the Green Vault in Dresden, one of the world's important gem collections.
 
One of the largest faceted topaz gems in the world is a 93.6 carat Imperial Topaz (Smithsonian Institution collection) found in the Capao Imperial Topaz Mine in Ouro Preto, Brazil.
 
During the Middle Ages topaz was thought to strengthen the mind and prevent mental disorders as well as sudden death.

The Egyptians said that topaz was colored with the golden glow of the mighty sun god Ra. This made topaz a very powerful amulet that protected the faithful against harm. The Romans associated topaz with Jupiter, who also is the god of the sun.
 
Topaz has also been biblically referenced as one of the gemstones used to make the 'Breastplate of Judgement' worn by Aaron.
 
It has been considered a "cooling" gem, much like ruby is considered a "hot" gem. Topaz was thought to have the ability to quickly cool boiling water and flaring tempers.

Wear topaz only if you wish to be clear-sighted: legend has it that it dispels all enchantment and helps to improve eyesight as well.

The ancient Greeks believed that it had the power to increase strength and make its wearer invisible in times of emergency.
 
Europeans believed topaz had magical powers that brought good luck.
 
Topaz was also said to change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink.
 
Its mystical curative powers waxed and waned with the phases of the moon: it was said to cure insomnia, asthma, and hemorrhages.
 
In 1969, blue topaz was named the state gem of Texas to celebrate a small deposit of natural pale blue topaz that was found in the state.

 

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