Welcome to Gemstones 101, a series at Takayas Custom Jewelry where we shed a little light on the amazing gemstones we love to feature in our jewelry projects. This week’s entry puts the spotlight on November’s gleaming birthstone, the exquisite topaz!
Prior to the advent of modern mineralogy, just about every yellow, brown, or orange-colored gemstone was known as topaz, and topaz was only known to possess these colors. Today, we can appreciate the incredibly wide variety of hues that these gorgeous stones actually offer to every kind of jewelry lover – from pink to purple, green to blue, and beyond! The most coveted shade of all tends to be a rich, fiery golden-orange, fittingly awarded the title of “Imperial Topaz”.
With an irresistible luster and a wonderful abundance of specimens, topaz has enjoyed a long history of use in jewelry. A symbol of strength, beauty, curse-breaking, friendship, and more throughout the centuries, one could hardly go wrong with a stunning topaz ornamenting their precious trinkets! As one of the hardest naturally occurring minerals on Earth, topaz stones have even been used for intaglios, a historical luxury art form featuring gemstones with images or inscriptions carved directly into their surface.
Topaz used in jewelry has great clarity, with no inclusions readily visible to the naked eye. Faceted topaz stones take a polish exceptionally well, to the point that they can even be a bit slippery if you’re rolling them between your fingertips! Even with their high degree of hardness, however, a topaz wearer should still treat their beloved jewel with tender care like any gemstone, and avoid hard blows or extreme temperature changes.
If you’re celebrating a birthday this November, there are an infinite number of possibilities for you to put the spotlight on your special birthstone. Adorn a necklace with lovely droplets of pear-cut topaz in a spectrum of colors, or pay homage to your noble history with a striking Imperial centerpiece! Whatever direction you choose, it will be utterly perfect for a jewel as unique as you.