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What is Topaz?

Topaz is a hard gem (Mohs' hardness 8) which occurs in a variety of attractive colours including orange-brown, pink and blue. Topaz is one of the birthstones for November, and traditionally it was believed that if topaz was kept in the home, it would radiate good health for those living there.


Topaz can occur in the most beautiful crystals of large size and some huge gems, over many thousands of carats have been cut. Early discoveries of almost sherry-brown crystals from Russia and Brazil were called 'Imperial Topaz', and some of these could be heated to give a bright pink colour, although some highly prized natural pink gem materials were found.


Today much of the world's topaz come from Brazil. The most abundant topaz on the market are the blue stones which are produced by irradiation treatment and colourless topaz that has been coated to produce coloured or iridescent stones.The Ouro Preto region of Brazil has supplied much of the world's yellow, orange and pink topaz for over 300 years. However, new discoveries including those from Pakistan have also produced a range of pink and other coloured stones

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