9.30ct Red Topaz

Like ruby, precious topaz gets its color from trace amounts of chromium (Cr+3). There are two theories as to how topaz derived its name. Some say it is named for the island of Topazios in the Red Sea, which historically produced peridot, while others believe it comes from the Sanskrit word tapaz or topas, meaning “fire”

Ancient Egyptians believed that topaz was colored by the golden glow of the sun god Ra.  Ancient Romans associated the stone with Jupiter, also god of the sun.  These myths were likely fueled by the gem’s array of fiery hues

8.24ct Pink Topaz from Brazil
RareSource selection of pink to red topaz ranging from 9.06ct – 24.04ct

The color most often associated with topaz is yellow, but it is actually found in orange, brown, red, blue, pink, violet, and colorless as well. Until geologists started identifying differences in mineral specimens about 200 years ago, all yellow and golden gemstones were labeled as topaz

Imperial topaz was named after nineteenth century Imperial Russia, and was so rare and beautiful that ownership of the gem was only granted to the royal family and those fortunate enough to receive it as a gift from the Czar

Washing for gem topaz at the Bela Vista Mine, Ouro Preto, Brazil
Photo Credit: Sergio Castro

Topaz formed in hydrothermal veins and is found in heavily altered schist that has turned into lateritic clay.

Waterworn Red Topaz Crystal Rough
Photo Credit: Sergio Castro

The Capão do Lana Mine, just outside of the village of Rodrigo Silva in Minas Gerais, Brazil, once produced the largest amount of imperial topaz worldwide. Mineral deposits were first recorded by the Portuguese in this location in 1751, and in 1768, they were discovered to contain topaz. The Capão Mine recently stopped operating but the Vermelhão, Dom Bosco, Boa Vista and Bela Vista are still producing. Read more about Brazilian Topaz in this article by Edward

See the amazing 48.86ct “Whitney Flame” red topaz in the Gem Hall of the Natural History Museum at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC