Topaz – Everything you need to know

The birthstone of November is topaz. It is a well-loved gem stone which is available in a large variety of sizes, cuts and colours, with turquoise and yellow/amber being the most popular colours. The mesmerising gem stone is said to bring joy, generosity, abundance and good health to those who wear it. The ancient Greeks even said that topaz could make the wearer render invisible, however we are slightly sceptical of this myth!


History of Topaz

It is agreed that the name topaz comes from ‘Topazios’, an ancient Greek name for a tiny island in the Red Sea, now named ‘Zabargad’. The island in fact never produced topaz, however it was a source of peridot, which was originally thought to be topaz before modern mineralogy was in use. Many also trace the history of topaz back to Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, in which the word topaz means ‘fire’.

The name topaz has also historically been used to refer to any yellow gemstone, but nowadays we know it as the stunning and unique gem stone it is!


Where is Topaz from?

Topaz can be found throughout the world in areas including Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Norway, Pakistan, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, Mexico; Flinders Island, Australia, and the United States. In the US, topaz is the state gem of Texas and is also mined from Topaz Mountain (a very fitting name) in Utah.


Famous Topaz

The ‘Braganza Diamond’, which is in fact topaz, is one of the most famous topaz’ known throughout the world. It is a colourless topaz and was originally mistaken as a diamond. Weighing in at a massive 1680 carats, it is set in the Portuguese Crown Jewels. Another famous topaz is in the Green Vault in Dresden, which hosts one of the world’s most renowned gem stone collections.


Topaz value

Topaz, like many gems, varies in value, dependant on colour, cut, clarity and carats.

The most valuable of topaz’ are an orange/brown-pink/red colour, which is known as an Imperial Topaz. Alongside this colour, the most sought-after stones are also clear and radiant.

The higher clarity the stone has, the higher its value will be. Topaz is a very versatile stone, with one for every budget and taste. Our friendly team in stores can help you find the perfect topaz for you.



Topaz buying guide

The below guide will help ensure you get the best value for your money when buying topaz:

  • Colour: Pure topaz is transparent and colourless, and the impurities found in the gem stone are what cause variations in colour. Although topaz is most known for its blue colour, natural blue topaz is in fact very rare and the majority of all blue topaz are treated and irradiated. The most common colour of topaz is actually yellow, however it has a wide colour range with everything from pink to amber, and yellow to green.
  • Carats: Topaz is widely available and can be inexpensive, but as the gem grows in size, so does the price. Generally, above the size of 10x8mm, the price starts to rise considerably. As with all gem stones, the higher the carat, the higher the price will most likely be.
  • Clarity: The best topaz stones are very clear with a radiant shine. Take a close look for inclusions affecting clarity.
  • Cuts & shapes: Topaz comes in various cut styles such as oval, pear and rectangle amongst others. A well-cut topaz will reflect lots of light off its facets. Topaz has a stunning sparkle, so watch out for dull topaz’ as these will most likely have been poorly cut.
  • Budget: Topaz is a mass-market gem and can vary from affordable to premium prices. Visit us in store to discover the perfect topaz for your budget.



McGowans Topaz

Our experienced and friendly team will always help to guide you through the buying process of any gemstone and will ensure you find the best piece for your taste and budget. You can visit us in store in Glasgow or Aberdeen to discover our range of affordable and beautiful topaz jewellery. We have finance options available too.

We sell a range of stunning topaz jewellery. You can browse a few of our favourites online, or discover our full selection of topaz and other gem stones in stores.

Our online items only represent a small selection of our stock. Please pop in to any of our stores to see the full collection.

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