When the Greek scholar Pliny wrote that Topaz gave man strength and protected him from poison, he might have actually been writing about Citrine. The huge (weighs 1,680 carats) Portuguese crown jewel, the Braganza, is a beautiful clear Topaz was thought for a few centuries, to be a diamond. Even the origins of the name Topaz stirs confusion. Some references point to a Sanskrit word tapas, that means Fire. Or was it named for Zebirget, an island in the Red Sea that the Greeks once called Tapazius? Except that Peridot is the gem currently mined on the island.

Today's scholars write with a higher degree certainty on the properties and origins of the Topaz crystal. Aluminum, silicate (Quartz), fluoride and hydroxide molecules were bonded together during volcanic eruptions. Left to cool in pegmatite's and granitites for thousands of year, the aluminum bonding with the oxygen (hydroxide) formed a chain of connected octahedrons, held together by silicate tetrahedrons, that sometimes grew into gigantic crystals.

One of the largest Topaz ever found was a 600 pound specimen in Brazil. You can see it today at the Museum of Natural History in New York. A rare, perfect blue gemstone was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1965. It weighed 100 kilograms. In Norway, a 137 pound crystal was found in 1901 that was two feet long.

Its unique crystal structure makes Topaz a hard and dense gemstone. In fact, pure clear Topaz has often been mistaken for Diamond because of their similar density, clarity and hardness. Topaz crystals can terminate in a variety of ways, some are dome-shapped, pyramids, prismatic, tabular and often with striations.

Its crystalline formation also allows the gem to hold an electric charge for up to 30 hours. You can charge a Topaz by rubbing it with your fingers. Some Brazilian stones acquire a charge just by holding the ends of the crystal between your fingertips. Heating the gem then allowing it to cool slowly builds an electrified charge greater than any achieved with other stones. Plus the stone will retain that energy for more than a day after cooling down.

Most Topaz is found in its purest form, clear. Sometimes referred to as silver or white Topaz. Blue and green are the rarest colors. Most commercial blue Topaz are clear crystals that have been irradiated then heat treated to create the color. Imperial, or golden Topaz is the second most common variety. These stones often contain chromium and are heat-treated to bring out a rosy-red to pink hue in the gem. Pink Topaz does occur naturally more often than the rare blues. Still it's always best to ask your jeweler if the stones you are considering have been treated to enhance their color.
Topaz is found around the globe; Australia, North and South America, Russia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Tasmania, Africa, Pakistan, Norway and China. Tourmaline, Fluorite, Quartz and Mica are just some of the gemstones that can occur with it.

Many ancient traditions and beliefs have created a brilliant history for Topaz. Clear, terminated Topaz was referred to as an iris stone because of is double refractive qualities and the way its facets would project Light's rainbow spectrum. If worn in a ring on the left hand, the gem was believed to restrain lustful desires.

Egyptians thought the Imperial Topaz was the captured light of the Sun God Ra. It was worn in amulets for protection from accident or attacks. Greeks and Romans also associated the golden crystals with their Sun God, Jupiter. They believed the stone increased their strength and could neutralize enchantments.

Bushmen in Africa used Topaz in healing ceremonies and rituals to connect with ancestral spirits.
In medieval courts, Kings, Judges and other noble persons were often presented with an engraved Topaz to win favor and cultivate positive relationships. Falcons were a favorite carving subject. A powder ground into wine was believed to relieve asthma. Leaving a crystal in wine for three days produced an elixir that was used on the eyes to improve vision. Some beliefs held the stone could make you invisible during moments of danger.

Today Topaz is honored as the state gemstone in Texas and Utah. Blue Topaz is recognized as a fourth anniversary gift - Imperial Topaz for the 23rd anniversary. It is also one of the birthstones listed for November.

If you are on a journey of spiritual change, Topaz makes an excellent companion. It teaches you to trust in the Universe to guide and provide. Aiding you in fully recognizing the magical laws of attraction and manifestation and your ability to manipulate them. Meditations with a stone will help awaken your sleeping gifts and illuminate your co-creative energies.

The crystal helps you become more aware of your personal world, and the power you have to bring about positive changes. It strengthens your confidence to make decisions that are correct for you, giving you the fire and motivation you need to follow through on your choices. Work with Topaz to make your dreams your reality.

Artists may be attracted to the gemstone because it promotes your individual creativity. Stimulating you creative energies like a Muse, lifting your art to new levels. The crystal can be used as an energy battery when your demanding schedule threatens to overwhelm your day. Carrying a stone during those crazy days will help you stay mentally alert, while protecting you from unseen dangers that could thwart more than just your next appointment.

The color of your crystal has some impact on the energies it can bring. Here is a brief list of additional qualities you'll find in different Topaz. Always be open to what you feel or hear from your own stones as well. You may find Topaz assists you in ways not mentioned in this or any other article. Honor and accept that.
Clear Topaz: This is a stone of confidence. Giving extra strength to be yourself, unafraid to creatively express the beautiful voice the Universe gave you. Helps stimulate natural gifts.

Blue Topaz: Works with your Throat Chakra allowing you to voice the perfect words for bringing your desires and dreams into reality. Unites body, mind and spirit with the Universal All.

Imperial Topaz: A stone of Fire, burning with the energies of Grandfather Sun. This is the stone that will see your goals through, never allowing your confidence to waver, your motivation to fail. Use the crystal for a quick charge when your battery is low. Stimulates the first three Chakra, opens the Crown.

Rose Topaz: Opening the base Chakra and stimulating the Kundalini - this crystal is great for balancing the exhausting energies of passion and power. If you are quick to anger, carrying a rosey gemstone may help you temper and channel your anger into productive resolutions instead of fights.

Healing traditions for Topaz still recommend the crystal for relief from asthma and digestive problems. Patients undergoing long convalescence may use the stone to improve stamina, helping the body recover from its inactivity. It should help with insomnia by warding off nightmares, unproductive thoughts and allowing you to relax. It may promote the healing of wounds, strengthen your back and spinal cord and possibly aid in weight loss by raising your metabolism.

Stephanie Pflumm is the editor and publisher of the monthly ezine ORE FEATURES. Each issue uncovers the geology, magical history and healing features of a different stone. Pflumm also owns the website