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Titillating Topaz - November's Birthstone

Read on to learn all about one of the rarest precious gems on earth - imperial topaz.

It is said that 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 while aiding you in fully recognizing the magical laws of attraction and manifestation and your ability to manipulate them. But this is nothing new. Since the beginning of written history associated with the stone, it has always been believed to have special powers.

The origin of the name is probably from the Sanskrit word “tapas,” meaning fire. Another theory traces the name to an island in the Red Sea called Topazos, where the Romans found a stone that they called Topaz, but later found to be a peridot.

The Romans associated topaz with Jupiter, the god of the sun. Similarly, the ancient Egyptians said topaz was colored with the golden glow of the mighty sun god, Ra. This made it a very powerful amulet, which they believed protected the faithful against harm. It was believed by the ancient Greeks to have the power to increase strength and make the wearer invisible in an emergency.

Biblically, the stone is referenced in Exodus as one of the 12 gemstones on Aaron, the high priest's 'Breastplate of Judgment.' These 12 stones were considered sacred to 12 mighty angels who guard the gates to Paradise.

In the Middle Ages topaz was thought to strengthen the mind and prevent mental disorders, as well as sudden death. It was believed to have magical powers to bring good luck. They also said it would change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink.

To this day its energy is believed have healing powers to stimulate appetite, aid in nervous exhaustion, activate life force and metabolism, as well as banish bad dreams, impart strength to quiet wild emotions, draw love to the wearer, and encourage self-realization and confidence. Yet all these powers are believed to fluctuate with the phases of the moon.

Whether or not you believe in the stone's magical powers, it is a fact that in its true, untreated form, imperial topaz is very rare, indeed, and that alone makes it quite special. Topaz in an aluminum hydroxyl-fluorine silicate, and is the hardest of all the silicate minerals, at 8 on the Mohs scale. Most topaz is found clear, and irradiated to different shades of blue and other colors. And although these stones can be quite beautiful, this essay is dedicated to imperial topaz, the rarest type of topaz, which can only earn that name by being naturally found in its distinct peach, pink, orange, and champagne hues.

Mostly, these beauties are found in the Vermlhao and Capao mines in Ouro Petro in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. They were also found in the Urual Mountains in Russia. In fact, imperial topaz was named in honor of the Russian Monarchy, who prized the luscious golden-sherry hues and used them in the 18th and 19th centuries in the jewelry of the Russian Czarinas. The stone was so coveted in Russia that only the Czar, his family, and those he gave it to were allowed ownership of the stone. But the Russian mines are now closed, leaving Brazil as the only place of any significant production. All of the pink topaz comes from an area of 100 square miles. Experts say the topaz deposits there are very limited and will be exhausted very soon.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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