Mineral Family: Garnet Group

Chemical Composition: AL2 SiO4 (F, OH)2
Cleavage: Perfect
Color: All colors
Crystal System: Orthorhombic
Form/Habit: Prismatic
Fracture: Subconchoidal to uneven
Gravity: 3.4-3.6
Hardness: 8
Luminescence: Orange (long wave) / Greenish-white (short wave)
Luster: Vitreous
Streak: Colorless
Transparency: Transparent to translucent

Where does Topaz come from?

Topaz Placeholder
Topaz

Topaz is found in many countries.  Some of the more notable deposits are in Brazil, China, Germany, Mexico, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Ukraine and the United States.

What is Topaz?

Topaz belongs to the Silicate Mineral Family. Silicate minerals are the largest family of minerals, including more than 25% of all known minerals and 40% of all common minerals. In addition to being a major part of the Earth’s crust, Silicate minerals have also been found on the moon and in meteorites. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. One of these groups is the Nesosilicate group, in which some of the tetrahedra are little islands, disconnected from the others. The Nesosilicate family includes all varieties of Garnets, Kyanite, Peridot, as well as Topaz.

How is Topaz formed?

Topaz is created by fluorite-bearing vapors during the final stages of the crystallization of igneous rocks.

How is Topaz mined?

Topaz is typically found in its primary deposit inside cavities in Rhyolite, Granite, and other igneous rocks. On occasion, Topaz may also be found in secondary alluvial deposits, as water tumbled pebbles.

How is Topaz enhanced?

Topaz is regularly heat-treated to bring out a different or more brilliant color. Most Topaz is blue, yellow, or colorless. The more rare colors, such as pink, are usually heat-treated yellow Topaz. Similarly, vivid bright blue Topaz is often heat-treated colorless Topaz.  Pale hues of Topaz are reliably natural, enhanced only by cutting and polishing.