The name topaz comes from the Sanskrit topas meaning ‘ re’, so we know that it was found from the earliest of times in Sri Lanka which is so rich with gemstones. Ancient legends also say topaz was found on the island of Topazas in the Red Sea, and this may be how the island got its name. Nowadays it’s generally thought these stones were peridots not topaz.
Like many precious gems its qualities and properties have been called upon to cure diseases of the body, mind and spirit. It has symbolised divine goodness, faithfulness, friendship, love, sagacity, and the sun.
As an amulet it was worn to increase intelligence, protect against violent death and depression, and to bring wealth and in uence. A topaz pendant bestows honour, happiness and inner peace, while worn as a ring it confers nancial success and advancement. It is also one of the gemstones ancients recommended to protect the sleeper and safeguard against the Evil Eye.
The Greeks called it ‘the stone of strength’ and used it on a practical level for diseases of the liver and kidneys, such as gout, circulatory problems and other internal distress. Even in the present day, topaz is recommended to support liver and gallbladder, spleen, and digestive organs.
The Romans, on the other hand emphasised its powers of psychic protection against insanity, intoxication and demonic possession. Topaz was also renowned for curing ailments that af icted women, but I’m not sure if this was because connections were drawn between hysteria and insanity or possession.
Through the ages it has been used to improve sight both in the physical and the psychic sense. In the Middle East mediums and soothsayers used topaz to contact astral beings. Back in Europe, St Hildegard of Bingen recommended it for improving dimness of vision. For Mediaeval metaphysicians it promoted psychic sensitivity and helped to control one’s destiny.
Calling on the topaz’s reputation to help with tissue regeneration, a 15th Century Roman physician reportedly cured many people of the plague by touching them with topaz that had belonged to two popes Clement VI & Gregory II. Unlike some popes, Clement VI was not inclined to promote and enrich his relatives, which added somewhat to his reputation for goodliness and no doubt increased the ef cacy of his curing stones, following the placebo effect as I discussed earlier.
The stone can be clear, pink, light greenish yellow, with blue being the most popular of the colours. Because of its colour variations topaz is associated with heart, throat and third eye chakras.
In connection with the heart it balances emotions, aids circulation, and supports liver, kidney and lung.
For the throat chakra it develops creativity and self-expression. It also enhances metabolism from this chakra’s association with the thyroid gland.
When used to support the third-eye chakra, topaz enhances psychic perception and communication with spirit guides – much as it was traditionally used by metaphysicians and mediums.
If you are feeling uninspired try a sunny yellow topaz as it inspires limitless possibilities and kick-starts motivation.
Ancient astrologers considered reddish topaz as the gem for Scorpio, although in recent times topaz has become the stone for November, and for Sagittarius.
Most blue topaz we see today, particularly if it is a strong blue colour has been heat-treated. Burnt topaz (deep yellow to brown) can be confused with smoky quartz and citrine, so be sure to check which stone it is.
Topaz is a hard stone, measuring 8 on the Mohs scale. This makes it generally a good stone for claw settings.
Composed of hydrous aluminium silicate, topaz is naturally colourless but picks up its range of colours from different impurities in the mix. It can also be coloured arti cially to imitate the processes it would go through in the earth.
The largest and nest crystals, some the size of boulders, come from Minas Gerais (Brazil). Deep-yellow coloured stones are found in Sri Lanka, and light blue in the Urals.
As well as Sri Lanka, Japan, Brazil and Siberia.