Topaz has a number of admirable qualities. To begin with, its name says a great deal – the word “topaz” is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit word tapas, meaning fire. Centuries ago, one of the gemstones in the Portuguese crown was thought to be the largest diamond ever found (1,640 carats). That gemstone is now believed to have been a colorless topaz. This is ironic because topaz is renowned for its variety of colors, which include yellow, pink, brown, blue, red, violet, and orange, as well as white. In addition, topaz is exceeded in hardness by only diamond, corundum (sapphire and ruby), and Moissanite. Add to this topaz’s availability in high clarities, and you have a very desirable gemstone.

P.S. Imperial topaz is the name reserved for topaz of an intense brownish-orange red color.