Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine with the chemical formula Al2SiO4(F,OH)2. Topaz crystallizes in the orthorhombic system, and its crystals are mostly prismatic terminated by pyramidal and other faces.
Pure topaz is colorless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine red, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, or blue brown. It can also be white, pale green, blue, gold, pink (rare), reddish-yellow or opaque to transparent/translucent.
Orange topaz, also known as precious topaz, is the traditional November birthstone, the symbol of friendship, and the state gemstone of the US state of Utah.
Imperial topaz is yellow, pink (rare, if natural) or pink-orange. Brazilian Imperial Topaz can often have a bright yellow to deep golden brown hue, sometimes even violet. Many brown or pale topazes are treated to make them bright yellow, gold, pink or violet colored. Some imperial topaz stones can fade on exposure to sunlight for an extended period of time.
Blue topaz is the state gemstone of the US state of Texas. Naturally occurring blue topaz is quite rare. Typically, colorless, gray or pale yellow and blue material is heat treated andirradiated to produce a more desired darker blue.
Mystic topaz is colorless topaz which has been artificially coated giving it the desired rainbow effect.
Topaz is commonly associated with silicic igneous rocks of the granite and rhyolite type. It typically crystallizes in granitic pegmatites or in vapor cavities in rhyolite lava flows like those at Topaz Mountain in western Utah. It can be found with fluorite and cassiterite in various areas including the Ural and Ilmen mountains of Russia, in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka,Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, Mexico; Flinders Island, Australia; Nigeria and the United States.
Some clear topaz crystals from Brazilian pegmatites can reach boulder size and weigh hundreds of pounds. Crystals of this size may be seen in museum collections. The Topaz ofAurangzeb, observed by Jean Baptiste Tavernier weighed 157.75 carats. The American Golden Topaz, a more recent gem, weighed a massive 22,892.5 carats.
Colorless and light-blue varieties of topaz are found in Precambrian granite in Mason County, Texas within the Llano Uplift. There is no commercial mining of topaz in that area.