• Antiques in Oxford

November birthstone – Topaz


Topaz takes its name from the Sanskrit word ‘tapas,’ meaning ‘fire’. Topaz is found in an array of colours, including: yellow, orange, colourless, blue and pink; the most desirable of these being the imperial topaz which is a rich golden reddish-orange hue. The main location and producer of topaz is Brazil, other deposits are found in Russia and Australia.

With a rating of 8 on the Moh’s hardness scale, behind only diamond and corundum; topaz is a durable and resilient gemstone perfect for everyday wear. In antiquity all yellow gemstones were known as topaz. The ancient Egyptians believed topaz was coloured with the golden glow of the Sun God Ra.

Blue topaz may be gifted on a 4th wedding anniversary

Imperial topaz favoured for a 23rd wedding anniversary, associated with loyalty and faithfulness.


One of the most well-known examples of topaz in history is the story of the ‘Braganza Diamond,’ this colourless topaz weighing 1,680 carats, was set into the Portuguese royal crown and mistaken for a diamond for many centuries.


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