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November 23, 2016
If you're born in November then you have the most diverse birthstone in the year! Although characteristically a sky blue colour, this gemstone also exist in beautiful variety of hues - from dusty pink to burnt orange and grass green. With so much choice, November babies are sure to find their perfect piece of birthstone jewellery!
In ancient Greece topaz was believed to give strength to the wearer.
Until the 1950's topaz was thought of almost exclusively as a golden-green gemstone. It was often confused with peridot during the development of modern mineralogy, with its name originating from island of Zabargad. This island was once called 'Topazios' by the Ancient Greeks and was famed as a source of beautiful green gems.
(Above: The island of Zabargad has been a source of peridot gemstones for centuries. The ancient mines on this island were thought to have supplied Queen Cleopatra's famous gemstone collection.)
The most highly prized topaz gemstone is imperial topaz which is a reddish-orange colour. Ownership of this particular type of topaz was once restricted to the Russian Royal Family during the time where the Ural Mountains in Russia were the only source of Imperial Topaz.
(Above: A red Topaz gemstone - this colour is characteristic of Imperial Topaz)
Some cultures once believed that wearing a topaz about the heart promised long life, beauty and intelligence.
One of the largest flawless topaz gemstones has recently gone on display at The Natural History Museum in London. It weighs 9,381cts (approximately 2 kilos) by British explorer Max Ostro in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Read more about the Ostro Stone on the Natural History Museum's website.
(Above: This room is home to the Natural History Museum's collection of minerals and gemstones, which now also is home to the Ostro Stone)
In nature topaz is mainly found in a colourless form.
(This brooch is on display at the Natural History Museum in London. It features a intricately faceted colourless topaz set in an engraved gold setting)
Some topaz can show different colours when viewed from different directions. This is a quality in the structure of the gemstone known as pleochroism. Magical!
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