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Large Topaz Crystals

Topaz is renowned for its ability to grow huge gem-quality crystals. Shown here are two of the world's finest large topaz crystals weighing 31.8 kg (70 lb) and 50.4 kg (111 lb) respectively. These crystals, mined in Minas Gerias, Brazil, were originally slated to be cut up for scientific instruments, however a more suitable material was discovered. What look like gas bubbles rising inside are imprints of albite crystals that once grew against the back surfaces. At 22,892.5 carats, the "American Golden" topaz (center) is one of the world's largest gemstones. It was faceted by Leon Agee over a period of two years in the late 1980's from an 11.8 kg (26 lb) stream-rounded topaz cobble. The "American Golden" has 172 facets and measures 17.53 x 14.94 x 9.34 cm (6.9 x 5.9 x 3.7 in).

Image Number: 95-40631
Catalog Number: 148089, 148090, G09875
Weight: 31.8kg, 50.4kg, 22,892.5 carats
Gifts: Joseph M. Linsey; Howard G. Freeman; Rockhound Hobbyists of America/Drs. Marie & Ed Borgatta , Crystals 1981; Gem 1988
Locality: Minas Gerais , Brazil

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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits