The Dynamic Earth View Multimedia Version

Main Menu  >  GeoGallery  >  Gems  >  Topaz  >  Topaz Gems
TITLE: GeoGallery

Topaz Gems

Until the 1950s, topaz was known almost exclusively as a yellow to golden gemstone. But since then, the routine radiation and heat treatment of pale-colored topaz to turn it deep blue has changed the public's perception of this gem. To most people today, topaz is recognized primarily as an affordable blue gemstone. The highly prized imperial topaz is intense golden to reddish orange in color. More commonly topaz is colorless to pale blue or yellow. Pink or red stones are rare, although pink stones can be produced by heating the golden brown topaz from Ouro Preto, Brazil. The topaz gems pictured here exhibit the various colors and are from Russia, Texas, Japan, Madagascar, and Brazil, ranging in weight from 18 to 816 carats.

Image Number: 95-40550
Catalog Number: see acquisition info
Weight: 18-816 carats
G5004; G9564; G9140; G4916; G9246; G3550; G3890; G262; G3625; G3402; G268; G2046; G2232; G2219;G2174


bottom navigation bar


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