Topaz has perfect cleavage with an orthrombic crystal system and is made up of aluminum, silicon, hydrogen, oxygen, and fluorine. Pure Topaz is colorless and clear (or white or silver), while colored Topaz occurs naturally through impurities. Topaz can also be irradiated or heated to enhance or change the color of clear topaz.
The name topaz is probably derived from the Greek word topazios, the name of an island in the Red Sea know now as St John's or Zabargad. Topaz has also referred to peridot and citrine in history, and is most likely related to the Sanskrit word meaning "Heat" or "Fire." This meaning would suit topaz, because it is formed in the vapor cavities of rhyolitic lava flows, and is often associated with a glowing orange color. Topaz has also been mistaken for diamond, like the large topaz found in the Portuguese crown, the so-called "Braganza Diamond."
Imperial Topaz, found mostly in Brazil, is a rich golden color, generally not enhanced by any treatment, and is the most prized type of naturally colored topaz. Champagne Topaz, another naturally colored stone, is the name for pale tan to medium brown topaz stones. Mexican mines supply most of the champagne topaz on the market.
Cindy Massey's mother-in-law brought this topaz stone back from India! Cindy wire wrapped it in sterling silver as a gift for her sister-in-law, from Cindy's mother-in-law.