Topaz is a precious gem stone that is found in a variety of colors ranging from clear (called silver or white topaz) to a golden yellow, pink, and blue. The word ‘topaz’ is thought to have a few different origins: ‘Topazios,’ the ancient name of St. John’s Island in the Red Sea which was known for the yellow gems mined there; an Arabic word meaning ‘subject of the search;’ or the Sanskrit word tapas meaning ‘heat’ or ‘fire.’
The poet Pablo Neruda wrote an ode to the beauty of topaz in his poem ‘El Topacio’: it begins, "Whenever you touch topaz, it touches you: it awakes / a gentle fire, like wine awakes in grapes." The topaz is a particularly captivating stone, having high qualities of color, clarity, and hardness. White topaz is one of April’s birthstones, and can be given in celebration of 4th and 19th anniversaries.
In many cultures throughout history, the topaz has held a sacred significance. It is referenced in the Bible, as one of the stones adorning Aaron’s bejeweled breastplate; it is believed by the Hindus to sharpen intelligence and lengthen the wearer’s life; and in some shamanic cultures in Africa, topaz is believed to facilitate a connection with the spirit realm.
Whatever the mystical properties topaz may have, it is sure to shine with its interior flame for generations.
Elizabeth Ryan began designing jewelry under the name Looka Jewelry in 2006 after falling in love with metalsmithing in college. She finds that one of the joys of being a jeweler is "creating something that others hold on to and find sentimental value in." Ms. Ryan’s design for the contest was inspired by what she herself would want in an engagement ring. "As someone always working with my hands I liked the idea of creating a special ring that could be very wearable but also felt unique and handmade, perhaps something other artists might like to wear," she says.
The winning ring design features two birds on either side of a 5mm white topaz stone, a design choice Ryan says was inspired by a love of cute things and nature: "I liked the idea of two love birds as a representation of love and partnership."
- made from 100% recycled sterling silver and white topaz
- 5mm white topaz
- band is 3.8mm in the back and 8.7mm at the front with 5mm bezel setting
- TLC for your sterling silver and precious gemstone jewelry