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.
is an artisan from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where she has a home studio in which she crafts her jewelry. She uses recycled metals and conflict-free gemstones whenever possible – Lisa is passionate about protecting the environment, and about people being in harmony with one another and their surroundings. When she is not in her studio, Lisa might be found surfing, hiking, swimming, reading, or knitting, most often accompanied by the family dog, Daisy.