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 ancient cultures, 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 ancient Hindus to sharpen intelligence and lengthen the wearer’s life; and in some ancient 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. As a kid, she dreamed of being a farmer or a forester, to be able to work outside; now she dreams of having an outdoor studio. When creating her jewelry, she thinks about the kind of jewelry she would want to wear.
"My work has an organic feel in general," Lisa says. "What I make is an expression of myself."
When Lisa is not working on her latest design, she enjoys surfing, being outdoors, hiking, swimming in the lake at her family's cabin, reading and knitting. Her dog, Daisy, usually accompanies her on these adventures. Lately, while at work in her studio, she's been listening to the Grateful Dead, Norah Jones, and Peter Tosh.