Meanings of gemstones: lemon topaz

Written by stephanie maatta
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Meanings of gemstones: lemon topaz
Topaz stones range in colour from light yellow to brown. (crystal image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com)

In many regions of the world and throughout history, precious and semi-precious gemstones were believed to hold mystical powers, imbuing strength and health on its owners. Gemstones represent astrological signs and planets in Western astrology, and the stones are associated with the animals of Chinese astrology. Gemstones symbolise various human qualities and emotions, including the intellect, love and purity.

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About Topaz

Topaz is a popular and affordable gemstone. It forms from silicate minerals found in igneous rocks that, according to the Merriam-Webster Online, are formed by the solidification of magma from volcanoes. Topaz falls among the harder gemstones, and it is resistant to weathering and abrasion when in its natural environment; however as a gemstone, it breaks easily, making it somewhat fragile.

Colour

Natural topaz colouring ranges from light yellow to brown with some naturally occurring blue and pink varieties. The colour of some topaz stones changes with the application of heat. Yellow Brazilian topaz becomes pink with moderate applications of heat, and many contemporary pink stones have been heat-treated rather than naturally occurring. Another method to change a stone's colour is with irradiation. Clear topaz turns bright blue, resembling aquamarine stones, by irradiating the stone and then applying a heat treatment.

Name Origin

The name "topaz" comes from the Greek word "topazian." The history of topaz suggests two possible origins for the word. The first is that topaz was named for the Island of Topazos, an island in the Red Sea, where the gemstones were discovered and mined by the Romans; however, these gemstones were actually modern-day peridot. The second story indicates that the word came from the Sanskrit "tapas" meaning fire.

Meanings of gemstones: lemon topaz
Topaz were thought to be discoverd on the Island of Topazos. (Beach on Red Sea image by Galyna Andrushko from Fotolia.com)

Meanings

Yellow topaz represents the modern November birthstone. In Western astrological zodiac signs, the topaz aligns with Sagittarius and the planet Jupiter. In Chinese astrology, the topaz represents the Year of the Horse. In both Eastern and Western astrology, topaz stands for strength. The topaz also symbolises love and affection, and is the modern anniversary gift for the fourth and 19th wedding anniversaries. Its mystical qualities are believed to increase strength and intellect as well as balancing emotions and providing spiritual rejuvenation. Topaz is also ascribed healing powers to stimulate the endocrine system, heal tissue and fight blood disorders, according to all-that-gifts.com.

Meanings of gemstones: lemon topaz
Topaz, in Western astrology, aligns with Sagittarius. (Sagittarius sign image by Tomislav from Fotolia.com)

Mistaken Identity

Some people frequently confuse citrine, a similar gemstone, with topaz because of its yellow to orange colouring. The name "citrine" comes from the French word "citron," meaning lemon and references the colour of citrine---lemon yellow. It is less rare than topaz. It also has mystical and healing properties symbolising lightheartedness and joy. Along with topaz, the citrine represents the November birthstone, and it is the modern anniversary gift for the 17th-wedding anniversary. Citrine is also the gemstone of writers, having the ability to increase creativity, according to "Gemstones" by Cally Hall.

Meanings of gemstones: lemon topaz
Topaz and citrine are the birthstones for the month of November. (Gold Ring image by Tinu from Fotolia.com)

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