Historically, topaz is one of the most important gemstones. Topaz’s high refractive index, hardness of 8, and capacity for taking a fabulous polish make it an excellent choice for any jewelry application. Its wide range of colors makes it easy to complement any outfit. Topaz is November’s birthstone. Blue topaz is the 4th wedding anniversary stone. Orange topaz marks the 23rd anniversary. Blue topaz is also the official gemstone of Texas. Orange topaz is the official gemstone of Utah.

Whatever the occasion, our topaz buying guide can help you learn to evaluate a topaz’s qualities.

Clarifying The Terms “Precious” and “Imperial” Topaz

Although the distinction between precious and semi-precious gemstones has fallen out of favor, the term “precious topaz” is still frequently encountered. Currently, it is used to refer to stones with a rich yellow to a medium, peachy orange color. The term originated as a way to distinguish topazes of these colors from citrine and smoky quartz gemstones. Although these are distinct gem species, these stones are sometimes misidentified, accidentally or deliberately, as topaz.

“Imperial” topaz usually refers to stones with a very saturated reddish orange color. This is how the International Gem…