Topaz Facet / Faceting Information

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Topaz Facet / Faceting Information


Guerro Topa hexagon/topaz facet

Color: Blue, colorless, pink, orange, red, champagne, sherry-brown, brown and yellow
Moh's Hardness: 8
Refractive Index: 1.61-1.638
Critical Angle: 38°
Specific Gravity: 3.53-3.56
Cleavage: Very perfect in one direction
Fracture: Conchoidal, uneven
Dispersion: .014
Heat Sensitivity: None
Dichroic: Weak to strong depending on color
Birefringence (double refraction): Weak (.008-.01)
Crystal Structure: Orthorhombic

Treatments: Blue is almost always irradiated and heated, some champagne and root beer colors are too.

What I prefer to polishing with: Alumina oxide on a Tin lap, Spectra Ultralap, 8,000 diamond pre-polish 50,000 diamond polish on a Zinc laps

Jeff's Comments: Orient the rough at least 7 to 10 degrees away from the cleavage plane ("c" axis). The cleavage on topaz is perfect, and looks almost like a polished surface. Commercial cutters (in Bangkok) often use the actual cleavage surface as the table, to save cutting labor. When re-cutting a "native" cut stone, test the table on a polishing lap to ensure that it is not the cleavage plane.

Design Notes: About any Tourmaline or Topaz design will work well. I prefer checker boards in darker materials.

Design Links: Cornered - This is great for Electric Blue rough if you have a piece that will work.
4 Way Stop - Nice in London Blue
Gram Princess - Nice in about any color

Jeff R. Graham

The late Jeff Graham was a prolific faceter, creator of many original faceting designs, and the author of several highly-regarded instructional faceting books such as Gram Faceting Designs.

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