Topaz Facet / Faceting Information


Guerro Topa hexagonTopaz

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

Gram Faceting Archive of Information
This edited version of an article by the late Jeff Graham is part of a special archived informational series from Gram Faceting. Used with permission.