The Meaning and History of Topaz
Topaz is the birthstone for the month of December, and the stone given in celebration of the 4th and 19th anniversaries of marriage. Topaz is a symbol of love and affection, and has been said to be an aid to one’s sweetness and disposition.
The Greeks and Romans greatly valued topaz as a gemstone. In medieval times, small wine-yellow Saxonian topaz was mined at Schneckenstein in the Erzgebirge Mountains in Saxony Germany, and several rulers wore these specimens in jewelry. Deep mining was later used at the site from 1737 to 1800. Topaz was always a prized and rare stone from the time of the middle Ages until discoveries of large deposits in Brazil in the mid-19th century. Nowadays it is much more popular and very affordable.
In 1740, the “Braganza” diamond (1,640 carats) was found in Ouro Preto, Brazil. It was set in the Portugese crown, and was thought to be the largest diamond ever found. The fact that it was a diamond was never confirmed, and it is now believed to have been a colorless topaz.
Topaz was one of the stones selected by Aaron for his priestly breastplate. He placed it on there as the second stone in the first row of stones. Topaz is also found as one of the stones in Revelation and is one of the stones of the apocalypse. In Egyptian practices, it is the symbol of Ra, the Sun god, who was the giver of life. In Europe, topaz became strongly linked with Apollo, who is also a solar being.
More on this tomorrow!