Vaughan's Jewelers
Shoppes at Brentwood
2801-3E Ward Blvd
Wilson, NC 27893
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Summer Store Hours
Monday - Friday: 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm
Sunday: Closed

November Birthstone – Topaz

wilson-citrine-jewelryThe name “topaz” was likely derived from the ancient island of Topazios in the Red Sea. In ancient times, all yellow, brown, and occasionally green gemstones were called “topaz”.  Even through modern times, the brownish gemstone commonly referred to as Smokey Topaz is not topaz at all.

Thanks to the adoption of Federal Trade laws, which have been successful in doing away with most of the misrepresentation of colored gemstones, the proper gem variety name, Smokey Quartz, is now used to identify these gems.

The quartz variety called citrine and the yellow heat-treated amethyst have, from time to time, been falsely called “golden topaz” in the jewelry trade, which lead to genuine topaz being referred to as “precious topaz”.  Normally, one of the orangey or golden colors of topaz is worn as the traditional birthstone for November.

Topaz, however, occurs in a rich rainbow of colors with the most precious being “Imperial” topaz and pink topaz.  Imperial topaz derived its name after the Russian Czars of the 1800’s, and has a magnificent orange body color, with pinkish-red undertones. Besides these two, topaz occurs naturally in yellow, reddish-brown, light blue, pinky-red, pale green and colorless.

Due the abundance of blue topaz, as well as its enchanting beauty and low price, it has become an ideal alternative option for aquamarine as the birthstone for March.

Enhancements – Most topaz is typically subjected to enhancement by heat and/or radiation as a normal part of the fashioning process to improve its color.  Irradiation is used sometimes to alter colorless topaz to a brown or brownish green as a first step in producing treated blue topaz.  The prevalence is common, is very stable and is virtually undetectable.  Vaughan’s Jewelers in Wilson has a variety of beautiful topaz jewelry pieces for you to choose from.