Topaz Sources

Topaz Sources loose sale price & Topaz Gemstone Information

Gem topaz has been found at a number of localities around the world, including Brazil, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Russia, Burma, Pakistan, USA and Mexico. The premier source is near Ouro Prêto in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state.

Ouro Prêto rapidly became the most prominent town in the state of Minas Gerais and, during the late 1800s, its capital. Stone buildings with tiles roofs were constructed during the Portuguese administration, including the Liberty Pantheon and the Governor’s Palace. The latter, now a museum, contains a fine 25,000-specimen collection of Brazilian gemstones, crystals, and minerals. The museum is an important feature of the national School of Mines. Brazilian mineral dealer Luizelio Barreto tells of a staircase within an Ouro Prêto monastery, which is paved with topaz crystals and cleavage sections. Ouro Prêto mines produce orange to pinkish-purple topaz. Often the stone has been confused with the more common citrine (which is made by heating amethyst) found profusely in other Brazilian localities. However, topaz is readily identified by its superior hardness, density, and brilliance, as well as by a pronounced basal cleavage. In the early days topaz was the only gem of importance found near Ouro Prêto. Honoring Brazilian royalty, the gemstone was frequently referred to as “imperial” topaz. Later some sources called it “precious” topaz. Both terms have endured, partly because gem merchants wish to impart to customers the difference between gem topaz and citrine quartz.