The Topaz

Aside from being my birthstone in its blue-ish shade, there’s much more to this quietly beautiful, little acknowledged gem.  Blue topaz, yes, that’s lovely, but it’s rare.  Very rare in fact.  They are more likely to be an irradiated stone that was originally clear, grey or perhaps even yellow.  It’s also the state stone of the great state of Texas.

The Imperial Topaz may be pink, yellow or a pink-orange shade, Brazilian Imperial Topaz may be either a bright yellow or a deep, golden brown or perhaps even a lovely, shy violet.  The colours might have been a bit ‘touched up’ to enhance their depth of colour, though the colour might fade over time if exposed to too much sunlight.  If you own a topaz of any colour, keep it out of the sunlight!

The orange topaz, often referred to as the Precious Topaz is the official stone of Utah and the birthstone of November.

Mystic Topaz is a clear topaz that has been treated with a coating to give it that iridescent appearance. It is not naturally occurring.

So all in all, a topaz can be found in shades of wine, yellow, pale grey, reddish-orange or a blueish brown.  It can then be made to appear white blue, gold, light green, reddish-yellow, pink (also rare), opaque, translucent, and of course clear, which isn’t a colour.

Of course we Americans don’t like to do anything small, so take a look as this humble little beauty –

American Golden Topaz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The American Golden Topaz, housed in the National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C.

The American Golden Topaz, a 172-faceted topaz weighing 22,892.5 carats (4.5785 kg), is the largest cut yellow topaz in the world, and one of the largest faceted gems of any type in the world. Originating from Minas Gerais, Brazil, it was cut by Leon Agee over a period of two years from an 11.8 kg (26 lb avdp) stream-rounded cobble owned by Drs. Marie L. and Edgar F. Borgatta. It was contributed jointly by the Borgatta owners and by Rockhound Hobbyists of America to the Smithsonian Institution in 1988 and is displayed in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C..

She’s really something spectacular, eh?  Like all other gemstones, it’s about heat and the type of rocks that were subjected to the heat.  The type of rock required to create a natural topaz can be found in several places around the world, but here in the US, it’s found in Utah and in the Precambrian granite rock beneath Texas soil.

With all these colours possible with a topaz, I didn’t want to limit the soap for today to just one colour, so I went all out.  I have white, reddish-purple, blue-green, orange-yellow all covered in this one single batch.  This fragrance oil really left things loose and flowing freely for a very long time.  Waiting for it to thicken was not happening very quickly and some colours may have blurred together in the middle, but I hope not!  It was tough waiting for it to at least move enough to be able to finish up the layers, swirl, then apply the mica oil drizzle for the top.  Don’t know what the center will look like but here is a glimpse of the top so far –

 

Topaz Silk Soap

Topaz Silk Soap

 

This batch includes all of the usual suspects in oils, sort of.  It has coconut, apricot kernel, and almond oils, (which may account for the loosey-goosey state it wanted to stay in for so much longer than usual), Tussah silk, colloidal oatmeal, goat’s milk, buttermilk, and coconut milk, and some blended colours from The Conservatorie.  It might be firm enough in about a month to cut it  (slight exaggeration – maybe), so don’t hold your breath waiting to catch a glimpse of it’s interior any time in the next 36-48 hours.

 

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