November has two birthstones Topaz and Citrine. November’s fused glass Topaz
Topaz is a gemstone available in a rich rainbow of colors. Topaz also commemorates a 4th wedding anniversary. The word topaz is believed to have come from the sankrit word tapaz for fire, a reference to the range of flame-like colors of the gem, including orange-yellow, amber gold and sherry red. It also occurs in browns, pinks, purples and blues. But yellow is the color most often associated with this birthstone and all yellow stones were once called topaz. Prized for several thousand years in antiquity. Topaz can usually be mined in gravel deposits, streams and various rivers. It can also grow in cavities and cracks where silica and fluorine is abundant. Topaz is also known as the “Stone of Strength” due to both its durability and beauty. Often confused with citrine quartz (yellow) and smoky quartz (brown), quartz and topaz are separate and unrelated mineral species. Topaz is made from aluminum oxide and kiezelzuur. Topaz rates an eight on the hardness scale. Much colorless topaz is irradiated and heat-treated to a range of blues, some are almost indistinguishable from aquamarine with the naked eye.
Topaz produces some of the largest crystals. They can be up to 3 feet long and weigh up to several hundred pounds. The largest stones have been nearly 20,000 carats. One of largest topaz stones in the world sits in the Museum of Natural History in New York City. It comes from Brazil and weighs a shocking 600 lbs!
It is believed topaz have special properties:
• Bring happiness and patience.
• Protect the wearer against diseases and dangers.
• To heal mental disorders.
• Sharpen eyesight.
• Make the wearer become decisive and think more logically.
• Increase understanding and restore energy.
How to Care for Topaz
The best way to clean topaz is with warm soapy water. Never clean topaz in a home ultrasonic cleaner or a steamer. It is important that the stone be protected from any sort of exposure to rapid temperature change, acids, or heat. A topaz stone will start to lose its color if kept out in the sun or exposed to other kinds of heat. Topaz is relatively hard but can crack easily if dropped so handle topaz with care.
For the fused glass birthstone version of Novembers’ “Topaz” I used various shades of yellow, gold and amber frit.
As I mentioned in the gemstone newsletter there are many advantages of fused glass over typical gemstones is Fused Glass is less expensive, more durable (than some birthstones), and can be bigger than typical gemstones
If you would like a Fused Glass Topaz please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can make them into pendants, key chains, purse hangers, wine stoppers and pretty much anything else you would like.
Keeping my Kiln warm,