Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Topaz Eyes


The name topaz comes from Sanskrit and means fire.

What does topaz mean to you? 

In Topaz Eyes, Teun Zeger, is very fond of a particular topaz stone but telling you why might be too revealing. Keira Drummond finds she’s also quite partial to topaz…again something you’d resolve when you read Topaz Eyes.

I didn’t start out with a name when I set to writing my ancestral mystery, and I was well through the writing when the idea hit me like a sledgehammer. I knew very little about the gemstone called topaz, though I once-upon-a-time owned a gold ring that had a beautiful, rectangular, amber topaz. Sadly, that ring was stolen during a house break-in many years ago, but I’ve not forgotten the warmth of its hue. The colours of the beautiful amber coloured topaz seemed perfect for my use of the gem in Topaz Eyes, though when I went trawling the internet for descriptions I was surprised to find that topaz stones come in many variations.

It seems topaz is a fairly common gemstone. It has won accolades for the beauty of its well-formed crystals; and the fact that it is of sufficient hardness, and general clarity, make it popular. A silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine, Topaz is one of the hardest minerals in nature and can be found in massive sizes. Topaz can be colourless, white, yellow, pale gray or reddish-orange, and blue brown. 

The traditional November birthstone is the orange/yellow variety. Imperial topaz is generally yellow or pink-orange, though during my researches I found a reference to one which resembled the deeper colours of the photo above. Red and pink topaz gems were used in the jewellery of the 18th and 19th Century Russian Czarinas and is why topaz is sometimes called "Imperial Topaz".


The most famous topaz is actually a colourless topaz called the "Braganza Diamond" . It’s a 1680 carat stone set in the Portuguese Crown Jewels. One of the world’s finest topaz collections is in the Green Vault in Dresden. A very good reason for me to base a lot of my novel in Germany, and Dresden gets a mention, too, in a round-about ancestral way!

Various myths and legends abound about topaz stones. It was thought constructive in healing both physical and mental disorders during the Middle Ages, and in some texts it was even credited with preventing death from occurring! How that would be, I have no idea. Do you?

Wikimedia Commons - Gery Parent

Greek myths are extremely interesting, too. Ancient Greeks thought it increased strength and made the wearer invisible. Roman thought, on the other hand, was that it improved eyesight-exactly how that happened I have no idea either, but would love to know since my eyesight is steadily deteriorating from staring at a computer screen all day long! Ancient Egyptians claimed it was coloured with the golden glow of the sun god and wore it as protection from injury. 

Some gemmology experts claim the December birthstone is also topaz - but of the blue varieties. Treatment can be done to topaz to enhance the colouring, heat treatment, or irradiation, in particular being used often to produce a darker blue topaz. More associations for topaz state that it’s a talisman for the sign of Sagittarius. 

When it comes to those anniversary gifts some would tell you a topaz is appropriate for the 4t, 19th or 23rd year of marriage. Other lists for celebration items might tell you different, of course! 

Azotic topaz - Wikimedia - Humanfeather

All in all, topaz is a very good all- round stone to dazzle the day with!

My hero, Teun Zeger, is fairly dazzled in Topaz Eyes by Keira Drummond, but you’d need to read the novel to learn more…

(Parts of this post first used 7th Dec 2012 at Zanna Mackenzie's blog) 

Topaz Eyes available at £1.99 from amazon UK  http://amzn.to/UtLexa 




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