Topaz is a silicate mineral that comes in a very wide array of colors - from brown, to red, pink, purple, yellow, orange, green, blue, or colorless. Its hardness of 8 on Mohs scale makes it perfect for different types of jewelry, as it is quite resilient to damage.
As with other gemstones, color has important implications on topaz's value. Colorless topaz is not of particular interest to gemstone dealers and buyers, and is therefore inexpensive, even for bigger specimens.
Red topaz is particularly rare and therefore one of the most expensive types of this gemstone. As for blue topaz gemstones, practically all of them are heat-treated and irradiated to enhance their color. There are many different cutting styles that are used, and they will also affect topaz's price, together with weight. Smaller topaz specimens are abundant, while larger ones are somewhat rarer and therefore have a higher value.
Synthetic imitations of topaz exist, but they are easy to spot by experienced gem traders, and are, of course, much cheaper.
Topaz can be found in Brazil, which is its biggest producer at the moment. There are other important mining locations of topaz in Pakistan, India, Russia, China, Afghanistan, and the US, among other countries.
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