Topaz

TOPAZ

Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminum and fluorine with the chemical formula Al2SiO4(F, OH)2. Topaz crystallizes in the orthorhombic system, and its crystals are mostly prismatic terminated by pyramidal and other faces. It is one of the hardest naturally occurring minerals (Mohs hardness of 8) and is the hardest of any silicate mineral. This hardness combined with its usual transparency and variety of colors means that it has acquired wide use in jewelry as a cut gemstone as well as for intaglios and other gemstone carvings.

Topaz is commonly associated with silicic igneous rocks of the granite and rhyolite type. It typically crystallizes in granitic pegmatites or in vapor cavities in rhyolite lava flows including those at Topaz Mountain in western Utah and Chivinar in South America. It can be found with fluorite and cassiterite in various areas including the Ural and Ilmen mountains of Russia, in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Flinders Island, Australia, Nigeria, and the United States.

Colorless and light-blue varieties of topaz are found in Precambrian granite in Mason County, Texas[16] within the Llano Uplift. There is no commercial mining of topaz in that area.

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