You may think of topaz as a lovely golden-orange stone, but it can also be blue, colourless, green, red, yellow or pink (though the pink variety is usually heat-treated). In ancient times, amulets were made from topaz to protect the bearer from evil spirits or accidents. It was believed that topaz would change colour to warn the bearer of imminent danger and, during the Middle Ages, that it could make its bearer invisible in an emergency. Medieval people believed that dreaming of topaz indicated that no harm would befall the dreamer.
The ancient Greeks believed that topaz-tipped wands could be used to divine the whereabouts of gold and other precious metals. In the Middle Ages, topaz was considered a stone of purity and wearing one was thought to prevent covetousness and excessive lust. Topaz was also thought to possess the ability to dispel illusion, relieve bad dreams, cure madness and sharpen the wit.
Teardrops from Brazil
In Brazil, colourless topaz is known as 'pingas d'agua' which translates from Portuguese as 'teardrops'. Brazil is one of the main sources of topaz, especially of the yellow-orange variety. Blue topaz is known as Brazilian aquamarine, and red topaz is Brazilian ruby.
By any other name
The deep cherry-red variety of topaz is called imperial topaz, and green topaz may be called aquamarine topaz. Other precious stones are sometimes referred to as topaz. For example, yellow sapphire might be called Indian topaz, and citrine quartz has a whole host of names describing it as topaz, including bohemian topaz, Brazilian topaz, Colorado topaz and Madeira topaz.
Using your Topaz
Topaz is famed for its protective properties, and these can be put to use in many different ways, from relieving stress and tension to help you fight an addiction.
For stress relief
Topaz encourages us to be benevolent in our outlook and helps promote a more selfless approach to life, being more considerate of the needs of others.
To release tension at the end of a long day, hold your topaz in your hand while you are soaking in a hot bath and visualise yourself being bathed in its golden light, surrounding your aura and energising you as it drains all the stress and tension that has built up during the day.
For restoring calm
Topaz, especially the blue variety, is a particularly good stone to use for encouraging relaxation and serenity. If you often find it difficult to unwind or relax, try using the energy of your topaz to restore calm to your mind.
To encourage serene thoughts, lie flat on your bed and place your topaz on your stomach. Focus all your awareness on the stone and feel its golden or blue energy. If your thoughts begin to be distracted, gently guide them back to the stone. Then, become aware of your breathing and, in your mind's eye, see the air that you inhale drawn first over the stone and then bringing the calming energy of the stone with it into your body.
For giving up vices
Topaz, with its inherent protective properties, is the healing stone most often used to help detoxify the body and ease the suffering of those trying to overcome addictions.
Beating bad habits
Carry topaz if you are trying to give up smoking or some other bad habit. Wearing or carrying topaz can give your immune system a stimulating boost and encourage it to cope with the difficulties of withdrawal.
Wear a topaz necklace when your will power feels like it is waning.
Sleep with a piece of topaz under your pillow to bring inner strength to your dreams.
For lucid dreaming
Topaz is famous for its usefulness in getting rid of nightmares and it can also be used to encourage your mind to dream clearly. For both these purposes, it's best to keep your topaz under your pillow when you go to sleep at night.
If you want to be able to dream lucidly, you should begin by carrying your topaz around your neck in a small silk pouch. Whenever you are feeling especially happy, take the topaz out of its pouch and hold it tightly in your hand.
When you dream at night, try to imagine the topaz in your hand. As soon as you manage to do this you are lucid and can begin to take control of your dream. This does take a lot of practice though, so be sure to persevere even if you feel disheartened.