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Topaz, a birthstone for November, is an aluminum silicate fluoride hydroxide crystal and has a hardness of 8. Often confused with citrine quartz (yellow) and smoky quartz (brown), quartz and topaz are separate and unrelated mineral species. Though there is debate where the name Topaz originates from, one argument is that it's derived from the Sanskrit word tapaz, which means "fire". Topaz has been used in jewelry since the time of ancient Egypt and, like many other gemstones, naturally occurs in numerous colors. Some colors are rarer than others. The most prized color of topaz is called Imperial topaz after the Russian Czars of the 1800s and features a magnificent orange body color with pink undertones. The most common, blue Topaz, is actually heat treated or irradiated colorless Topaz, while pink is a product of treated yellow Topaz. If you're feeling anxious, burnt out, or just generally out-of-whack, topaz could very well be your crystalline cure-all. This very versatile stone is said to realign the meridians—or energy points—of the body, relieve tension, and keep emotions in check. If you think it's time to practice some tough self-love, stock up on the blue version of these gems, which are believed to stimulate honesty and clear communication with oneself and others. White Topaz is believed to help the wearer lose fear of telling the truth. Topaz is said to promote balance, calm, health, and honesty.

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