No, topaz should not be immersed in water for any significant period of time.
However, you may use water to clean this gem.
In the article that follows, you’ll learn more about topaz, and why it isn’t really water safe.
Can Topaz Go In Water? (EXPLAINED)
Mineral Makeup Of Topaz
Topaz forms in the cracks of igneous rocks, such as granite, and in metamorphic rocks.
When magma is in its last stages of cooling, fluorine forms topaz crystals.
The stone also forms in already cooled cracks, when hot liquid carrying fluorine forms topaz crystals.
An aluminum fluoro-silicate topaz is essentially colorless.
When an extra electron enters the picture, the stone absorbs two kinds of light hitting the center.
The resulting gem colors are yellow or blue.
When the stone has chromium instead of aluminum, the crystals are pink or red.
Topaz isn’t easy to cut and set into jewelry due to its fragility.
Even though topaz registers an eight on the Moh’s hardness scale, it fractures easily when hit.
Additionally, this fragility is why topaz can’t be immersed in water for any length of time.
(Think soaking tubs and swimming pools.)
See also: Can Topaz Scratch Glass?
Topaz Isn’t As Water Safe
Water is damaging to minerals and crystals, even the hard ones.
And especially to those that have been professionally ground, buffed, polished, and otherwise finished.
Water can strip the products applied to the exterior of the stone to make it look shiny.
Water can make a stone look dull or drab, and sometimes even change the color of the exterior of the stone.
Water can also encourage the formation of cracks and fissures in a piece, which can lead to unexpected cleavage.
Hard stones can handle short soaks in water without too much concern.
But in general, it is best to avoid long water baths, even if the stone is hard on the Moh’s scale, to protect the integrity and appearance of a valuable piece.
Also keep in mind, the chemicals in pools and the salt in seawater damages the delicacy of the stone.
Cleaning the house with chemicals isn’t a good idea when wearing topaz jewelry. Take off the jewelry when applying chemicals to the body or hair.
If you want to clean your topaz, start by buffing it with a clean and dry cloth.
If it needs more help, you can dip it in water then buff.
Mild soap and water is fine as well, so long as you don’t soak it terribly long and make sure that the stone is completely dried out before you return it to storage.
Topaz In Other Applications
Just like diamonds are used to cut glass, topaz is used in other applications.
The manufacturing process of many items relies on high temperatures, such as glass and ceramics manufacturing.
Steelmaking, furnaces, kilns, and reactors use topaz in their high heat processes due to the gem’s strength in such applications.
Where Is Topaz Found?
Topaz is found in the Queensland area of Australia, but it’s also found in China, Russia (known for their pink to orange stones,) Sri Lanka (famous for blue topaz,) Mexico, the United States, and Brazil (where purple stones are found,) among others.
Fun Facts About Topaz
• Did you know that topaz in its untouched state is a honey-brown to yellow?
• Red is the rarest form of topaz.
• It’s the symbol of fidelity, love, and friendship.
• It’s the state gemstone of Utah.
• Blue topaz is the state gemstone of Texas, although it isn’t mined there.
• Yellow topaz is the birthstone of November and Scorpio.
• Blue topaz is the birthstone of December and Sagittarius.
• A 1,680-carat topaz was found in 1740. Set into the Portuguese crown, it was considered the largest diamond at that time. It was actually a colorless topaz!
• Topazes have been found weighing in at several hundred pounds. New York’s Museum of Natural History features one weighing 600 pounds. The El Dorado Topaz weighs 31,000 (thousand) carats!
History Of Topaz
Two schools of thought account for the origin of the word topaz.
Some experts believe the name came from the Greek for an island in the Red Sea called Topazios.
Now called Zabargad, peridots were found there.
These were mistaken for topaz until modern gemologists set the record straight.
The second school of thought was that the word topaz came from the Sanskrit for tapaz, which meant “fire.”
The imperial topaz is named for the Russian tsar.
The pink stone was found in the Ural Mountains in the 1800s, so it was named after the ruler.
Only the royal family was allowed to wear the stone.
Dozens of gemstones are yellow, so they were all called topaz until modern times with their modern classifications.
The mention in the Bible of topaz probably referred to another yellow stone.
In fact, early history had no idea the stone came in a variety of colors.
They, too, were called something else.
Topaz In Popular Culture
Without the benefits of modern science, the ancients used things to ward off what they couldn’t understand.
They used colors, gemstones, birds, and animals, among other things, with each symbolizing something.
For example, the ancients believed that topaz broke evil spells and could deflect anger.
The ancient Greeks thought topaz gave them strength.
They believed if they wore it on their left arm, the stone would turn them invisible in times of danger.
The ultimate in ancient civilizations, the Egyptians believed in the Sun god Ra.
They thought topaz’s yellow color came from the sun god’s rays.
This made them believe the stone had healing powers that would protect the owner of the stone.
The ancient Romans didn’t care a fig for Ra, but they did think the stone protected them against being poisoned.
If you placed the stone next to food or drink, they thought the stone would change color, thus saving their lives.
Ancient South American peoples believed the stone got rid of illness at the full moon.
India is known to believe the stone worn over the heart symbolizes a bountiful life, beauty, and intelligence.
Topaz As Spiritual
People from time immemorial have used gemstones in representations of their gods, such as Buddha or the Hindu gods.
Topaz was believed to be the second stone on the breastplate of Aaron.
The Book of Exodus describes the method of making priestly garments, and the precious stones on the breastplate symbolize the 12 Tribes of Israel.
It was believed to be a foundation stone of the New Jerusalem.
The book of Revelation mentions topaz as a stone of the apocalypse.
Topaz Jewelry Today
What most people aren’t aware of in topaz jewelry today is that it’s largely treated.
This means that the stones have been treated with a coating that prevents their fracturing along a fault line built into the crystal.
It’s not a man-made gem; it’s just man-treated.
With that said, topaz is made into more pendants, brooches or pins, and earrings than rings or bracelets.
Although rings and bracelets are made, wearers are prompted to take them off in certain circumstances so the delicate stones won’t become damaged.
Due to the stone’s delicacy, topaz is difficult to cut and facet into jewelry.
You’ll find cabochon or un-faceted stones more the norm, although faceted topaz is available.
You’ll also see a stone called the mystic topaz.
This is a colorless topaz coated with a titanium layer on the outside of the stone.
It creates a marvelous multi-colored or rainbow stone they named mystic topaz. It’s made into all types of jewelry.
Topaz is a gemstone of historical and cultural value.
Its many colors make it highly desirable for jewelry.
Owners of topaz jewelry stand in company with kings and royals both in ancient and recent history.