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Topaz

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Formula:
Al
 
2
(SiO
 
4
)(F,OH)
 
2
System:OrthorhombicColour:Colourless, white, pale ...
Lustre:VitreousHardness:8
Name:Named after Topasos Island in the Red Sea. In antique times, the name was probably used for the gemstone that is now known as Peridot.


Occurs in pegmatites and high-temperature quartz veins, also in cavities in granites and rhyolites.
A maximum of ~30 % of the F site is occupied by OH in natural topaz, although in some very rare cases OH-dominant members have been described, see Unnamed (OH-analogue of Topaz) (Zhang et al., 2002). A pure synthetic OH analogue of topaz has been synthesised (Wunder et al., 1993).

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Classification of Topaz

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:8/B.02-70
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:9.AF.35

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
A : Nesosilicates
F : Nesosilicates with additional anions; cations in [4], [5] and/or only [6] coordination
Dana 8th edition ID:52.3.1.1

52 : NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups and O,OH,F,H2O
3 : Insular SiO4 Groups and O, OH, F, and H2O with cations in [6] coordination only
Hey's CIM Ref.:17.2.1

17 : Silicates Containing other Anions
2 : Silicates with fluoride
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Occurrences of Topaz

Geological Setting:As a rock forming mineral in igneous rocks, pegmatites and rhyolites, hydrothermal veins, metamorphic rocks and greisens.

Physical Properties of Topaz

Lustre:Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:Colourless, white, pale blue, light green, yellow, yellowish brown, or red
Streak:White
Hardness (Mohs):8
Hardness Data:Mohs hardness reference species
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Perfect
(001)
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
Density (measured):3.4 - 3.6 g/cm3

Crystallography of Topaz

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Cell Parameters:a = 4.65Å, b = 8.8Å, c = 8.4Å
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.528 : 1 : 0.955
Unit Cell Volume:V 343.73 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Morphology:Long to short prismatic.
Comment:Crystallography (orthorhomic or triclinic) depends upon the ratio of F and OH in the mineral.
Crystal Atlas:
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Topaz no.188 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Topaz no.208 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Topaz no.215 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Structure
  Reference
Diego Gatta G Nestola F Bromiley G D Loose A (2006) New insight into crystal chemistry of topaz: a multi-methodological study Locality: Ouro Preto, Minas Gerias, Brazil Sample: X-ray refinement at T = 298 K Note: x(F4) corrected. American Mineralogist 91:1839-1846.

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More Crystal Structures
Click here to view more crystal structures at the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
3.693 (60)
3.195 (66)
3.037 (37)
2.937 (100)
2.3609 (45)
2.1049 (44)
1.6706 (27)

Optical Data of Topaz

Type:Biaxial (+)
RI values: nα = 1.606 - 1.629 nβ = 1.609 - 1.631 nγ = 1.616 - 1.638
2V:Measured: 48° to 68°, Calculated: 58° to 68°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.010

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Moderate
Dispersion:noticable r > v
Pleochroism:Weak
Comments:In thick sections

X= yellow
Y= yellow, violet, reddish
Z= violet, bluish, yellow, pink

Chemical Properties of Topaz

Formula:
Al
 
2
(SiO
 
4
)(F,OH)
 
2
Simplified for copy/paste:Al2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
Essential elements:Al, F, O, Si
All elements listed in formula:Al, F, H, O, Si

Relationship of Topaz to other Species

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
9.AF.05Sillimanite
Al
 
2
(SiO
 
4
)O
9.AF.10Andalusite
Al
 
2
(SiO
 
4
)O
9.AF.10Kanonaite
Mn
3+
 
Al(SiO
 
4
)O
9.AF.15Kyanite
Al
 
2
(SiO
 
4
)O
9.AF.20Mullite
Al
 
4+2x
Si
 
2-2x
O
 
10-x
9.AF.20Krieselite
(Al,Ga)
 
2
(GeO
 
4
)(OH)
 
2
9.AF.23Boromullite
Al
 
9
BSi
 
2
O
 
19
9.AF.25Yoderite
Mg(Al,Fe
3+
 
)
 
3
(SiO
 
4
)
 
2
O(OH)
9.AF.30Magnesiostaurolite
(Mg,Li,Fe
2+
 
)
 
1.5-2
Al
 
9
(SiO
 
4
)
 
4
O
 
6
(OH)
 
2
9.AF.30Staurolite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg,Zn)
 
1.5-2
Al
 
9
(SiO
 
4
)
 
4
O
 
6
(OH,O)
 
2
9.AF.30Zincostaurolite
(Zn,Li,Fe
2+
 
,Mg)
 
1.5-2
Al
 
9
(SiO
 
4
)
 
4
O
 
6
(OH)
 
2
9.AF.40Norbergite
Mg
 
3
(SiO
 
4
)(F,OH)
 
2
9.AF.45Alleghanyite
Mn
2+
5
(SiO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
9.AF.45Chondrodite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)
 
5
(SiO
 
4
)
 
2
(F,OH)
 
2
9.AF.45Reinhardbraunsite
Ca
 
5
(SiO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH,F)
 
2
9.AF.45Kumtyubeite
Ca
 
5
(SiO
 
4
)
 
2
F
 
2
9.AF.45Hydroxylchondrodite
Mg
 
5
(SiO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
9.AF.50Humite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)
 
7
(SiO
 
4
)
 
3
(F,OH)
 
2
9.AF.50Manganhumite
(Mn
2+
 
,Mg)
 
7
(SiO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH)
 
2
9.AF.50Unnamed (Ca-analogue of Humite)
Ca
 
7
(SiO
 
4
)
 
4
F
 
2
9.AF.55Clinohumite
Mg
 
9
(SiO
 
4
)
 
4
F
 
2
9.AF.55Sonolite
Mn
2+
9
(SiO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH,F)
 
2
9.AF.55Hydroxylclinohumite
Mg
 
9
(SiO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
2
9.AF.60Leucophoenicite
Mn
2+
7
(SiO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH)
 
2
9.AF.65Ribbeite
(Mn
2+
 
,Mg)
 
5
(SiO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
9.AF.70Jerrygibbsite
Mn
2+
9
(SiO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
2
9.AF.75Franciscanite
Mn
2+
6
(V
5+
 
,☐)
 
2
(SiO
 
4
)
 
2
(O,OH)
 
6
9.AF.75Örebroite
Mn
2+
3
(Sb
5+
 
,Fe
3+
 
)(SiO
 
4
)(O,OH)
 
3
9.AF.75Welinite
Mn
2+
6
(W
6+
 
,Mg)
 
2
(SiO
 
4
)
 
2
(O,OH)
 
6
9.AF.80Ellenbergerite
Mg
 
6
(Mg,Ti,Zr,◻)
 
2
(Al,Mg)
 
6
Si
 
8
O
 
28
(OH)
 
10
9.AF.85Chloritoid
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg,Mn
2+
 
)Al
 
2
(SiO
 
4
)O(OH)
 
2
9.AF.85Magnesiochloritoid
MgAl
 
2
(SiO
 
4
)O(OH)
 
2
9.AF.85Ottrélite
(Mn
2+
 
,Fe
2+
 
,Mg)Al
 
2
(SiO
 
4
)O(OH)
 
2
9.AF.90Poldervaartite
CaCa[SiO
 
3
(OH)](OH)
9.AF.90Olmiite
CaMn
2+
 
[SiO
 
3
(OH)](OH)
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
17.2.2Polylithionite
KLi
 
2
Al(Si
 
4
O
 
10
)(F,OH)
 
2
17.2.3Leifite
(Na,H
 
2
O)Na
 
6
[Be
 
2
Al
 
2
(Al,Si)Si
 
15
O
 
39
]F
 
2
17.2.5Meliphanite
(Ca,Na)
 
2
(Be,Al)[Si
 
2
O
 
6
(OH,F)]
17.2.6Sarcolite
Na
 
2
Ca
 
12
(Ca,K,Fe,Sr,Mg)
 
2
Al
 
8
Si
 
12
(P,Si)O
 
52
F
 
2
17.2.7Götzenite
Na
 
2
Ca
 
5
Ti(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)
 
2
F
 
4
17.2.8Kuliokite-(Y)
Y
 
4
Al(SiO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
F
 
5
17.2.9Zinnwaldite
KLiFe
2+
 
Al(AlSi
 
3
O
 
10
)(F,OH)
 
2
17.2.10Magbasite
KBaFe
3+
 
Mg
 
7
Si
 
8
O
 
22
(OH)
 
2
F
 
6

Other Names for Topaz

Synonyms:
ChrysolithosColorado TopazGouttes d'eauPhysalitePyrophysalite
Silver TopazWhite Topaz
Other Languages:
Arabic:زبرجد
Basque:Topazio
Bosnian (Latin Script):Topaz
Bulgarian:Топаз
Croatian:Topaz
Czech:Topaz
Danish:Topas
Dutch:Topaas
Estonian:Topaas
Finnish:Topaasi
French:Topaze
German:Topas
Hebrew:טופז
Hungarian:Topáz
Italian:Topazio
Japanese:トパーズ
Korean:황옥
Lithuanian:Topazas
Norwegian (Bokmål):Topas
Persian:زبرجد هندی
Polish:Topaz
Portuguese:Topázio
Romanian:Topaz
Russian:Топаз
Simplified Chinese:黄玉
托帕石
Slovak:Topás
Slovenian:Topaz
Spanish:Topacio
Swedish:Topas
Pyrofysalit
Traditional Chinese:黃玉
托帕石
Turkish:Topaz
Ukrainian:Топаз
Varieties:
Imperial TopazPyknite

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:Rarely yellow, white, orange, greenish-yellow
Special Storage/
Display Requirements from:
South Baldface Mountain localities,..., Carroll Co., New Hampshire, USABrown is light sensitive
The Clearing,..., Sierra Co., New Mexico, USAMicro accicular bundles to 2mm
The Cove,..., Juab Co., Utah, USASherry colored crystals will turn clear if exposed to sunlight.
Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:Gemstone

References for Topaz

Reference List:

- +
Klaproth, M.H. (1810): Chemische Unmtersuchung des Pycnits, Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper, Fünfter Band, Rottmann Berlin, 50-57

Parise, J.B., Cuff, C., and Moore, F.H. (1980) A neutron diffraction study of topaz: evidence for lower symmetry. Mineralogical Magazine: 43: 943.

B. Wunder, D. C. Rubie, C. R. Ross II, O. Medenbach, F. Seifert & W. Schreyer (1993): Synthesis, stability, and properties of Al2SiO4(OH)2: a fully hydrated analogue of topaz. American Mineralogist, 78, 285–297.

E. E. Foord, L. L. Jackson, J. E. Taggart, J. G. Crock & T. V. V. King (1995): Topaz: environment of crystallization, crystal chemistry, and infrared spectra. Mineralogical Record, 26, 69–71.

Mineralogical Record (1995): 26: 5.

Holfert, J., Mroch, W., and Fuller, J. (1996) A Field Guide to Topaz and Associated Minerals of the Thomas Range, Utah (Topaz Mountain) 1. HM Publishing, Cypress, California.

Extra Lapis No. 13 (1997).

Shinoda, K. and Aikawa, N. (1997) IR active orientation of OH bending mode in topaz. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 24: 551-554.

R. Y. Zhang, J. G. Liou & J. F. Shu (2002): Hydroxyl-rich topaz in high-pressure and ultrahigh-pressure kyanite quartzites, with retrograde woodhouseite, from the Sulu terrane, eastern China. American Mineralogist, 87, 445–453. [Topaz with 35-55% substitution of F by OH]

Komatsu, K., Kagi H., Okada, T., Kuribayashi, T., Parise, J.B., and Kudoh, Y. (2005) Pressure dependence of the OH-stretching mode in F-rich natural topaz and topaz-OH. American Mineralogist: 90: 266-270.

Topaz - Perfect Cleavage (2011) Extra Lapis English vol 14. 100p

Mindat.org articles about Topaz

Article entries:
Gem Mining in San Diego County by J. W. Ware 1935Scott L. Ritchie

Best Localities for Topaz

Best of Species:Topaz

Internet Links for Topaz

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  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
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  • Specimens:The following Topaz specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Topaz

    The map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
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