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Posted by Harjo Neutkens  
Harjo Neutkens November 21, 2010 11:04PM
Click here to view Best Minerals T and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?

TopazAl2SiO4(F,OH)2 Orthorhombic

Topaz, Ekaterinburgskaya (Sverdlovskaya) Oblast', Urals. scale 1 inch, rule at 1 cm

El Topacio

Yo te invito al Topacio,
a la colmena de la piedra amarilla,
a sus abejas,
a la miel congelada del topacio,
a su dia de oro,
a la familia
de la tranquilidad reverberante:
se trata de una iglesia
Minima, establecida en una flor,
como abeja,
como la estructura del sol,
hoja de otono
de la profundidad mas amarilla,
rayo a rayo, relampago a corola,
insecto y miel y otono
se transformaron en la sal del sol:
aquella miel, aquel tremblor del mundo,
aquel trigo del cielo
se trabajaron hasta convertirse.

Cuando se toca el topacio
el topacio de la toca:
despierta el fuego suave
como si el vino en la uva
Aun antes de nacer, el vino claro
adentra de una piedra
busca circulacion, pide palabras,
entrega su alimento misterioso,
comparte el beso de la piel humana:
el contacto sereno
de piedra y ser humano
encienden una rapida corola
que vuelve luego a ser lo que antes era:
carne y piedra: entidades enemigas

Pablo Neruda


Topaz, honoured by the great poet Neruda with a beautiful sonnet, called "captured sunlight" by the great gemmologist Gübelin and already in the 12th century abbess Hildegard von Bingen described the stone as having a colour closer to that of gold then to yellow.
The classic image of Topaz is indeed the one of a radiant and uniquely yellow stone. Nowadays however it seems that a vibrant blue colour is getting more and more the archetypal colour of Topaz.
The palette of Topaz colours however is far richer then just blue and yellow; we have fantastic pink Topaz from Katlang, silvery Topaz from Spitzkopje, intense blue from Virem da Lapa, golden yellow from the Schneckenstein, sherry brown from the Wah Wah mountains etc etc........the rarest colour for Topaz is arguably red, only a handful of crystals are known, like the famous red Sanarka Topaz in the collection of the Fersman Museum in Moscow.
Quite often the colour of Topaz is industrially enhanced by means of irradiation or heating.
The sizes of Topaz crystals vary considerably, from the splendid micromounts from the Eifel region in Germany up to giants from Brazil (like for instance a Brazilian Topaz in the American Museum of Natural History, measuring 80x60x60cm and weighing 300kg, and that with gem quality! and the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna has a cut gem weighing 585,000 carats)
Topaz is quite hard, 8 on Mohs scale, but the perfect cleavage makes the crystals vulnerable. When mining specimens many crystals easily fly off otherwise good specimens, and cut and set stones can easily crack when hit against a hard surface.
Usually Topaz crystals have little to hardly any inclusions, although there are exceptions to that rule, like for instance the Schneckenstein Topazes, where only a small percentage was suitable for cutting, most of the stones had too many inclusions.

In almost all important pegmatite or greisen localities worldwide Topaz is being found: Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Russia, Ukraine, USA, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Topaz from many of these countries stand out because of their size and quality. Even more important for the gem industry are secondary placer deposits that supply stones for cutting into gems, like the deposits of the Kamenka river in the Urals, the Topaz hill from Katlang or the gravels from Ouro Preto with their famous imperial Topaz.

A good specimen from a classic locality will command very high prices on the market, especially the ones from Sanarka, the Schneckenstein, Yekaterinburg, California, Ouro Preto and others.
A good twenty years ago the market started to almost flood with very high quality Topaz specimens from Pakistan and Afghanistan. In recent years this seems to have slowed down a bit so also these specimens are getting more expensive.
Recently more and more Topaz crystals have started to come to us from new horizons like Burma, China and Namibia and we will see what new localities for these beautiful crystals lie ahead of us

TopazAfghanistanLaghman Province (Lagman Province; Nuristan)

Topaz 3,6cm
Topaz ?cm

Nuristan province sensu strictu ( became officially recognised in 2001 (wikipedia) or 2004 (, but was already known for 10 years. It was formed from the northern parts of Laghman Province and Konar (Kunar) Province.
The capital of the Nuristan Province is Nuristan, however, "Nuristan" is also the traditional name for the region that encompasses these three current provinces (i.e., NE Afghanistan) and the name is still often used in that fashion.

TopazAfghanistanNangarhar Province (Ningarhar Province), Darra-i-Pech (Pech; Peech; Darra-e-Pech) Pegmatite Field

Topaz crystals to 3cm
Topaz crystal 0,9cm

Pech, Peech and Darri-i-Pech (also spelled Darrah Pech, and sometimes Page) are the same place. "Darrah" means "valley", so in English the location name is "Pech Valley." Many Afghanis will still use the name "Nuristan," in a traditional sense, to mean all of NE Afghanistan. This traditional meaning of the place name "Nuristan" is not to be confused with the current Nuristan Province, which covers only a portion of "Nuristan" in the traditional sense.

TopazAfghanistanNuristan Province (Nurestan Province; Nooristan Province; Nuristan), Paprok

Topaz crystal 2,5cm
Topaz crystal 3cm

Info needed.

TopazArgentinaCatamarca, Belen Department, Papachacra

Topaz crystal 2,8cm
Topaz crystal 4,5cm

Info needed.

TopazArgentinaSanta Cruz, El Chaltén

Topaz crystal 3,4cm

A small find of Golden Topaz crystals found in 2008 during a trip to Argentina and the few specimens that were brought back appeared at the Tucson Show. The trip and discovery are written about in The Mineralogical Record,
Jan-Feb 2009, Volume 40, Issue Number 1 and in Lapis Magazine by Robert Brandstetter, one of the discoverers. Most of the find consisted of jaggedly etched gem Topaz crystals that were loose in the pocket. Only two or three specimens featured the Topaz on Quartz matrix.

TopazAustraliaQueensland, Tablelands Region, Mt Surprise

Topaz 3cm
Topaz 3,5cm

Info needed.

TopazAustraliaTasmania, Moina District (Middlesex District)

Topaz 2,3cm
Topaz 1,5cm

Two localities for good Topaz specimens:

Dolcoath hill quarry ia a small roadmetal quarry in sandstone with narrow tin-topaz-tungsten veins.
Relatively good topaz crystals (colourless to pale yellowish) occur in clay pockets.
Located about 200 m W of the All Nations mine and less than 2 kilometers southeast of the Shephard and Murphy mines.

The Moina mine worked two well defined veins up to 200 mm wide, containing bismuthinite and wolframite in a quartz matrix, with topaz and fluorite, in pegamtites near the top of a biotite granite host (Reid, 1919). Bismutite, tungstite and ferritungstite were also recorded in the oxidised zones. Bismuthinite reportedly occurred in long bladed crystals and delicate acicular forms. Numerous small wolframite-quartz veins occur in the quartzite overlying the granite. High quality smoky quartz crystals to 150 mm long, some enclosing bismuthinite and wolframite, occur in the lodes. The deposit has been developed in a shaft, open cut, adit and trenches, and proved the lode continuous over 100 m vertically.
Recent years have seen the mine being worked for mineral specimens, mainly topaz and quartz, and is currently under lease and being worked by John Wilson and Richard Wolfe.
There are three levels of workings still visible, with most activity centered around the top and bottom levels. The top level consists of a small adit that has to be pumped out before entering, where pockets of clay can provide some stunning gemmy blue topaz crystals.

TopazAustriaSalzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Untersulzbach valley, Leutachkopf Mt., Stocker Alp

Topaz, Dickite FOV 0,36cm
Topaz FOV 0,5cm

Topaz is very rare in the Alpine clefts. On the slopes of Leutachkopf mountain some of the best Alpine Topaz specimens have been found.
The locality was discovered by Alois Steiner in 1983. Many years earlier, in the 1960s, Topaz was found by Theodor Fischer in a block that was found on the valley floor. The exact provenance of the block however remained uncertain.
In 1983 Lois Steiner was looking for clefts at the Stocker Alp area on the Leutachkopf when it suddenly started to rain. When the rain started to get worse he sought shelter under an overhanging rock. To kill the time he started to inspect the Kyanite-Quarzite rock surrounding him, he then saw some odd shaped crystals and decided to work the rock. He came home that day carrying some of the best Topaz specimens ever found in an Alpine cleft, with yellow Topaz crystals up to 2,5cm long.

TopazBrazilBahia, Brumado (Bom Jesus dos Meiras)

Topaz Quartz 3,8cm
Topaz, Quartz 4,75cm

Very attractive pink Topaz on Quartz, recent find.

TopazBrazilEspírito Santo, Mimoso do Sul, Mimoso do Sul Mine

Topaz crystal 5,6cm
Topaz 6,5cm

Info needed.

TopazBrazilMinas Gerais, Jequitinhonha valley, Capelinha

Topaz scale 1inch, rule 1cm
Topaz scale 1inch, rule 1cm

Info needed.

TopazBrazilMinas Gerais, Jequitinhonha valley, Itinga

Topaz 3,3cm
Topaz 5cm

Located in the Araçuaí Pegmatite District, Eastern Brazilian Pegmatite Province. Locality for etched Topaz with a very attractive blue colour.

TopazBrazilMinas Gerais, Jequitinhonha valley, Padre Paraíso

Topaz 4,8cm
Topaz 4,1cm

Info needed.

TopazBrazilMinas Gerais, Jequitinhonha valley, Virgem da Lapa

Topaz crystal 4,4cm
Topaz 5,8cm
Topaz 6,6cm
Large Topaz
Topaz crystal 3cm
Topaz crystal 6,3cm

A famous granite pegmatite locality belonging to the Araçuaí Pegmatite District, Eastern Brazilian Pegmatite Province.
Some of the most beautiful blue Topazes have come from Virgem da Lapa, and they sometimes have a considerable size. A fine example with the best blue colour at 10kg is a crystal in the collection of the Museum of Natural History of Paris.

TopazBrazilMinas Gerais, Ouro Preto

Topaz 5,1cm
Topaz 4,3cm
Topaz 5cm
Topaz 1,6cm

Ouro Prêto mines produce orange to pinkish-purple topaz. Often the stone has been confused with the more common citrine (which is made by heating amethyst) found profusely in other Brazilian localities. However, topaz is readily identified by its superior hardness, density, and brilliance, as well as by a pronounced basal cleavage. In the early days topaz was the only gem of importance found near Ouro Prêto. Honouring Brazilian royalty, the gemstone was frequently referred to as “imperial” topaz. Later some sources called it “precious” topaz. Both terms have endured, partly because gem merchants wish to impart to customers the difference between gem topaz and citrine quartz.
Common topaz crystals are prisms which generally measure from 5 to 3 centimeters. The largest reportedly measures 50 by 8 centimetres and probably a score of crystals have been found in lengths over 15 centimetres. The larger specimens often were broken along cleavages, however, and little care was taken to keep the pieces of each crystal together for repair; thus few such giants exist intact today.
In addition, nearly all larger crystals are heavily flawed and contain little if any cutting material. An exceptionally large and rich golden brown topaz is in the collection of the Los Angeles County (California) Natural History Museum. It is 28 centimetres long.
Ouro Prêto has consistently been the world’s major source of golden topaz. Tons of crystals have been mined in the low hills west of town, but only a very few out of each 1000 crystals produce a facet-grade gem weighing more than one gram. Rare crystals with transparent sections of a remarkable sherry or muscatel colour sometimes occur and a few produce flawless 100-carat stones of incredible beauty. When peach-hued prisms are placed in ovens and heated, a fraction of them change to pink. This color transition is permanent—but at the risk of fracturing the gems.

TopazBurma (Myanmar)Mandalay Division, Sagaing District, Mogok

Topaz crystal 3,5cm
Topaz 2,1cm
Topaz 8,5cm
Topaz crystal 4,3cm
Topaz crystal 1,5cm
Topaz 2cm

Info needed.

TopazChinaHebei Province, Chengde Prefecture

Topaz 3cm
Topaz 3,2cm

Info needed.

TopazChinaYunnan Province, Gaoligong Mts (Gaoligong Shan), Nujiang Autonomous Prefecture

Topaz crystal 1,8cm
Topaz crystals to 1,3cm
Topaz crystal 3,5cm
Topaz crystal 2cm

Highlands west of the Nu river (Nu Jiang) valley.
Located in northwestern Yunnan Province, close to the border to Myanmar (Burma).

TopazChinaYunnan Province, Wenshan Autonomous Prefecture

Topaz crystal 4cm
Topaz 8,4cm

Info needed.

TopazCzech RepublicBohemia (Böhmen; Boehmen), Karlovy Vary Region, Horní Slavkov (Schlaggenwald)

Topaz, Quartz 5,5x3cm
Topaz, Cassiterite 10x9cm

Info needed.

TopazCzech RepublicBohemia (Böhmen; Boehmen), Ústí Region, Krupka (Graupen), Krušné Hory Mts (Erzgebirge), Knöttel (Knötel; Knödel) area, Krupka (Graupen)

Topaz, Quartz 4x6cm
Topaz crystal 1cm

Granite stock with an aureole of Mo-Sn-W bearing quartz veins, located about 1 km ENE of Krupka.
Several localities for Topaz.

TopazFinlandEtelä-Suomen Lääni, Orivesi, Eräjärvi area, Viitaniemi pegmatite

Topaz 2,5x2,5cm
Topaz 8,4x6,5cm

Info needed

TopazGermanyBavaria, Franconia, Fichtelgebirge, Tröstau, Leupoldsdorf, Fuchsbau quarry

One of the most beautiful Topaz specimens from Germany came from the Fuchsbau quarry. An 8cm tall dark smoky Quartz crystal with a squat 4cm large blue Topaz on the side.
If anyone could help us with a photo of a specimen from this locality we would be very pleased ;-)

TopazGermanyBavaria, Franconia, Fichtelgebirge, Weißenstadt, Großer Waldstein Mt., Reinersreuth Quarry (Köhlerloh)

Topaz 0,6cm
Topaz, Orthoclase, 3,8x4,8cm

A quarry in granite with pegmatite inclusions, disseminated by quartz veins.

TopazGermanyRhineland-Palatine, Eifel Mts, Daun, Üdersdorf, Emmelberg Mt.

Topaz FOV 0,4cm
Topaz FOV 0,3cm

Quarry in the scoria cone of an ancient volcano. Olivine-nephelinite dykes and lava flow, with mineralizations both in cavities of the lava and in xenoliths (clay, sandstones, carbonatites, sanidinite).
Located on Emmelberg Mountain, 0.5 km south of Üdersdorf and about 6 km SSW of Daun.
Outstanding Topaz micros!

TopazGermanyRhineland-Palatinate, Eifel Mts, Kelberg, Drees, Niveligsberg Mt.

Topaz FOV 0,3cm
Topaz FOV 0,3cm

Quarry in lapilli tuffs and lava slags with inclusions of xenoliths (olivine, devonian basement) and biotite crystals (up to 50 mm across).
Located on Niveligsberg mountain, 500 m NW of Drees.
Outstanding Topaz micros!

TopazGermanyRhineland-Palatinate, Eifel Mts, Mayen, Ettringen, Bellerberg volcano, Caspar quarry

Topaz FOV 0,3cm
Topaz FOV 0,3cm

Active quarry. A multitude of often very rare, but well-crystallised minerals occur in xenoliths and basaltic rock.
Access is strictly limited (it was for most of the last two decades also completely forbidden).
Located between Ettringer Bellerberg and Büden mountains.
Outstanding Topaz micros!

TopazGermanyRhineland-Palatinate, Eifel Mts, Polch, Ochtendung, Wannenköpfe

Topaz FOV 0,2cm
Topaz FOV 0,15cm

Active quarry. Minerals are mainly found in voids within small xenoliths.
Outstanding Topaz micros!

TopazGermanySaxony, Erzgebirge, Altenberg

Pyknite, 18x8cm
Pyknite, 7,5x4,5cm

Famous old locality for the Topaz variety Pyknite. Often associated with Zinnwaldite.

TopazGermanySaxony, Vogtland, Klingenthal, Kielberg Mt., Schneckenstein cliff (Königskrone Topaz Mine)

2,5cm large Topaz on Quartz
1,2cm large Topaz on Quartz
Topaz FOV1cm
Topaz FOV0,4cm
1,5cm large Topaz on Quartz
Topaz, Quartz FOV 2,6cm
Topaz after Orthoclase scale 1inch, rule 1cm
Topaz after Orthoclase 2,5cm

At the start of the Topaz mining activity in 1728 the Topaz rock of the Schneckenstein (named the Königkrone mine by the discoverer of the occurrence, Christian Kraut) gained a wide recognition being the first mining endeavour exclusively for gems. This meant that it received the highest legal insurance and right from the king, Kurfürst August der Starke.
On the 27th of August 1737 the rights were installed and welcomed with great festivities.
Immediately the miners started "in good spirits and by good weather" and in no time a pound (Pfund) of quality Topaz was found.
The Topaz crystals were sold to pharmacists who shipped the crystals to gem cutters in Bohemia and Venice. The cut gems came back to Saxony as "Oriental Topaz". As late as 1740 Dr Johann Friedrich Henckel laughingly wrote that the foreigners obviously knew the Schneckenstein Topaz better than the people from Saxony themselves as they bought their stones for a way too high price.......
The Topaz from the Schneckenstein were valued throughout Europe, for instance, King George III of England had a crown made (for his wife Charlotte) including 485 cut Schneckenstein Topazes.
The colour of the Schneckenstein Topazes ranges from colourless over different shades of yellow (the most coveted are the "golden" yellow ones) to a light brown, but also greenish stones have been found.
The Topaz occur in a greisen body, druses in the greisen contain slender Quartz crystals (mostly transitional habit) on which the Topaz crystals sit, often accompanied by dark green to dark brown Tourmaline, Cassiterite, Ilmenorutile, Crandalite and Chalcosiderite. These cavities are usually filled with yellow Kaolinite.
The most common inclusions in the Topaz crystals are Cassiterite and Ilmenorutile.
Also very interesting are the Topaz after Orthoclase pseudomorphs found at the Schneckenstein.
Good Schneckenstein specimens command very high prices on the market. Because it is strictly forbidden to collect at the site no new specimens enter the market (the cliff itself is fenced-in and the surrounding forest is also restricted by the forestry department). This means that prices for a good specimen will only increase. But, who doesn't want to posses a choice Schneckenstein Topaz specimen...........

TopazGermanySaxony, Vogtland, Klingenthal, Muldenberg, Saubach Fault

Topaz after Orthoclase 8,4x7,8cm
Topaz after Orthoclase 3,5cm

Locality famous for Topaz after Orthoclase pseudomorphs.

TopazGermanySaxony, Erzgebirge, Zinnwald

Pyknite 8x10cm
Pyknite 8,5x6cm

A famous tin deposit. One part of the deposit is situated in Saxony, Germany (Zinnwald), the other in Bohemia, Czech Republic (Cinovec).
Quartz/cassiterite/wolframite stockworks, flat veins and greisens in the endo/exocontact of a granitoid cupola intrusion.

TopazItalySardinia, Oristano Province

Topaz FOV 0,3cm
Topaz FOV 0,4cm

Several quarries (Conca, Funtanafigu) delivering excellent Topaz micros.

TopazJapanHonshu Island, Chubu Region, Gifu Prefecture, Nakatsugawa City, Hirukawa

Topaz 2,4cm
Topaz 0,7cm

An area of miarolytic cavities and pegmatites in granite quarries. Produced specimens abundantly in the past, but has almost dried up due to the quarries closing because of cheap granite imports from abroad.

TopazJapanHonshu Island, Kinki Region, Shiga Prefecture, Otsu City, Tanakami-yama (Tanokami-yama)

Topaz 2,9cm
Topaz 3,6cm

Granite pegmatite district, mined for centuries for its feldspar for the local ceramic industry. Crystal pockets have been almost completely worked out by local mineral collectors, and many of the dumps are overgrown with forest, so not much of collector interest is left to find here.

TopazKazakhstanKaragandy Province (Qaragandy Oblysy; Karaganda Oblast'), Airtau

Topaz 3,6cm
Topaz 8,1cm

Granitic pegmatites.
Located about 30 km south of Agadyr' settlement, the center of Shetskii area of Karagandy Province.

TopazKazakhstanKaragandy Province (Qaragandy Oblysy; Karaganda Oblast'), Ortau

Topaz 9,4cm
Topaz 9cm

Info needed.

TopazMexicoSan Luis Potosí

Topaz 4cm
Topaz crystal 4,5cm
Topaz 3,4cm
Topaz crystals to 1,5cm

Info needed.


Topaz 2,6cm
Topaz crystals to 2cm
Topaz 3,9cm
Topaz 3,8cm

Several localities for Excellent Topaz in Rhyolite.

TopazMongoliaGhorkhi massiv, Goricho

Topaz 2,9cm
Topaz 6,5cm

The locality is about 100km E from Ulaan-Baatar. The Massiv contains several hundreds of pegmatites, most of them primitive but some have a high concentration of Be, NYF and REE.

TopazNamibiaErongo Region, Swakopmund District, Swakopmund, Groot en Klein Spitzkopje (Groot en Klein Spitskopje; Große und Kleine Spitzkoppe)

Topaz 4,6cm
Topaz crystal 1,3cm
Topaz 3,2cm
Topaz crystals to 2cm

Groot Spitzkopje:
Isolated granite massif elevating from a peneplain (~1000 m above sea level), 1728 m high. The Groot Spitzkopje is also called "Matterhorn of Africa". The biotite granite intruded during a late stage of the Damara orogeny (about 530 Ma, the neighboring Kleine Spitzkopje granite intruded ~ 400 Ma later). The Spitzkopje area is world famous for its pegmatite minerals, especially topaz.

Klein Spitzkopje:
Located 30 km from Usakos next to the main road to Swakopmund. Remnant of a ring complex that has extensively occurring miarolitic cavities with superb Topaz crystals (Silbertopas).

TopazNamibiaErongo Region, Usakos and Omaruru Districts, Erongo Mountain

Topaz 9,6cm
Topaz 4cm

The Erongo Mountain is 20 km north of the town of Usakos. Usakos is 140 km from Swakopmund on the highway between Swakopmund and Windhoek. The Erongo mountain is 65 km in diameter and stretches from Usakos to the town of Omaruru in the north.

TopazNigeriaPlateau State, Jos Plateau

Topaz 1,8cm
Topaz 3,3cm

Info needed.

TopazNorwayBuskerud, Hurum, Grimsrudbukta area

Topaz 1,6cm
Topaz 1cm

Spoaradic occuring miarolitic cavities in Drammens granite (a biotite granite)

TopazPakistanNorth-West Frontier Province, Mardan District, Katlang, Ghundao hill

Topaz crystal 2,5cm
Topaz 2cm
Topaz crystal 4cm
Topaz crystal 2cm
Topaz crystal 2,3cm
Topaz crystal 5cm

The Katlang Topazes were discovered in the second half of the 20th century. They are being mined from the so called "Topaz Hill", Gundao hill, an outcrop consisting mainly of re-crystallised limestones.
The crystals, usually not exceeding 3cm in length and often in a tabular habit, are encountered in veins of coarse Calcite, together with Quartz, Muscovite and Talcum. The striking pink colour have made the Katlang crystals famous around the globe and good specimens are very expensive.
In the 80s of last century the annual production of gem rough was about 30.000 carat.

TopazPakistanNorthern Areas, Astor District (Astore District), Astor valley (Astore valley), Bulochi (Balochi; Balche; Bulache; Bulachi; Drot Balachi)

Topaz crystal 4,5cm
Topaz crystal 2cm

A village 4 km south of the Indus River, 7 km south of Shengus. Numerous complex granitic pegmatites in the area. (Previously part of Diamar District.)

TopazPakistanNorthern Areas, Baltistan, Skardu District, Basha Valley (Basha Nala; Basna)

Topaz crystal 4,5cm
Topaz 10,2cm

A northern tributary to the Shigar River Valley. (Descends from Mt Chogo Lungma and joins with the Braldu river to form the Shigar river).

TopazPakistanNorthern Areas, Baltistan, Skardu District, Braldu valley

Topaz crystal 3cm
Topaz crystal 1,7cm
Topaz crystal 6cm
Topaz 2cm

Several very good localities for Topaz: Nyet-Bruk, Gyaiungu, Apo Ali Gun, Baha.

TopazPakistanNorthern Areas, Baltistan, Skardu District, Haramosh Mts, Chamachhu, Chamachhu Pegmatites

Topaz crystal 2cm
Topaz crystal 1,2cm

A village along the Gilgit-Skardu road, in the Indus valley, 10 km east of Shengus. Numerous complex granitic pegmatites in the area.

TopazPakistanNorthern Areas, Baltistan, Skardu District, Haramosh Mts, Shengus (Shingus)

Topaz crystal 3cm
Topaz crystal 5,5cm

Also spelled Shingus. A village at Km 53 along the Gilgit-Skardu Road. Numerous complex granitic pegmatites in the area. Many of the specimens attributed to here are from Sabsar or the Baralooma valley.

TopazPakistanNorthern Areas, Baltistan, Skardu District, Haramosh Mts, Stak Nala

Topaz FOV 3cm
Topaz crystal 1,2cm

Miarolitic granite pegmatites in the Stak valley in the northeast part of the Nanga Parbat – Haramosh Massif, in northern Pakistan, locally contain economic quantities of bi- and tricolored tourmaline.

TopazPakistanNorthern Areas, Baltistan, Skardu District, Shigar valley, Dassu (Dasso; Dusso)

Topaz 3,2cm
Topaz crystals to 2,5cm
Topaz crystal 3,5cm
Topaz crystal 1,5cm
Topaz crystals to 2cm
Topaz crystal 4cm

Also spelled Dusso.
A village in the upper Shigar River Valley. Numerous complex granitic pegmatites in the area. There is also a village of the same name along the Gilgit-Skardu road, bordering the Indus River. This location is sometimes referred to as "Haramosh Dassu".

TopazPakistanNorthern Areas, Baltistan, Skardu District, Shigar Valley, Yuno (Yunau; Yunas)

Topaz crystal 2,6cm
Topaz crystal 2,9cm

A village in the upper Shigar River Valley, 8 km below Braldu and the Basha river junction, 45 km NW of Shigar, at elevations around 3,000 to 4,000 metres. Numerous complex granitic pegmatites are found in the area.

TopazPakistanNorthern Areas, Baltistan, Skardu District, Skardu

Topaz crystal 11cm
Topaz crystal 4,5cm

A town at the confluence of the Shigar and Indus Rivers. Administrative center for the district.

TopazPakistanNorthern Areas, Gilgit District, Gilgit

Topaz crystal 1,6cm
Topaz 3,8cm

Administrative center for the District. No mineral localities of note occur in or around Gilgit, but the town is a local center of trade in minerals and gems from the region. Mineral specimens labeled "Gilgit" are usually from elsewhere in the area.

TopazPakistanNorthern Areas, Gilgit District, Haramosh Mts, Dache (Dassu; Dasu; Haramosh-Dassu; Dacha)

Topaz 5cm
Topaz crystal 2,6cm
Topaz 6,2cm
Topaz crystal 3,5cm

A village approximately 10 km NE of Hanuchal, and 10 km north of Shengus along the Indus River. Numerous complex granitic pegmatites in the area. Not to be confused with the Dache in the Astor valley, or the Dassu village in the Shigar Valley, Skardu District.

TopazRussiaEastern-Siberian region, Transbaikalia (Zabaykalye), Chitinskaya Oblast', Nerchinsk (Nertschinsk)

Topaz 7cm
Topaz 6,4cm
Topaz, Quartz, scale 1inch, rule 1cm
Topaz 10x5cm

These Nertschinsk gem mines started in 1723 are are on three peaks of the Adun-Cholon Mountains: Hoppevskaya Gora (Schorl Mountain), Sherlovaya Gora, Soktuj Gora; and further north near the Urulga River. Most locality attributions are suspect as the gem dealers are not interested.

TopazRussiaFar-Eastern Region, Zabytoye deposit

Topaz 13,5x11cm
Topaz 4,2cm

Greisen deposit associated with exo- and endocontacts of small granite stocks with lithium-fluorine specialization Known for large blue topaz.

TopazRussiaUrals Region, Middle Urals, Ekaterinburgskaya (Sverdlovskaya) Oblast'

Topaz, scale 1inch, rule 1cm
Topaz, scale 1inch, rule 1cm
Topaz, scale 1inch, rule 1cm
Topaz, scale 1inch, rule 1cm
Topaz, scale 1inch, rule 1cm
Topaz 2,8cm
Topaz crystal 2,5cm
Topaz crystal 1,5cm
Topaz crystal 2,6cm
Topaz crystal 2,6cm

One of the worlds most important localities for excellent blue and brown Topaz specimens. The Topaz crystals from here command very high prices on the market.
The Topaz localities in the Urals are classics, the specimens rank amongst the best in the world. The great finds belong to the past and before the advent of Pakistani, Afghani and Brazilian Topazes every museum coveted a Urals Topaz along with an American (USA) one.
The Russian mineralogist Nikolai Iwanowitsch Kocharow (1818-1892) wrote: Around Ekaterinburgskaya one finds Topaz crystals near the village of Alabaschka near Mursinka, they occur in granite cavities. The size of the crystals varies, from tiny to several centimetres large. Usually they are blue, although sometimes they are light green or greyish white. One rarely finds Topazes from this locality that are completely colourless. They often occur here in a beauty of crystallisation rarely surpassed by foreign Topaz crystals .

TopazRussiaUrals Region, Southern Urals, Chelyabinsk Oblast', Ilmen Mts, Miass (Miask)

Topaz 1,3cm

Info needed.

TopazRussiaUrals Region, Southern Urals, Chelyabinsk Oblast', Plast, Kochkar' District, Kochkar' Au Deposit

Topaz crystal 1,1cm
Topaz crystal 3,5cm

Supergene gold deposit, hosted in Late Paleozoic granite gneisses of the Plast massif.
Locality for hard to obtain and rare pink and orange Topaz.

TopazSpainExtremadura, Badajoz, Valle de la Serena, San Nicolás Mine

Topaz 2,9cm
Topaz 1,7cm

Info needed.

TopazSwitzerlandGrischun (Grisons; Graubünden), Lugnez Valley (Lumnezia Valley)

Apart from the Topaz occurrence on the slope of the Leutachkopf mountain in Austria some of the best Alpine Topazes came from clefts in Lugnez valley.
We would very much like to obtain good photographs of specimens from this locality.

TopazUnited KingdomDevon, North Devon, Bristol Channel, Isle of Lundy, VC Quarry

Topaz crystals 0,6cm
Topaz FOV 0,8cm

Info needed.

TopazUnited KingdomNorthern Ireland, Co. Down, Mourne Mts, Diamond Rocks

Topaz crystal 1cm
Topaz FOV 1cm

Info needed.

TopazUkraineZhytomyr Oblast' (Zhitomir Oblast'), Volodarsk-Volynskii (Volodars'k-Volyns'kyy; Wolodarsk-Wolynskii)

Topaz 10cm
Topaz 5,3cm
Topaz 8x7cm
Topaz 15x13cm

Old and famous pegmatite district (excellent 'heliodor' beryls and topaz, from huge pockets). North south trending belt 500-1500 meters wide and 22 km long.

TopazUSACalifornia, San Diego Co., Aguanga Mountain District (Smith Mountain District)

Topaz 6,5cm
Topaz 7,1cm

A gemstone and rare earth element (REE) pegmatite area located approximately 4 miles south of the town of Oak Grove. The area is situated along the northern and southern sides of the Aguanga Mountain ridgeline, which is the southeast spur of Palomar Mountain. The mountain has also been referred to as Smith Mountain.

The Maple Load Mine was claimed again in 1915 by Fred Rynerson who briefly worked the ledge with Henry Stenbock. Rynerson discovered one exceptionally fine blue topaz crystal which measured 1 inch tall by one half inch wide, associated with blue tourmaline, about 10 feet back along the east wall of the underground workings.

In 1935 John Wesley Ware reported that under his supervision the Ware Mine had been worked to the extent of about 2,500 feet of tunnels. The principal production was precious blue topaz, of which the mine netted several hundred pounds. Crystals of blue topaz ranging from about 1 carat in weight up to 3¼ pounds were reported to have been taken out. One crystal, which cut a 17 carat pear-shaped gem of an unusually beautiful blue color was pronounced by competent authority George F. Kunz, to be the finest blue topaz in the world. Ware also reported the production of pink, white, and golden beryls, as well as pink, green, blue, and colorless tourmaline, and what he termed "Emeralite", a beautiful Nile green tourmaline of most unusual and pleasing color, for which the mine was named.

TopazUSACalifornia, San Diego Co., Ramona District, Ramona, Little Three Mine (Little 3 mine)

Topaz crystal 3,5cm
Topaz crystal 3,6cm

A gemstone and mineral specimen mine developed in pegmatite which is located 7.1 km (4.4 miles) ENE of Ramona. One of the prime locations in North America for natural blue topaz. Major finds were made in 1976 and 1991. It is important to note that spessartite labeled as from the Little Three Mine is found on the adjacent Hercules pegmatite dike, a distinctly separate deposit which is also exposed on the property.

A very fine topaz-elbaite matrix specimen weighing about 150 pounds was mined in 1905 from the Little Three Mine main dike. The specimen was placed on display for many years at the San Diego Chamber of Commerce until it was moved to the newly opened Natural History Museum. During World War II, the Navy took over the museum, and the displays were crated and stored away. The specimen hasn't been seen again, and it is said to have likely been put onto a junk barge, and dumped into the ocean.

TopazUSAColorado, Park Co., Tarryall Mts

Topaz scale 1inch, rule 1cm
Topaz 4,7cm

Info needed.

TopazUSAIdaho, Custer Co., Sawtooth Batholith/Sawtooth Mts

Topaz crystal 2,8cm
Topaz 1,9cm

Minerals occur in miarolitic cavities in Sawtooth Granite - extends into Boise and Elmore counties (see there). Wilderness area.

TopazUSANevada, Mineral Co., Fitting District, Gillis Range, Zapot Pegmatite

Topaz 18,5x17cm
Topaz 2,5cm

Pegmatite with hydrothermal breccia with Al-fluorides, located near Hawthorne.

TopazUSAUtah, Juab Co., Thomas Range

Topaz 2,7cm
Topaz 3,2cm
Topaz 2cm
Topaz 3,7cm
Topaz 5,5cm
Topaz 3,8cm
Topaz 4,6cm
Topaz crystal 1,2cm

Locality for very nice sherry coloured Topaz, found in tertiary rhyolites.
Choice Topaz comes from the Thomas Range, including localities such as Topaz Mountain (with Topaz Valley/the Cove); the Dugway Range; Keg Mountains and Drum Mountains.
Further to the south are the Wah Wah Mountains; Needle Range and Paradise Hills.
Very nice are specimens where Bixbyite or Red Beryl accompany the Topaz. A speciality for the locality are Topaz included with sand.
In 1969 Governor Calvin C. Rampton declared the sherry coloured Topaz the state gem for the state of Utah.

TopazVietnamThanh Hoa Province, Xuan Le

Topaz 2cm
Topaz crystals to 2,4cm

Info needed.

TopazZimbabweMashonaland West, Karoi (Urungwe; Hurungwe) District, Mwami

Topaz 9,2cm
Topaz 4cm

Located SE of Miami.
Hydrothermally kaolinized zone in a F-enriched granitic pegmatite intruded in Precambrian staurolite schists (Lomagundi system).

Click here to view Best Minerals T and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Edited 134 time(s). Last edit at 12/01/2010 07:39AM by Harjo Neutkens.
David Von Bargen November 23, 2010 03:29PM
Should probably include the Mason Co. Texas topazes. They are formed in granitic pegmatites, but most were found in derived alluvial deposits. Colors range from colorless and white to blue (maybe 10% of the stones). Largest pale blue stone is 1296 gm in Smithsonian.

Devils Head in Douglas co. Colorado also produced large topaz to 1160 grams (8x11x8 cm), Crystal Park in Douglas county (pink to clear crystals to 2 inches). Most of the best topazes have come from pegmatites in the Pikes Peak batholith.
Harjo Neutkens November 23, 2010 06:48PM
Thanks David, I'll add Mason Co.
I already have Sawtooth in the article, maybe the loc deserves more photos, I'll have a look.
Anyone for any other localities that should not be missed?
All input is very welcome :-)


Rock Currier November 23, 2010 10:10PM
Your topaz article, as your others are impeccable. I thought we had agreed on one line of space after the pictures before the text began. I feel that two or more lines after the images does not associate the text firmly enough with the pictures. However two lines after the text before the beginning of the next "data block" does firmly separate it from the the next entry. Thats kind of nit picking I know, but let me know if you object.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Dean Allum November 24, 2010 06:32PM
It's a shame that mindat does not have Topaz photos from Colorado's famous historical localities, Devils Head in Douglas County, and Glen Cove in El Paso County.

In their July 2002 Rocks & MInerals article on Colorado Gemstones, Jack Murphy and Pete Modreski have great topaz photos (via the Denver Museum of Natural History) from both locals.

I've read that both the Denver Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian have large specimens, but I cannot locate any pics on the internet.

-Dean Allum
Harjo Neutkens November 24, 2010 07:18PM
Rock, you're absolutely right, that's the way I want the lay-out for the articles.
I completed this one now; 1 line after the photos and two lines after the text before a new locality.
I also reworked the horizontal lines in the photo blocks. Now there's only one white line separating the photos making for nicer blocks.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/24/2010 07:27PM by Harjo Neutkens.
Rock Currier November 24, 2010 08:05PM
Dean, If we had good topaz pictures from those places you would have to fight Harjo to keep him from putting them in the best mineral article. Would you consider doing Mindat a service by contacting the museum and seeing if you could get them to up load some good images of these items? Perhaps you could locate others with images of specimens from these localities or better yet some people who have collected good ones from these localities and they could supply information about the geology, history, abundance, best ones found etc.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Harjo Neutkens November 24, 2010 09:29PM
Thanks Dean for your input!
And yes, I would very much like to see some photos ;-)
Rock, could you have a look at the intro text and shoot at it......
Aymeric Longi November 24, 2010 09:32PM
WOW ! What an amazing selection !
If you allow me Harjo, well that's just a detail but, there is a mistake for the Bulochi locality, in Pakistan. The place is not in Astor valley, but on the southern slopes of Indus River valley. Actually, looks like there's mistake too in Mindat locality listing...

You mention that it was part of Diamir district, which was the case until the renaming of Northern Areas into Gilgit-Baltistan, which is now the official name of Northern Areas (same for NWFP, which are now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). I wonder what's the position of mineral community about that...

Cheers !


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/24/2010 09:34PM by Aymeric Longi.
Harjo Neutkens November 24, 2010 09:48PM
Thanks for your input Aymeric!
I've got a question......could you have a look (if you have time..) at the Pakistan entries on Mindat and compile a list with localities that need an update?
There's no rush but maybe it's good if someone takes a look at them ;-)


Aymeric Longi November 29, 2010 01:48PM
Greetings Harjo,

I'm delighted that I can bring in some help, will dedicate at least one hour per day doing so from tomorrow. It's kinda funny you're asking, because when I was typing my precedent message I was thinking that Pakistan localities would actually need a nearly complete update, since there are no more so-called Northern Areas, or NWFP either as a matter of fact.
I don't know what's the position of the mineral community about that (keeping the old "colonialist" names, or shifting to official ones), but eventually changes will have to be made...

So... How should I proceed ? Checking for simple mistakes like the bulochi one, or review the whole thing, with all the new districts, names and so on ?

have a good day,

William C. van Laer February 17, 2011 03:37PM
While fairly uncommon in the Boulder Batholith of Montana, topaz has been found here at several locations, and this is one of the best I have seen:

William C. (CHRIS) van Laer: "I'm using the chicken to measure it..."
Harjo Neutkens February 17, 2011 03:46PM
Thanks! That's a very fine one. I'll add it as soon as I have time (will be this evening probably)
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