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St John's Island (Topazios Island)

St John's Island, Red Sea, Egypt
Colourless, white, pale blue, light green, yellow, yellowish brown, or red
Specific Gravity:
3.4 - 3.6
Crystal System:
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).

Visit for gemological information about Topaz.

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Classification of TopazHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

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

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

17 : Silicates Containing other Anions
2 : Silicates with fluoride

Pronounciation of TopazHide

PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of TopazHide

Transparent, Translucent
Colourless, white, pale blue, light green, yellow, yellowish brown, or red
Hardness Data:
Mohs hardness reference species
Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
3.4 - 3.6 g/cm3 (Measured)    

Optical Data of TopazHide

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.606 - 1.629 nβ = 1.609 - 1.631 nγ = 1.616 - 1.638
Measured: 48° to 68°, Calculated: 58° to 68°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.010
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
noticable r > v
In thick sections

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

Chemical Properties of TopazHide

IMA Formula:

Crystallography of TopazHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.65 Å, b = 8.8 Å, c = 8.4 Å
a:b:c = 0.528 : 1 : 0.955
Unit Cell V:
343.73 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Long to short prismatic.
Crystallography (orthorhombic or triclinic) depends upon the ratio of F and OH in the mineral.

Crystallographic forms of TopazHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Topaz no.188 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Topaz no.208 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Topaz no.215 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
Powder Diffraction Data:
3.693 (60)
3.195 (66)
3.037 (37)
2.937 (100)
2.3609 (45)
2.1049 (44)
1.6706 (27)

Synonyms of TopazHide

Other Language Names for TopazHide

Bosnian (Latin Script):Topaz
Norwegian (Bokmål):Topas
Simplified Chinese:黄玉
Traditional Chinese:黃玉

Varieties of TopazHide

Imperial TopazTraditionally imperial topaz was orange in color with red dichroism. Today the definition has expanded to include colors like pinks, reds, lavender pinks and peach pinks but usually excludes yellow or brown.
Killiecrankie DiamondA name used for a variety of Topaz mostly found near Killiecrankie, Flinders Island, Tasmania. The stones were first collected and sold as diamonds in Europe back in the early 1800's. The name is still in common usage, for the location is a popular collec...
PykniteFine grained topaz, occurring in dense aggregates of prismatic to acanthine crystals.

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Quartz419 photos of Topaz associated with Quartz on
Albite248 photos of Topaz associated with Albite on
Bixbyite221 photos of Topaz associated with Bixbyite on
Smoky Quartz207 photos of Topaz associated with Smoky Quartz on
Muscovite154 photos of Topaz associated with Muscovite on
Cleavelandite130 photos of Topaz associated with Cleavelandite on
Fluorite110 photos of Topaz associated with Fluorite on
Schorl80 photos of Topaz associated with Schorl on
Elbaite68 photos of Topaz associated with Elbaite on
Microcline67 photos of Topaz associated with Microcline on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

9.AF.05SillimaniteAl2(SiO4)OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
9.AF.10AndalusiteAl2(SiO4)OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
9.AF.10KanonaiteMn3+Al(SiO4)OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
9.AF.15KyaniteAl2(SiO4)OTric. 1 : P1
9.AF.20MulliteAl4+2xSi2-2xO10-xOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbam
9.AF.20Krieselite(Al,Ga)2(GeO4)(OH)2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
9.AF.23BoromulliteAl9BSi2O19Orth. mm2 : Cmc21
9.AF.25YoderiteMg(Al,Fe3+)3(SiO4)2O(OH)Mon. 2/m : P21/m
9.AF.30MagnesiostauroliteMg(Mg,Li)3(Al,Mg)18Si8O44(OH)4Mon. 2/m : B2/m
9.AF.30StauroliteFe2+2Al9Si4O23(OH)Mon. 2/m : B2/m
9.AF.30ZincostauroliteZn2Al9Si4O23(OH)Mon. 2/m : B2/m
9.AF.40NorbergiteMg3(SiO4)(F,OH)2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
9.AF.45AlleghanyiteMn2+5(SiO4)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.AF.45Chondrodite(Mg,Fe2+)5(SiO4)2(F,OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.AF.45ReinhardbraunsiteCa5(SiO4)2(OH,F)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.AF.45KumtyubeiteCa5(SiO4)2F2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.AF.45HydroxylchondroditeMg5(SiO4)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.AF.50Humite(Mg,Fe2+)7(SiO4)3(F,OH)2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
9.AF.50Unnamed (Ca-analogue of Humite)Ca7(SiO4)4F2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
9.AF.55ClinohumiteMg9(SiO4)4F2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.AF.55HydroxylclinohumiteMg9(SiO4)4(OH)2Mon. 2/m
9.AF.60LeucophoeniciteMn2+7(SiO4)3(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.AF.70JerrygibbsiteMn2+9(SiO4)4(OH)2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbcn
9.AF.75WeliniteMn2+6(W6+,Mg)2(SiO4)2(O,OH)6Trig. 3 : P3
9.AF.85Chloritoid(Fe2+,Mg,Mn2+)Al2(SiO4)O(OH)2Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.AF.85MagnesiochloritoidMgAl2(SiO4)O(OH)2Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.AF.90PoldervaartiteCaCa[SiO3(OH)](OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbca
9.AF.90OlmiiteCaMn2+[SiO3(OH)](OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbca

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

17.2.2PolylithioniteKLi2Al(Si4O10)(F,OH)2Mon. 2/m : B2/b
17.2.3Leifite(Na,H2O)Na6[Be2Al2(Al,Si)Si15O39]F2Trig. 3m : P3m1
17.2.5Meliphanite(Ca,Na)2(Be,Al)[Si2O6(OH,F)]Tet. 4 : I4
17.2.7GötzeniteNaCa6Ti(Si2O7)2OF3Tric. 1 : P1
17.2.10MagbasiteKBaFe3+Mg7Si8O22(OH)2F6Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Cmma

Fluorescence of TopazHide

Rarely yellow, white, orange, greenish-yellow

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:

Topaz in petrologyHide

References for TopazHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Pliny [translated by Hardouin, 1685] (77) Topazion. in Caii Plinii secundi Naturalis historiae libri XXXVII interpretatione et notis illustravit Joannes Harduinus in usum Delphini, Franciscum Muguet (Paris): 364-364.
Gesner, C. (1565) Gemmis, quae erant in veste Aaronis, Liber Graecus, & e regione Latinus, Iola Hierotarantino interprete: cum Corollario Conradi Gesneri. in Sancti Patris Epiphanii Episcopi Cypri ad Diodorum Tyri episcopum, De XII: 1-29.
Henkel, J.F. (1737) De topasio vera Saxonum, orientali non inferiore. Acta Physico-medica Academiae Caesareae Leopoldino-Carolinae Naturae Curiosorum: 4, 316-320.
Klaproth, M.H. (1810) Chemische Unmtersuchung des Pycnits, Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper, Fünfter Band, Rottmann Berlin: 50-57.
Pardee, J.T., Glass, J.J., Stevens, R.E. (1937) Massive low-fluorine topaz from the Brewer Mine, South Carolina. American Mineralogist: 22: 1058-1064.
Ribbe, P.H., Rosenberg, P.E. (1971) Optical and x-ray determinative methods for fluorine in topaz. American Mineralogist: 56: 1812-1821.
Parise, J.B., Cuff, C., Moore, F.H. (1980) A neutron diffraction study of topaz: evidence for lower symmetry. Mineralogical Magazine: 43: 943.
Carman, M.F. (1981) A spindle stage study of the optical properties of a topaz. Boletín de Mineralogía: 104: 742-749.
Beny, J.M., Piriou, B. (1987) Vibrational spectra of single-crystal topaz. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 15: 148-154.
Wunder, B., Rubie, D.C., Ross II, C.R., Medenbach, O., Seifert, F., Schreyer, W. (1993) Synthesis, stability, and properties of Al2SiO4(OH)2: a fully hydrated analogue of topaz. American Mineralogist: 78: 285–297.
Northrup, P.A., Leinenweber, K., Parise, J.B. (1994) The location of H in the high-pressure synthetic Al2SiO4(OH)2 topaz analogue. American Mineralogist: 79: 401-404.
Foord, E.E., Jackson, L.L., Taggart, J.E., Crock, J.G., King, T.V.V. (1995) Topaz: environment of crystallization, crystal chemistry, and infrared spectra. Mineralogical Record: 26: 69–71.
Mineralogical Record (1995): 26: 5.
Holfert, J., Mroch, W., 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., Aikawa, N. (1997) IR active orientation of OH bending mode in topaz. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 24: 551-554.
Kloprogge, J.T., Frost, R.L. (2000) Raman microscopic study at 300 and 77 K of some pegmatite minerals from the Iveland-Evje area, Aust-Agder, Southern Norway. Spectrochimica Acta Part A-Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy: 56: 501-513.
Wang, B., Tu, J. (2000) The spectroscopic study of topaz. Spectroscopy and Spectral Analysis: 20: 40-43.
Zhang, R.Y., Liou, J.G., Shu, J.F. (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]
Pinheiro, M.V.B., Fantini, C., Krambrock, K., Persiano, A.I.C., Dantas, M.S.S., Pimenta, M.A. (2002) OH/F substitution in topaz studied by Raman spectroscopy. Physical Review B: 65: 1-6.
Souza, D.N., de Lima, J.F., Valerio, M.E.G., Fantini, C., Pimenta, M.A., Moreira, R.L., Caldas, L.V.E. (2002) Influence of thermal treatment on the Raman, infrared and TL responses of natural topaz. Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research B: 191: 230-235.
Shannon, R.D., Shannon, R.C., Medenbach, O., Fischer, R.X. (2002) Refractive index and dispersion of flourides and oxides. Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data: 31: 931-970.
Alberico, A., Ferrando, S., Ivaldi, G., Ferraris, G. (2003) X-ray single-crystal structure refinement of an OH-rich topaz from Sulu UHP terrane (Eastern China) - Structural foundation of the correlation between cell parameters and fluorine content. European Journal of Mineralogy: 15: 875-881.
Komatsu, K., Kuribayashi, T., Kudoh, Y. (2003) Effect of temperature and pressure on the crystal structure of topaz, Al2SiO4(OH,F)2. Journal of Mineralogical and Petrological Sciences: 98: 167-180.
Komatsu, K., Kagi H., Okada, T., Kuribayashi, T., Parise, J.B., Kudoh, Y. (2005) Pressure dependence of the OH-stretching mode in F-rich natural topaz and topaz-OH. American Mineralogist: 90: 266-270.
Gatta, G.D., Nestola, F., Ballaran, T.B. (2006) Elastic behaviour and structural evolution of topaz at high pressure. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 33: 235-242.
Gatta, G.D., Nestola, F., Bromiley, G.D., Loose, A. (2006) New insight into crystal chemistry of topaz: A multi-methodological study. American Mineralogist: 91: 1839-1846.
Xue, X., Kanzaki, M., Fukui, H., Ito, E., Hashimoto, T. (2006) Cation order and hydrogen bonding of high-pressure phases in the Al2O3-SiO2-H2O system: An NMR and Raman study. American Mineralogist: 91: 850-861.
Komatsu, K., Kagi, H., Marshall, W.G., Kuribayashi, T., Parise, J.B., Kudoh, Y. (2008) Pressure dependence of the hydrogen-bond geometry in topaz-OD from neutron powder diffraction. American Mineralogist: 93: 217-227.
Kanzaki, M. (2010) Crystal structure of a new high-pressure polymorph of topaz-OH. American Mineralogist: 95: 1349-1352.
Xue, X., Kanzaki, M., Fukui, H. (2010) Unique crystal chemistry of two polymorphs of topaz-OH: A multi-nuclear NMR and Raman study. American Mineralogist: 95: 1276-1293.
Topaz - Perfect Cleavage (2011) Extra Lapis English: 14: 100p.
Ulian, G., Valdrè, G. (2017) Effects of fluorine content on the elastic behavior of topaz [Al2SiO4(F,OH)2]. American Mineralogist: 102: 347-356.

Internet Links for TopazHide

Localities for TopazHide

This 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.

Locality ListShow