This article is about raising concerns of Imperial Topaz from a recent trip to Brazil. On my last trip to Brazil I visited the Ouro Preto region which is famous for having most of the world’s supply of Imperial Topaz. This is the only region of the world that produces Imperial Topaz. I visited the main commercial mine Capao and inspected their mining and production.
In the main town there are many runners selling parcels of Imperial Topaz.
The dealers/miners in town are concerned that the market is being flooded with treated Topaz, however it is being sold as Imperial Topaz and in effect damaging their reputation.
In my adventures, I found a museum in town which had a outstanding collection of large clean Imperial Topaz worth thousands per carat.
There are many large clean stones being sold on the internet cheaply, if they were genuine you could take them to the mining town and sell them for thousands!
The general feeling is that these are irradiated stones which will fade when exposed to sunlight.
It is not generally known but most gem testing centers cannot test for irradiation, so they give you give a certificate saying its a natural topaz (which it is), but as they can not confirm the treatment they wont declare it as such.
There was a scare with treated blue topaz years ago which were radioactive.
So if you see a large Imperial topaz being offered suggest to the seller to donate it to a museum.!
Imperial Topaz is formed in long cylindrical crystal shapes and nearly always has inclusions so most Imperial topaz is shaped long and skinny and is very rare to get large and clean .
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