The name Topaz derived from the ancient Greek term "Topazios," meaning to "seek." According to the legend, it was an island in the Red Sea named "Topazios." This island was frequently in a fog. Therefore, the locals were always trying "to seek" it, from whence its name. Pliny the Elder claims that the ancients first discovered Topaz in the mines located on this island. However, the subsequent authors doubted this fact. Some of them declare that Pliny, in fact, described Chrysolite, which he mistakenly considered as Topaz.
Topaz first appeared in the Oriental sources, that describe it as the stone that adores the king's crowns. The first species of Topaz came to Europe from Brazil. Though, as mentioned above, its first deposits were discovered, presumably in the region of the Red Sea. The legend has it that one of Mauritanian King was the first who found Topaz on that island. The renown traveler Tavernier describes in one of his treatises a Topaz of 157 karats in weight, which he was lucky to see in the court of the Great Mogul.
Usually, Topaz is of yellow color. But it is frequently colorless. The most expensive variety of this gemstone possesses the color of a water drop. Yellow Topaz is widely spread in jewelry. But when heated, this gemstone acquires a rose-pink color, more known as "burnt" Topaz. Other inferior specimens that arrive from Brazil are usually of bluish-green, smoke-brown or delicate blue color, but sometimes it represents even a red color. The color of Topaz is stable. But there is a suspicion that the specimens of Russian origin fade on exposure to daylight.
Magical & Healing Properties
Topaz considered by the ancients as a remedy against fever and melancholy. According to the sources, its powder dissolved in a glass of wine might cure illness within 15 days. The influence of Topaz increases and decreases depending on the Moon phases. This gemstone calms the passions and prevents nightmares. Also rumored that Topaz helps in fighting with asthma and dyspnea. For these purposes, people drink the powder as a liqueur.
Of course, we don't need to take the Medieval methods of curing the diseases seriously. But you could meet these recipes in the books of 17th-19th centuries. Among them, there are the treatises of Albertus Magnus, Cardanus, and even Thomas Nicols.
Topaz also uses as Scorpio Birthstone. This gemstone is suitable for Chrysanthemum, a birth flower for November.