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Texas State Gemstone or Gem

Texas Blue Topaz

Texas Blue Topaz: Texas State Gemstone

Al2[F/OH2/SiO4]

Adopted on March 26, 1969.

Topaz, (Al2[F/OH2/SiO4],) is the Texas state gemstone as well as the birthstone for the month of November. The Texas blue topaz became the official state gem when Governor Preston Earnest Smith signed House Concurrent Resolution No. 12 on March 26, 1969.

Texas blue topaz is found in the Llano uplift area in Central Texas, especially west to northwest of Mason. It occurs naturally in many colors including blue, orange, brown, green, pink, beige and red. Colorless topaz, a common variation, can be treated by irradiation to produce a wide range of shades of blue. Thus treated, blue topaz is one of the most popular and widely used of all gemstones.

Texas Blue Topaz: Texas State Gemstone or Gem

Texas Blue Topaz: Texas State Gemstone

Blue topaz was adopted as the state gemstone as the result of legislation approved March 26, 1969. The same legislation also named petrified palmwood as the Texas state stone. It occurs naturally in many colors including blue, orange, brown, green, pink, beige and red. Colorless topaz, a common variation, can be treated by irradiation to produce a wide range of shades of blue. Naturally occurring blue topaz is quite rare. Typically, colorless, gray or pale yellow and blue material is heat treated and to produce a more desired darker blue.Thus treated, blue topaz is one of the most popular and widely used of all gemstones. Petrified palmwood can be found in many parts of the state, but is especially common in the East Texas Piney Woods region and along the Gulf Coast.

Topaz has fascinated human cultures for hundreds of years. It occurs in many colors, not just blue, and is used in jewelry because of its hardness and beauty. The intense blue color of this topaz specimen is probably natural. Today topaz is often irradiated to create artificial blue colors for jewelry. Many times it also has inclusions, or imperfections, inside the gem. Look closely at this specimen, and you'll see clear through to the other side. It is very rare to find a large topaz like this one so clear, and with natural blue color! Blue topaz is also found in Mason County.

This hard gem is an aluminum fluorisilicate and is next in hardness to carborundum and diamonds (two of the hardest natural minerals around). Until the 1950s, topaz was generally known as a yellow or golden gemstone. Since then, routine radiation and heat treatment of pale-colored topaz to turn it blue has changed the modern public's perception of this gem. Constructed of atoms of aluminum, silicon, fluorine, and oxygen, topaz usually is colorless to pale blue or yellow - although pink stones can be produced by heating the golden brown topaz from Ouro Preto, Brazil.

Thomas Range topaz obtained their color from natural radiation during their formation in vent pipes which trapped volatile gases in cavities within the host rhyolites. When unearthed they glow with a vibrant sherry color and with exposure to direct sunlight for awhile will generally turn clear. The sunlight (also UV radiation) reacts with the color centers in the topaz crystal structure displacing electrons which in turn change the color. However, some locations do produce topaz that fade to a beautiful pink color. Some topaz are "tougher" than others and do not have as weak a cleavage plane as the Thomas Range topaz which usually they cleave with a flat top. A favorite location for the mineral collectors and rockhounds is called "The Cove" on the southern end of the Thomas Range.

NOVEMBER Birthstone: Topaz

Texas Blue Topaz: Texas State Gemstone

Topaz, the birthstone for November and the -4th Anniversary Gem, has been prized for several thousands of years in antiquity. Topaz can come in a variety of colors, but the prized Imperial Topaz, adored by Russian Czars, is orange with pink undertones. Named for an island, Topazos, in the Red Sea where the Romans found the gem, it has come to symbolize consistency, faithfulness and friendship and is believed to have calming and curative powers. It is also said to prove loyalty in friends and associates by changing colors in the presence of poison. During the Middle Ages, topaz was used to cure mental illness and was thought to delay death.

Texas Blue Topaz: Texas State Gemstone

Wear topaz only if you wish to be clear-sighted: legend has it that it dispels all enchantment and helps to improve eyesight as well! The ancient Greeks believed that it had the power to increase strength and make its wearer invisible in times of emergency. Topaz was also said to change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink. Its mystical curative powers waxed and waned with the phases of the moon: it was said to cure insomnia, asthma, and hemorrhages.

Texas House Concurrent Resolution No. 12, 61st Legislature, Regular Session (1969)

STATE GEM AND STONE

House Concurrent Resolution No. 12

WHEREAS, The State of Texas has not officially designated a State gem or a State stone; and

WHEREAS, The Texas Gem and Mineral Society has adopted appropriate resolutions in support of designating the TEXAS BLUE TOPAZ as the official State gem and PETRIFIED PALMWOOD as the official State stone; and

WHEREAS, It is appropriate that the 61st Legislature take the necessary action whereby the TEXAS BLUE TOPAZ and PETRIFIED PALMWOOD may be officially named as the State gem and the State stone, respectively; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the State of Texas, the Senate concurring, That the recommendations of the Texas Gem and Mineral Society be and are hereby adopted, and that the TEXAS BLUE TOPAZ be and is hereby declared to be the official State gem and PETRIFIED PALMWOOD be and is hereby declared the official State stone of Texas.

Adopted by the House on March 19, 1969; adopted by the Senate on March 24, 1969.

Approved March 26, 1969.

Filed with the Secretary of State, March 26, 1969.

In 1977, the lone star cut was named the official state gemstone cut of Texas by House Concurrent Resolution No. 97.

Texas Law

Because the Texas blue topaz was adopted as the official gem of the State of Texas by House Concurrent Resolution, it is not listed in the Texas Statutes.

Only a few of Texas' myriad symbols were actually adopted by an act of the legislature and written into the Texas Statutes.

 

State Rocks,
Minerals, & Gems
US State Gemstone or Gems
State symbols represent things that are special to a particular state. Some of these symbols are the Gemstone, Minerals, Rocks. Of the 50 states, 19 have adopted a state gemstone and all have adopted some sort of earth symbol.
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