The name topaz comes from the Sanskrit and means "fire" as reflected in the warm tones of topaz. Red and pink topaz gems were used in the jewelry of the 18th and 19th Century Russian Czarinas and is why topaz is sometimes called "Imperial Topaz".

Topaz may be found in a wide range of colors including red, orange, peach, pink, gold, yellow, brown and clear. Naturally pale to medium blue topaz is enhanced by irradiation to produce a more intense blue color.

Topaz is found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Russia.