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Two of the World's Largest Faceted Gemstones

It's no surprise that faceted topaz can be found in extraordinary sizes. Very transparent, gem-quality material is often mined out of the ground and sent to the jewelry industry for use in large, center-stone cuts. Free-form designers typically choose topaz for their base material when creating gem sculptures due to its availability in high carat weights.

Here we'll take a quick look at two of the biggest topaz stones on the planet. The El-Dorado Topaz is the larger of the pair, and weighs in at about 31,000 carats. It was discovered in the mining regions of Minas Gerais, Brazil back in 1984, and has remained one of the largest faceted gemstones on record. Before it was cut, the rough material actually weighed over 81 lbs. Cutters had to reduce its weight during the polishing process in order to remove low-quality portions that would have detracted from the crystal's beauty.

Next up, we have the American Golden Topaz (featured photo), which weighs in at over 22,800 carats. It took a total of two entire years to facet and polish from a gigantic 26 lbs. rough specimen. Its beautiful hue has been described to resemble golden honey by viewers at its current home- the Museum of Natural History in Washington (D.C.). To our knowledge, just like the El Dorado Topaz, the American Golden Topaz was also unearthed from the Minas Gerais Region of Brazil, which is famous for its high concentration of precious gemstones like aquamarine, tourmaline, topaz and others.

Topaz can be found in many colors, typically slight brownish or yellowish hues and grayed tones. These are commonly used as base material for the color-enhancing treatments that produce london blue and swiss blue topaz, the stones that resemble santa maria aquamarine specimens on today's markets. Gem collectors will tell you though, that the finest naturally colored topaz specimens will be bright red or orangey red. Strongly colored orange to red topaz is frequently labeled as imperial topaz.
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