A timeless, classic gem with a high refractive index and an enduring hardness, Topaz spans in hue from clear to brown to yellow to orange and even extends its range to pinks and blues—albeit rare, the latter. The most valuable variety is Imperial Topaz, a warm golden yellow gemstone mostly mined in Brazil. Other shades of Topaz are mined around the world, from Afghanistan to Australia, Madagascar to Mexico. Topaz likes to go big: there are specimens of a thousand carats on display at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. But Topaz’s real value lies in its rich history. The ancient Egyptians believed that this gem was infused with the golden glow of the sun god Ra, and therefore bestowed supernatural power. Topaz was thought to have mystical curative powers and to be aligned with the planet Venus astrologically. Along with Citrine, Topaz is the birthstone of November.