Famous Birthstones: November’s American Golden Topaz

Are you celebrating a November birthday? Then you’re in luck, because the topaz birthstone has a rich, storied history. Over the centuries, it has been thought to provide strength, break magic spells, dispel anger, and even to assure long life and intelligence.

If any of the folklore behind topaz were true, then the American Golden would almost certainly be the stone to exude those powers. With its light yellow color, we’re featuring a November birthstone with, some say, a Midas touch.

Embrace the yellow hue of the American Golden, a topaz.

American Golden Topaz

Do you call yourself a fan of topaz? It boasts a wide color range including yellow, orange, brown, blue, green, red, pink, and purple, even colorless, and it’s easy to see why topaz would appeal to many gemstone lovers – especially those celebrating a November birthday.

Take a look at the American Golden, one of the largest cut yellow topazes in the world. It weighs an astounding 22,892.50 carats.


The 22,892.50 ct American Golden topaz is one of the world’s largest faceted gems. Did you know topaz is abundant in large crystal sizes? Gem quality stones have no visible inclusions. Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution.

The American Golden was mined in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Given that the American Golden’s color is generally underprized when compared to the medium reddish orange to orangy red hue marketed as imperial topaz, it was great news that this large crystal was not cut into many smaller stones.

The American Golden weighed 26 lb (11.8 kg) in its rough form. In the late 1980s, Washington state gem cutter Leon Agee fashioned the gemstone to its current weight of 10.1 lb (4.6 kg) or 22,892.50 ct, a process that took two years to complete. The American Golden topaz has 172 facets. Imprints of albite crystals (a feldspar mineral) on the back of the gem from when the topaz crystal formed are visible through the faceted gem.

It is currently a part of a collection at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, in Washington, D.C.

Scholars trace the origins of the word ‘topaz’ to ancient Sanskrit where “topas” or “ tapaz” means “fire.” If you love topaz, here are a few other notable pieces worth looking into: The Brazilian Princess, 21,327 ct; a yellow topaz faceted sphere, 12,555 ct; two very large topaz crystals, 70 lb (31.8 kg) and 111 lb (50.4 kg); Eldorado Imperial Topaz, 31,000 ct; and Lua de Maraba Topaz, 25,250 ct.

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