Topaz – Birthstone for November

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The topaz has more sweeping powers attributed to it than any other gem. Also, it is one of the hardest stones known. This family of gems comes in a number of lovely colors suitable for use in nearly every type of jewelry — and topaz is relatively inexpensive.

According to the ancients, the topaz cooled not only boiling water, but angry temper, too; it cured insanity, asthma, and insomnia; gave strength and best of all, averted sudden death. In Biblical times, the topaz was the symbol of uprightness, while more recently it has stood for loyalty and healing powers.

The most popular topaz is the tawny yellow variety, most of which comes from Brazil. Since at one time, all such yellow gemstones were known as topaz, the most valuable type is frequently called “precious topaz,” which has a pinkish overtone.

In recent years yellow topaz has been greatly in demand, as has been citrine, an attractive variety of quartz, considered an alternate birthstone for November.

Cos Altobelli is a third generation jeweler and president of Altobelli Jewelers in Burbank, previously located in North Hollywood for 60 years. His specialty is appraising for all functions and acting as an expert witness.

He holds a graduate degree from the Gemological Institute of America and the title of Certified Gemologist Appraiser from the American Gem Society, is the author of three appraisal books, and has appeared on “Prime Time Live” several times.

Mr. Altobelli can be reached at (818) 763-5151.

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All that Glitters

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