Excerpt: ...appear reasonable that such was the case. He was next shown that his small true topazes scratched his large stones easily, but the large ones could get no hold upon the surfaces of the small ones. (It will be remembered that topaz has a hardness of 8, while quartz has a hardness of 7.) The explanation then followed that the two lots ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...appear reasonable that such was the case. He was next shown that his small true topazes scratched his large stones easily, but the large ones could get no hold upon the surfaces of the small ones. (It will be remembered that topaz has a hardness of 8, while quartz has a hardness of 7.) The explanation then followed that the two lots were from two entirely distinct minerals, topaz and quartz, and that the former was harder, took a somewhat better polish, and was more rare (in fine colors) than quartz. Of course the yellow quartz should be sold under the proper name, citrine quartz. (From 162 the same root that we have in "citrus" as applied to fruits. For example the "California Citrus Fruit Growers' Association," which sells oranges, lemons, grape fruit, etc. The color implication is obvious.) If the jeweler still wishes to use the term "topaz" because of the familiarity of the public with that name, then he should at least qualify it in some way. One name that is current for that purpose is "Spanish topaz," another is "Quartz-topaz." Perhaps the latter is the least objectionable of the names that include the word topaz. Some of the wine yellow true topazes lose the yellow, but retain the pink component, on being gently heated. The resulting pink stone is rather pretty and usually commands a higher price than the yellow topazes. Such artificially altered topazes should be sold only for what they are, and probably the name "pinked topaz," implying, as it does, that something has been done to the stone, is as good a name as any. There is, however, little 163 chance of fraud in this connection, as natural pink topazes are not seen in the trade, being very rare. Some bluish-green topaz is said to be sold as aquamarine, and this confusion of species and of names should, of course, be stopped by an actual determination of the material as to its properties. Lacking a refractometer, the widely differing specific gravities of the two minerals would easily...Read Less
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