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Different colored topaz stones have been designated to represent the 4th, 19th and 23rd years of marriage. However, arguments exist as to what color goes with what year. It is known, however, that yellow topaz stands for a birthday in November, while blue topaz has December. In a further instance of marketing the stone, topaz of any color has been named to represent one's birth on a Friday.

The mystical, symbolic, and healing qualities of the topaz have adapted with each succeeding civilization probably according to their needs.

The Egyptians thought the topaz was a reflection of the sun god, Ra and that it would protect the faithful from harm, break spells, and inspire intelligence.

The Greeks were certain that the topaz imparted strength to the wearer and made him invisible to his enemies.

The Romans incorporated these two beliefs and added that it would improve the owner's eyesight.

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It was during the Middle Ages that the topaz hit its stride in so far as attributes are concerned. Thought to heal both mental and physical disorders, the topaz offered protection from the plague and dispelled feelings of sadness, anger, and fear. Somehow able to warn its wearer of poisons, the topaz stood in the way of sudden death and brought about patience. As if all this were not enough, the miraculous gem would make men handsome and intelligent while making women fertile and happy.

That last bit might sound a little skewed, but it just might be indicative of the times. During the Middle Ages, the odds were pretty good that a child wouldn't make it to adulthood. Large families were desirable both as a hedge against this and to provide labor so the family could meet its survival needs. That a woman would be fertile was looked as a plus. That she was happy would help ease the pain of infant and child mortality and to be somewhat satisfied with her lot in life. That her husband was good looking would certainly help ease a woman's drudgery and should be pleasing for her. That he was intelligent would mean that he was clever in finding ways to support the family. So pragmatism, not chauvinism, rears its head in the world of mysticism and symbolism of gemstones.

Of course it's up to the modern wearer which, if any, of the properties of the topaz he wishes to embrace. One might want to choose carefully, however. It is said that one could immerse his hand in boiling water after a topaz had been dropped into it, and then pull his hand out unscathed. History neglects to mention why one would want to do such a thing in the first place. Perhaps it's better to just enjoy the topaz for what it is; a beautiful stone that in its rainbow of offerings is versatile and which reflects taste and thoughtfulness on the part of the buyer and the wearer.

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