The Egyptians believed that topaz was colored by the golden glow of the mighty sun god, Ra. This made topaz a very powerful amulet that protected the faithful against harm. The most sought after of all natural topaz is called "imperial topaz". Its rich golden color with reddish and orange overtones is generally not enhanced by any kind of treatment. The most important deposit was found in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The fine golden-yellow imperial topaz is relatively scarce.
Topaz shows pleochroism, the appearance of several colors in one and the same stone, depending on the viewing angle. Colored topaz usually gets a step- or scissor-cut. Due to its hardness (8 on the Mohs scale) imperial topaz is durable and qualifies for any kind of jewelry. Topaz is a very hard gemstone but it can be split with a single blow, a trait it shares with diamond. As a result it should be protected from hard knocks.