Topaz is a stone of many colors. Bright Blue Topaz currently enjoys commercial popularity, but the stone naturally appears in white, blue, green, yellow orange, red, pink, purple, and brown tones.

Topaz is the birthstone of November. Precious topaz refers to the rarest of Topaz colors - Imperial Topaz (reddish-orange, or pink), and Sherry Topaz (brownish yellow or orange). Imperial Topaz derives its name from its association with the royal family of Russia, and was primarily mined in the Ural Mountains. Topaz can be found throughout the world in pockets of igneous rock, most notably in Utah and Brazil.

The origins of the word Topaz are disputed; some say it comes from the Greek word topazos, and was named for the obscure island in the Red Sea where it was mined. Others attribute its origin to the Sanskrit word tapas, meaning heat or fire.