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What are "Killiecrankie Diamonds"?

Topaz occurs as prismatic crystals in cavities of igneous rocks such as rhyolite and granite. It is commonly found with tin, feldspar and quartz. Waterworn pebbles of topaz are found in alluvial deposits at Tanners Bay and Killiecrankie Bay on Flinders Island. They occur in a wide range of colours, those found on Flinders Island being clear (white), ice-blue and pink-gold. They are brittle, have a specific gravity of 3.5-3.6, are transparent to subtranslucent and have a perfect basal cleavage. Topaz are 8 on Moh’s scale of hardness. In comparison with quartz they are heavier, harder, smoother and colder to touch.

A stone which is faceting quality must have a section which is transparent with no fractures, bubbles or inclusions. You loose approximately 2/3 to 3/4 of an average stone in cutting.

A collector’s specimen generally has one or more of the following: crystal shape, large size, colour, inclusions, fractures or bubbles. They are not usually as valuable as faceting quality stones. However large perfect stones and perfect or near perfect crystals could be more valuable.

Topaz is the birthstone for November and the gem for the 16 wedding anniversary. Old legends have given topaz the power to protect the wearer from illness and accidents. (I don’t believe this as I was wearing a pair of topaz ear studs the day I fell off a pushbike and broke my leg).

CLEANING - I clean my topaz jewellery regularly with commercial jewellery cleaner (follow the instructions) or ask your jeweller what is best to use. I suggest that you get a jeweller to clean all your jewellery and check the claws on a regular basis so that you don’t loose the stones as the claws can get worn.