Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sixteen Years of More or Less Steady Work. Sometimes Less.

March 1996

(I know I said we would cook something up with my next post but I've been reminiscing. Food to come, promise.)

Sixteen years ago this month we moved into our house. We had experienced one set back after another in our search for a house and so by the time we looked at this one, Big 'Un and I were hesitant to admit to each  other how much we liked it. When we came up the stairs from the first floor and I turned around and saw the stairs to the third floor, complete with what we now call our mezzanine, my eyes were literally dazzled. I swear the air sparkled for me. But I held back and didn't start planning furniture placement. Nor did my husband begin planning his man-cave in the garage basement. We just didn't want to give in to loving it too quickly only to have to deal with another disappointment.

Even when our offer was accepted without a count-offer, we still held our breath. Sure enough, questions about a lien came up on the title search and we braced for heartbreak. I remember standing in the kitchen of my little house where we lived after getting married, telling my husband that I was moving on March 8th no matter what and there had better be a house in our name somewhere. As if that would clear the title. But March 7th rolled around and we found ourselves at the bank, signing on the dotted line. The widow we bought the house from told us that that day, March 7th, was three years to the day since her husband had passed away. I didn't tell her, since she didn't recognize me, but I had actually cared for her husband during one of his hospitalizations. That had been about a year before Big 'Un and I got married.

Anyway, I've written before about working on our old farmhouse (here, here, and here for a few instances). It's the house flip that never ends. The never-ending flip. The flip from hell. The flippin' flippity flip flip flip. But I disgress...

It was colder than snot on moving day- minus 8 degrees farenheit (-22 celsius for my metric butterflies) but sunny and clear and crispy. We had gotten snow the couple of days before so we had big dropcloths around to protect the carpet from tracked in snow as we dragged in furniture and boxes. What a joke- that was the last time we put down dropcloths to protect the carpet. Once we started in working on the house and really assessed the state of the floor coverings, the carpet became just one big dropcloth while we worked on other things. But anyway, we had lots of folks to help out on our moving day. We rented a truck but don't know why because my father-in-law brought his stock trailer. He had gone out the day before, in the bitter bitter cold, and sprayed out and scrubbed down his stock trailer to use for our move. What a guy. Sorry U-Haul but Pappy wins for any future moves.

Our moms spent the afternoon putting together the bed, even managing to find sheets, so we had an actual bed to sleep in that first night instead of the sleeping bags we were planning to use. Isn't that just like a couple of moms? They're great.

So we've been working on this very old house for 16 years. The house still had the nozzles in some of the walls for the original gas lights and we later discovered, during some walling tearing out projects, that the old tube and stop wiring was still in place from when the the house was first wired for electric (our re-wiring was the third). We used to say that we wanted to bring it into the current century before it was over but Y2K came and went and we're still pecking away at it. We did have about a three year lull when Zippy came along- it was just so much more fun to play with her than rip out plaster. She has, however, been able to finish dry wall since she was four years old. Now we're down to a very manageable punch list. We have odds and ends things, generally minor though I do have one room that I would like to re-paint. But overall the really big projects like replacing windows, re-wiring, new heater, new roof, moving walls, and so forth are done. And we re-did bathrooms.  There was one full bath and two half baths in the house when we moved in and now we have two full baths and a half bath. Each one was its own adventure.

This is the bath on the third floor, which is now The Master Floor. Sink and toilet, plastic faux-marble wall paneling with striped wall paper and some very groovy but gross blue carpet. Wouldn't you have re-done this room ASAP? We did, though ASAP turned out to be a couple of years  and one baby later, and now it's been re-done a second time since then. And that, my butterfly friends, is the story for next time.

Thanks for peaking in on me and I'll be back in a couple days to show you how this bathroom came out.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Butterfly Togs

Image via Design Squared

I'm sure that most of us have seen Luly Yang's exquisite bias-cut, silk and Swarovski crystal monarch dress. Kind of makes my head spin a bit. I've seen $25,000 as the price, so most likely it won't be my Easter dress this year. But are there other butterfly dress options? I am so glad you asked! Let's wander, shall we ...

Love this dress. And look how the sash on the girl's dress is a butterfly.
Image via Sangmaestro

Batik shirt. Image via Earth Harmony

Dresses by Vivienne Tam.
I can see this in an affordable cotton so I could get one and lounge around the beach.
Image via Wondermomo+Whoop!

Oh you bet my Zippy would have had one of these.
Less than $30- Easter dress for little one?
Image via Dennis Designs.

Oh Leslie Ann Warren, you made me cry as Cinderella when I was little and now
you have this way cool 1970's dress. Sigh.
Image via Super Seventies

1955 "Butterfly Dress".
Smoke gray silk chiffon; 25 yards of pale gray silk satin; aubergine, lavender,
and oyster white tulle. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

alexander mcqueen 2 Alexander McQueens butterfly print gown gives you wings
Alexander McQueen Butterfly Print Gown. Fashion Police.

French Postcard. Image via The Last Door...Down The Hall.

Knitting Patterns By Melissa

And there it is- my Easter dress choice.
Silk Cheongsam. Efushop

And after we've fluttered around town all day in our butterfly togs, we'll put on our butterfly bathrobe ...

... and go to bed.

Barcelona, Spain. TravelPod

... or to bed...

Mod Green Pod

... or to bed.

On Home Design

Good night.

Cody and Company Pets, on etsy

(Hey, check back in again. Next time we're going to cook!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sunny Yellow- Must Be Spring

OK, I'm doing it again: starting another series of exploration. This time? Color!! And obviously we're starting with the color yellow. (No, I didn't forget December's birthstone, last in that series. How could I?) Yellow is one of my top three favorite colors, tied for first with pink and orange. Anyway, before we splash around in yellow, let's take a very brief peek at the study of color.

The visible light spectrum ranges from short-wavelength violet to long-wavelength red. Photons of light from the violet end of the spectrum have the highest energies and the highest frequencies, while red photons have lower energies and lower frequencies. Beyond the range of our vision are the longer wavelengths ("beyond red") of infrared, radio, TV, and microwave as well as the shorter wavelengths ("before violet") of ultraviolet, x-ray, and gamma rays. 
Credit: Artwork by Randy Russell. Image via Windows2Universe

We actually see only a tiny fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Image via NASA

Color psychology is concerned with how color impacts our mood, behavior, and feelings. Seeing red, got the blues, green with envy, yellow bellied...  The influences of color were first documented during the Middle Ages and explain the  frequent use of blues, greens, and violets in chapel stained glass to create a peaceful and contemplative setting. Creative types have known for centuries that color can impact and convey feelings, signal action or lack of action, and create psychological moods. Color can change your metabolism or influence your blood pressure, even make you feel hungry. This effect is called chromodynamics. I have an artsy-fartsy professor friend who likes to crack on people who determine whether or not a painting is "good" by its color. "It matches my couch", he quips sarcastically. While I would never say that color alone determines the artistic merit of a painting, I do believe that our personal response, particularly our initial response, to artwork can be very much impacted by our own color preferences and prejudices.  I am more likely to be drawn across the room by very clear, bright, colorful pastels....

Image via Pelfusion

... than by muted, earthy teals, browns, and gray-blue colors.

Image via Times Union

Color perception and preference is generally personal and subjective but also has, at times, universal meanings. Warm colors- reds, oranges, yellows- can elicit feelings of comfort and warmth as well as signify anger or danger. Cool colors- blues, greens, purples- can be calming but may also indicate sadness or indifference. Our responses to colors can be cultural as well. White, in Western societies, signifies purity while in Eastern cultures it is associated with mourning. Color can even be associated with cultural and economic trends. Silver has long been the most popular color for vehicles and has traditionally been associated with prosperity. However, around 2008, the popularity of silver vehicles began to wan as more and more people felt the impact of the economic downturn here in the US. White is now the number one auto color but brown is making a strong push ahead. Traditionally an unpopular color associated with earth, mud, and dirt, the explosion of Starbucks and the coffee shop culture has given brown a jolt, so to speak. There are fascinating studies out there with findings that explain thing like why not only restaurants are often heavy on the red decor (stimulates appetite) but casinos as well (gamblers make riskier bets while seated under red lights than say blue lights- hence all the red neon in Vegas).

Image via Time Out

So every now and then, here in the jungle, we'll explore a color, it's uses and impacts, and any other interesting tid-bits I can dig up for you. Though I have long been interested in color theory and how color can affect us, I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination (no matter how colorful your imagination may be). Some areas of color therapy such as colorpuncuture, color-energy vibration and balancing, and so forth, can get to be "more alternative" than I generally ascribe to (I'm just not a chakra kind of gal) but I do find validity in light therapy for seasonal affective disorder and in photobiology. Anyway, we'll take a broad general look at color and see what we can discover. Which bring us back to yellow .....

Image by brendan c via Flickr

The color yellow is most readily associated with cheerfulness, sunlight, happiness, laughter, and warmth. It's a good color to kick off our color journey as spring begins. It has been shown to increase metabolism, stimulate mental processes and the nervous system, activate memory, and encourage communication. A person surrounded by yellow feels more optimistic since it stimulates the release of serotonin, the "feel good" chemical, in the brain. It increases creative thoughts, which is why legal tablets are yellow, and golden yellows enhance feelings of a positive future (again, thanks to serotonin). It is associated with confidence, self-esteem, extroversion, emotional strength, intellect, and friendliness. Interestingly, studies have shown that stores painted in yellow experience less problems with theft.

In advertising, yellow is often used to highlight the scrumptiousness of buttery foods and is associated with rejuvenation, such as rejuvenating beauty products. It is often used to provoke thoughts of a happy cheerful childhood and so is used a great deal in making and marketing children's toys and other items. Men, however, tend to view yellow as cheap and so you rarely see a yellow Mercedes or business suit, though one never knows.

Sorry, Coach Hugs, but I had no choice. Image via ESPN

Yellow is the first color noticed by the human eye and so is used for things like taxi cabs, warning signs, school buses, traffic signals, and hazard warnings. Though for years yellow ribbons have been associated with hope as we wait for our loved ones to come home from deployment, it has been used at times in medical settings to indicate quarantine. The yellowjack is a flag flown by ships at sea to indicate they are under quarantine. The isolation gowns and signs at the hospital where I work are yellow. It is often associated with cowardice (yellow-bellied), decay, lack of cleanliness, illness (think jaundice), and aggressiveness. Dull shades of yellow are thought to increase fear and anxiety. In its more intense hues, yellow has the opposite effect than traditionally thought. Yellow, particularly at the more vibrant end of the spectrum, can be very fatiguing to the eye and over-stimulating to the brain. It can lead to frustration and anger. Studies have shown that people lose their temper more in intensely colored yellow rooms and that babies cry more in intensely yellow rooms. In light of that, I'm not sure why the pediatric floors where I work are painted the most garish, eye-shaking yellow you have ever seen in your life.  

Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Yellow around the globe (from Sensational Color)

The Chinese have placed a predominance upon the color yellow not seen elsewhere in the world. It was the color of emperors during both the Ming dynasty and the Qing dynasty. Know why 75% of the pencils sold in the US are yellow?  During the 1800s, the best graphite in the world came from China. American pencil makers wanted a special way to tell people that their pencils contained Chinese graphite. In China, the color yellow is associated with royalty and respect. American pencil manufacturers began painting their pencils bright yellow to communicate this 'regal' feeling and association with China. In Thailand, yellow is the color identified with King Bhumipol Adulyadej.

In India, yellow is the color of the Vaisya caste, or farmers, and is the color Hindus wear to celebrate the Festival of Spring. During the tenth century in France, the doors of traitors and criminals were painted yellow. During the 1357 Japanese "War of Dynasty," warriors wore a yellow chrysanthemum as a pledge of courage. In Aztec culture, yellow symbolized food because it was the color of corn, the primary food of the Aztec people. Yellow signifies “sadness” in Greece’s culture and “jealousy” in France’s culture.

If yellow is your favorite color you are mentally adventurous, searching for novelty and self-fulfillment. Yellow usually goes with a sunny and shrewd personality, with a good business head and a strong sense of humor. It is the color of intellectuality and all things to do with the mind. Yellow folks are usually clear and precise thinkers who have a good opinion of their own mental capacities and have lofty ideals. They may at times tend to shun responsibility, preferring freedom of thought and action and are impulsive at times. Yellow lovers are said to be creative,  artistic, and sociable people with a dramatic imagination. You tend to hide your emotions, putting on a brave face in times of adversity.

So there it is, my dear butterfly friends, our first color investigation. As I mentioned, we will still look at our last birthstone, December, very soon. The color posts will be sporadic, as mood moves me, but I do have plans for another birthday-related series. So stay tuned and we'll forge ahead to new discoveries!

Thanks for visiting today. Hope your spring is full of sunny yellow fun!

Yellow coster butterfly.
Please let me know if I can credit you with the photo.
It might be my next tattoo.

Monday, March 5, 2012

November's Topaz

Imperial Topaz - $29,000
Image via MS Rau Antiques

I realize that my blog hiatus interrupted the Birthstone parade and so I will catch up as I can without waiting until November and December. This will give you November and December babies time to plan ahead and drop plenty of hints!

Natural topaz color range
Museum of Natral History, Smithsonian Institute

Image via Between a Rock and a Hearty Place

Until recently, topaz shared its name with almost any yellowish stone. It was (and still is) often confused with citrine and for that reason the more saturated yellow and orange stones were called "precious topaz". We now know that topaz comes in a range of colors, from colorless to yellow to brown to pink and blue. The rich yellows to medium orange-peachy colors are still considered "precious topaz". The colorless and pale blue stones are the most commonly found natural topaz with the yellows, pinks, and the reddish topaz stones being much more rare. These more saturated stones are mined almost exclusively in Brazil. So let's delve into the world of topaz.

Image via Opal Auctions

 Al2SiO4(F,OH)2 : aluminum, silicon, oxygen, flourine, hydrogen. That's our gal- Aluminum fluosilicate. In other words, a silicate mineral (think silicon = sand) with the elements aluminum and flourine. So simple, right? Oh I wish. Topaz forms from either a metamorphic process in which the original rock is subjected to high temperatures and pressure, thus changing the very physical or chemical make up of the rock, or by an igneous process. Igneous rocks are formed by the solidification of magma. Our topaz is generally associated with silica-rich magma that crystallizes in granite pegmatites. Pegmatites are intrusive rocks, usually granite, that cool late in the solidification process and generally have large crystals. That means there are some big honkin' topaz out there, with crystals/boulders ranging up to a few hundred pounds. In other words, topaz forms from the flourine bearing-vapors and magma during the last stages of solidification. So they are found not only in the intrusive pegmatites but also alluvial planes around old volcanic sites. Topaz is not smoky quartz. Confused? I'm sorry but I just love this natural history stuff. OK- let's move on before I loose ya.

The American Golden Topaz, an example of a big honkin' topaz.
Image via Epic Swag
House in the Natural History Museum at the Smithsonian.

Yellow topaz is traditionally the birthstone for November while blue topaz is the stone for December. Topaz is most commonly an amber color. As mentioned, however, topaz can be found in a variety of colors depending upon various trace elements within the stone. For the sake of interest and variety, we will consider topaz in all of its hues in this post and for December we will look at its alternative birthstone, turquoise. But again, we won't wait until December for turquoise. If you weren't born in either of those months, topaz is also the stone for the 9th and 14th wedding anniversaries. If you are single- hell sister, just go get you one.

Image via Gemology Online

Topaz gets its name from the Topazos Island (or Zabargad, Zebirget, Topazios) in the Red Sea off of Egypt, the old names for St John's Island, where it was believed to have been first mined. Or it may come from the Arabic word meaning "to seek" as the island was often shrouded in fog and difficult to find. But then there is the Sanskrit word tapas meaning heat or fire. At any rate, it is interesting that this particular island is not volcanic, as one would suspect for a gemstone formed of cooled magma, but rather is uplifted mantle. The stones found here were most likely citrine, periodite, chrysolite, or some other stone. Today, Brazil is the largest topaz mining location in the world, with some stones reaching boulder size and weighing several hundred pounds. Topaz is also mined in Australia, Namibia, Nigeria, Russia, Pakistan, Brazil, and the U.S.A. (California, New Hampshire, Utah).

Image via Gemwise (moved to RW Wise)

During the eighteenth century more than half of the world's supply of gold was removed from the hillsides surrounding the Brazilian town of Oro Preto. These same hills hold almost the entire world's known commercial reserves of Imperial and Precious topaz. Topaz is generally mined by open pit mining. The mining of topaz is strongly associated with tin mining, a mineral needed to create bronze (an alloy of copper and tin) and it is almost certain that the people in the middle-eastern bronze age would have known about this gemstone.

Image via From Earth To Art

White topaz. Image via Emily Gems

Let's talk about some of our topaz colors. Pure topaz is actually colorless and is the most common type, found in China, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Nigeria and India. It is sometimes called white topaz but it is colorless. Perhaps the most famous topaz is the Braganza topaz, a huge colorless topaz originally thought to be a diamond  and said to have been set in the Portuguese crown. Or not. Much debate has raged about the "Braganza Diamond" since its discovery in 1797. At 1680 carats, it would have been by far the largest rough diamond in the world. The debate still rages on. I would love love love to share a photo of this but cannot. You see, it appears that the 1680 topaz has been misplaced. I know, right? I know where my puny little rocks are at all times of the day so how one misplaces such a behemoth is puzzling. It has to do with Napoleon and deposed Portuguese rulers and escapes to Brazil, all of which you can read about in detail at Internet Stones. It actually is interesting, especially if you're a history freak (a-hem).

Circa 1830 Georgian pink topaz earring- $13,750
Image via The Three Graces

Pink topaz occurs naturally in Pakistan and Russia, and is occasionally found in other locations. Pink topaz is usually pale pink; anything that is described as "hot pink" or "bright pink" is artificially treated or heated to produce the enhanced color. Heating some shades of pink topaz will remove the orange color and will leave a lavender colored gem. (Source The Many Beautiful Colors of Topaz). Natural pink topaz are very rare indeed and quite costly. Most pink topaz on the market have been treated. I personally don't care because pink is pink, but if you want to remain natural, it's gonna cost ya.

Blue Topaz
Image via Gem Society

Blue topaz generally starts as a very pale blue gem and is treated to enhance its color. This treatment involves irradiating the stone first and then heating it to stabilize the color. An electron bombardment in a linear accelerator produces a sweet blue called Sky blue. Neutron bombardment in a nuclear reactor produces the dark dusky color called London blue. A combination of both processes gives us the nicely saturated Swiss blue. Neutron bombardment leaves the stone somewhat radioactive and the stones must be held for a year or so to allow them to "cool." Almost all blue topaz on the market, especially the richer colors, have been treated and there is no way at this time to determine whether or not a stone has been treated. Blue topaz is generally modestly priced. Blue topaz, as mentioned, is the birthstone of December (along with turquoise) as well as the state stone of Texas and Utah.

Image via Gram Faceting

Ah, the Imperial topaz. The rarest and therefore the most valuable, of topaz, Imperial topaz is marked by its distinctive orange, pink, peachy, champagne colors. Mined primarily at the Ouro Preto mines of Minas Gerais, Brazil deposits are also located in the Ural Mountains of Russia and in Pakistan. When first mined in Russia, only the Imperial family was allowed to own them, hence the name. True Imperial topaz is never treated and any topaz with these colors cannot be called Imperial if it has been treated. Because of its resemblance to the Padparadscha Sapphire (my very number one favorite gem), this is naturally my favorite topaz. Imperial topaz is the anniversary topaz for the 23rd wedding anniversary. Hmmm- 6 more years to go.

Image via One Vibration

Mystic topaz is a colorless stone that has a very thin layer, only microns thick, layer of titanium applied to the pavilion, or underside, of the gemstone. The reflective nature of the coating causes light to reflect through the gemstone prisms, creating the rainbow effects. Mystic topaz is not considered a man-made stone but neither is it a natural stone. It is enhanced. Production of mystic topaz is strictly limited by the patents of the company, ACT, Inc that invented the process. While topaz is very hard, the titanium coating is very thin and can be easily scratched. I don't generally care for mystic topaz; it looks way too fake, like something you would get from a vending machine. Wow- that's the strongest negative opinion I've given about a gemstone. Oh well, someone has to be last!

Carved topaz.
Image via Skullis

So what about the mystery and mystique of topaz? Our stone has been known and documented for over 2000 years. Ancient Egyptians associated the topaz with the color of the sun god Ra and they also wore it as an amulet to protect them from injury. The Greeks associated the topaz with their sun being, Apollo.

The powdered stone was put in wine and used as a cure for asthma, insomnia, burns and hemorrhage. It was regarded as the stone of fruitfulness and faithfulness and one that conferred cheerfulness on the wearer. It was supposed to calm passions and prevent bad dreams. The topaz was believed to warn of poison by changing color. It was said instantly quench the heat of boiling water; you could immerse your hand, supposedly, in boiling water after a topaz was thrown in and you would suffer no burns. All these magical powers were supposed to increase or decrease with changes of the moon. During the Middle Ages, topaz was thought to heal mental disorders and prevent death. The Greeks believed it had power to increase strength and to make its wearer invisible while the Romans believed it had power to improve eyesight, cure insomnia and respiratory ailments. It was also believed to be an effective talisman against accident and fire, and to bring increased intuition and long life. To Christians, it was known as a symbol of uprightness and virtue and was the the stone that represented the apostle Matthew. In ancient times, a figure of a falcon carved on a topaz was thought to help earn the goodwill of kings, princes and magnates. Ancient people believed that topaz stones can easily attract love and devotion and was also considered as the stone that honed the creative juices of the wearer. The Hindus believe that worn as a pendant, this gemstone will relieve thirst, sharpen intelligence and lengthen ones life. In 1255, St Hildegard of Bingen, the famous mystic, offered a simple remedy for failing eyesight: steep a topaz in wine for three days and then lightly rub it over the eyes. Topaz has been said to be an ideal stone for travelers, protecting them from homesickness and danger. Ancient Romans credited topaz with preventing sickness of the chest and abdominal pain. Set in gold and worn around the neck, topaz is reputed to dispel bad omens, heal poor vision and calm anger.

Today, people who believe in the healing powers of stones believe that topaz stimulates the endocrine system and assists in general tissue regeneration. It is also said to increase poor appetite and help fight blood disorders. It is supposed to release tension and give feelings of joy. Topaz is known as a spiritual rejuvenation gemstone. It has been said that dreaming of topaz may indicate that good fortune is on its way. These dreams can also suggest love affairs.

High magnification of topaz. The thin striations are the cleavage planes.
Image via Gemology Online

Topaz is a relatively hard stone (Mohs 8) which makes it good for use in jewelry. However, because of the internal structure of the topaz crystals, topaz has what is called perfect cleavage. Cleavage describes how a stone breaks apart when subjected to stress. If it leaves a smooth edge, it has cleavage. If the stone breaks apart without any crystallized fragments, it does not have cleavage. Minerals with perfect cleavage will cleave without leaving any rough surfaces; a full, smooth plane is formed where the crystal broke. Topaz has what is called basal cleavage, meaning that it will break perpendicular to the mineral axis of its internal structure. It cleaves easily in one direction. Mica is another example of perfect cleavage.

Image via Smart Minerals

So, did you catch that- "easily fractures". One good whack can split your stone in half, just like a diamond. Look for settings that will protect the stone. Of course you do not want to wear your topaz, or any other good gems, while spelunking, gardening, operating a jack hammer, de-greasing your car engine, playing football, bleaching the laundry, building a campfire, mountain biking...... you get it, right? Avoid sudden changes in temperature and store your topaz out of the light since sunlight can cause it to fade. Also avoid even moderate heat. Remember that heat-treating yellow topaz at even moderate tempatures will turn it pink (not so bad in my pink-loving estimation but you know what I mean). Clean your topaz in a mild dish detergent. Never use a steamer or ultra-sonic cleaner as topaz often has liquid inclusions which may explode in these types of cleaners. Store topaz in its own padded box, jewelry box compartment, or wrapped in a soft cloth. Store out of sunlight. When wearing your topaz, put it on last, after your have applied any and all lotion, hairspray, perfume, or make-up. Take it off first. You know- last on, first off.

Ouch! This topaz broke with only moderate pressure to a cleavage.
Image via The Ganoskin Project

The best stones tend to be priced at about 500 US dollars (USD) per carat. Stones larger than 2-3 carats have a larger per carat price. Imperial topaz stones of best quality may cost considerably more, and may run as much as 1000 USD per carat.

So- ready to roll with topaz? Let's go window shopping...

Pink topaz parure (matching jewel set).
Image via Marie Poutine's Jewels & Royals

Antique Czech Topaz bracelet with enamal- $5,551.00
Image via Jenrah's Accessories

20.5 carat Swiss blue topaz ring.
Image via Ashprye's Jewelry

Left- the Lindsey uncut topaz 32 kg/70.4 lbs, Center- American Golden Topaz, Right- Freeman uncut topaz, 50kg/110 lbs.
All three are at the Natural History Museum- Smithsonian Institute. Image via Internet Stones Blog.

Yellow topaz and diamond brooch. Image via Fine Jewelry

Colorless topaz. Image via Minfind

Natural light blue topaz. 48.5 carats. Image via Yenzshop

Isn't that a sexy color? Image via atoztheusa

Here we go ...

Topaz butterfly brooch. Created by Buzz Gray and Bernadine Johnson.
Part of the Butterfly Brooch Collection at the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Citrine and topaz brooch. Image via icollector

OK, so there you go. I must say that topaz never caught my eye much. It seemed so... tan.  But now I think I have a better appreciation for November's birthsone. I mean, after all, it comes in pink!

Thanks for taking a look today and please flutter on by again.