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The Thomas Range in Utah has long been popular with collectors as a source of fine topaz crystals of a natural light sherry color. Upon one to two weeks of exposure to strong sunlight, the sherry color will fade, leaving a colorless crystal. The fact that topaz from this locale fades probably accounts for the reason that the topaz is rarely cut into gemstones. Although there are a few private claims in this topaz region, much of the area is reserved for recreational collectors. The topaz crystals from the Thomas Range are formed in gas cavities in a grayish rhyolite rock. Usually the crystals form as single points. Occasionally, very attractive clusters of topaz, still attached to rhyolite, are obtained. The supply of fine Thomas Range specimens reaching the mineral specimen market is quite variable. I came across the above specimen at the 2002 Tucson gem and mineral shows. This photo doesn't do justice to the specimen. The terminations on the crystals are perfect. The sherry color is exactly as the specimen came from the ground. The above image fails to give a good sense of the three dimensional arrangement of the crystals. The color of these fine crystals will persist as long as the specimen is not exposed to strong and continuous light. This little specimen would be a fine addition to any mineral collection. (#M253, $140.00 Sold)

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