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amlogo1a1a1 M304

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. In May of 2002, and again in 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Topaz Mountain. While there I collected a few fine little topaz specimens, and obatained many more from a local miner and claim holder. The beautiful topaz crystal cluster shown above was obtained on that trip. The sherry color of this crystals will persist as long as the specimen is exposed to strong light for only brief periods. (M304, $12.50)