Whitney Flame Topaz
|Whitney Flame Topaz||NMNH G11638||Brazil, Minas Gerais||48.86 ct|
The Whitney Flame Topaz, named in honor of the donor Coralyn Wright Whitney, originated from the Capao Mine in the famous Ouro Preto area in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The rough crystal weighed over 200 carats and was originally cut to just over 50 carats. Now at 48.86 carats, this natural red topaz is considered one of the finest Imperial Topaz gems in the world. Not only is it large in size and rare with its vibrant red color, but this pear-shaped gem exhibits incredible clarity and stunning brilliance. Mined in the early 1970s, it resided in a private collection before it was acquired for the National Gem Collection.
The color of Imperial Topaz, typically golden-orange to orange-red, is extremely rare and highly-prized. Shades of pink, purple, and red are even more rare. Red, of course, is one of the most coveted topaz colors, and only one to two percent of the topaz mined in the Ouro Preto area is gem-quality, making the importance of the Whitney Flame all that more extraordinary. In Brazil, the Capao Mine is the largest Imperial Topaz mine and the only mine aside from the Vermillion Mine to produce red Imperial Topaz.
Truly one of the rarest topaz gems on exhibit, the Whitney Flame is the most important topaz in the National Gem Collection and a magnificent addition to the Smithsonian.