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TOPAZtō’ păz, a transparent or translucent mineral used as a gem stone (Rev 21:20). According to Pliny the name is derived from an island in the Red Sea, but as this mineral “yielded to the file” it is too soft to have been topaz, which is a hard mineral. Topaz is an aluminum fluosilicate which occurs as prismatic crystals. It is usually colorless or pale yellow, less often pale blue or pink and occurs mainly in granites and related rocks. Topaz was included by many early writers under the name chrysolite (q.v.) (cf. KJV and NEB Exod 28:17). It resembles some yellow varieties of quartz which are referred to as false topaz. Oriental topaz is a yellow variety of corundum (aluminum oxide).
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