Roger Weller, geology instructor
topaz-clear, colorless crystal-1
At first glance, this crystal resembles the mineral quartz, but the shapes of the crystal faces seem
wrong. This specimen is a colorless, transparent crystal of topaz that crystallizes in the
Orthorhombic system. Topaz is harder than quartz and because of its colorless, high degree of
transparency was cut into faceted gemstones that resembled diamonds. When cubic zirconia
came along it quickly replaced topaz as a diamond substitute.
This crystal is about 2.5 centimeters long.
Photo is copyright free for non-commercial educational uses.
Just credit photo to R.Weller/Cochise College.