There are things that come into our lives that leave an impression. It can be an event, a place, or even a thing, that burns into our memory. And, even though we might not think of it for years, it remains.
For me, it’s often a stone. Usually an exceptional one. One such stone has a very unique history, my Reddish Pink Imperial Topaz.
I first saw this stone in Belo Horizonte in the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil in 1990. I had taken a group of my clients to Brazil for a Gem tour. It was quite a trip, one that we still talk about today. It involved dark alleys in the middle of the night, a razor cut to my leg, pant legs sewn shut, just to name a few of the adventures during the trip. But that’s for another blog. On this trip (my one and only escorted gem trip I might add) we were at a well known Gem Dealers home and we were looking at an amazing collection of gems. This one stood out.
Topaz comes from many countries in the world, but in only one place, just outside the small town of Ouro Preto in Brazil, they have this amazing colour of Topaz that can range from a very slightly pinkish golden colour through to a rich deep sherry colour. In fact legend has it that this is where the term “Imperial Topaz” came from. It is said that the ruler of the day, Emperor Dom Pedro I, loved the colour of the stones from there so much, that he took his taxes from the miners in stones. Very very rarely, this region also produce the reddish Pink colour that you see in the picture above.
This particular stone weighed 8.68 carats. We marveled at the richness of the colour. One of my clients bought it and we brought it home here to Edmonton. Really a world class stone. We set it into a beautiful ring with Baguette Diamonds on either side and they took it and wore it with pride.
I lost track of the stone and the ring for a number of years after my client moved away from the city. So it was very much to my surprise that I saw that that very ring was offered for sale at one of the major Auction houses. When I inquired about it, I was told that the ring had been sold 10 years before at a New York auction house and that the ring was part of an estate that the current owners were now interested in selling.
I had to get it, so, when the auction came up. I bid on it and won it back. It was so cool to have it back in my hands again. It was stunning, one of those stones that I should have kept. But, after all, I am in the business of buying and selling gems. I have a few collector clients that are always looking for exceptional stones and one of them saw this one, and… it’s out in the world again.
I wonder where it will turn up next. That’s one of the amazing things about quality gemstones, they do have a life of their own and oh, the stories they could tell….