What is Cullinan Topaz?

| 4 min read

If you’ve followed Gemporia for some time, you may remember having seen Cullinan Topaz before. We’ve not been able to bring any to your screens for some time, but at long last, we have secured a small parcel. Hailing from Nigeria in West Africa, Cullinan Topaz offers some of the finest clarity and Diamond-like brilliance. Find out more about what makes this gemstone so special.

A Geological Marvel

The most historically significant gemstone deposits on earth lie in the east of Brazil; the likes of Bahia, Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Paraiba, to name just a few have, for centuries, produced some of the finest coloured gemstone discoveries known to the market. Brazil has effectively built and shaped the modern coloured gemstone market as we know it and due to the demand it has created, it is now starting to deplete and prospectors are being forced to look elsewhere.

The east of Africa has managed to provide the market with an alternative supply of fine coloured gemstones but on the west side of this giant, diverse, majestic and sprawling continent lies a hidden secret that has managed to go undetected for millennia.

West Africa is now starting to gain the attention that it deserves and Mother Nature seems ready to share her biggest secret with the world. The rational conclusion for this would be that when Brazil broke away from Pangea it split its treasure with its partner. East Brazil and West Africa, together, produced possibly the richest gemstone seam the world has ever seen and the notion that we have only seen half of it has sent the market into a spin.

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Nigeria, at present, seems to be the jewel in the west’s crown, a country that over the last few years has revealed high grade Sapphire, Ruby, Aquamarine, Emerald, Tourmaline, Topaz, Garnet, Amethyst and Zircon. There have also been whispers that a copper-bearing Tourmaline pocket has also emerged which could be significant, knowing that Paraiba was one of the closest states that would have sat closest to present-day Nigeria before the split.

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We have started to build strong relationships in Nigeria and, to date, have been blown away by the parcels we have sourced, including Sapphire, Rubellite and Tourmaline. Unfortunately these parcels have been very small due to the fact that in Africa’s west it is still predominantly artisanal miners. This is like a window into the early mining history of East Africa, essentially like obtaining naturally unheated Tanzanite from the surface of the Mererani ground in 1967 before the attention and investment of the big corporations.

Due to our position in the market, we strongly believe that very soon the gemstone world will descend on Nigeria with its ever-growing and insatiable coloured gemstone appetite and we predict it will be the premiere source for gemstones in the world over the next few decades.

It is in fact the Cullinan Topaz deposit that really peaked our interest in Nigeria, the world’s finest Topaz has always been mined in the east of Brazil but we strongly suspect that this deposit was divided between these two land masses and this is why Nigeria is bringing us Topaz that is reminiscent of the famed Brazilian Marambaia deposit.

Why is it called Cullinan Topaz?

Cullinan Topaz is some of the finest Topaz we have ever offered. It is named after the original Cullinan Topaz – a massive 86,300 carat piece of rough Topaz found in Nigeria, which we have in our Museum. This, in turn, was named after the Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem-quality rough Diamond ever found. With a similar clarity and brilliance, we named our Topaz deposit after this famous rough Diamond, even though our Topaz massively eclipses the 3,106 carat Diamond in size. If cut and facetted we believe our 86,300ct Cullinan Topaz rough could yield four or five flawless pieces in excess of 400 carats each!

A Diamond-like Beauty

We reserve the Cullinan name for our highest quality Topaz. This is Topaz that shares a wonderful Diamond-like lustre and brilliance with the infamous Cullinan Diamond.

What makes Cullinan Topaz so special is that it possesses:

  • Incredible clarity, similar to that of a VSI graded Diamond
  • Features amazing Diamond-like brilliance
  • Is cut with wonderful surface lustre