The name topaz comes from the Sanskrit and means fire. The name might also have derived from the Greek word topazos or topazion meaning to seek The and was used to refer to any yellow stone in ancient times.
The Greeks believed it had power to increase strength and to make its wearer invisible while the Romans believed it had power to improve eyesight. The Egyptians wore it as an amulet to protect them from injury.
Topaz was also said to change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink.
The most famous topaz is actually a colorless topaz that was originally thought to be a diamond. It is a 1680 carat stone known as the "Braganza Diamond" set in the Portuguese Crown Jewels.
Topazes with pink and red tones were discovered in Russia in the 19th century and proclaimed by the Czar to belong only to himself and the royal family. This is why topaz is sometimes called "Imperial Topaz".