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American Golden Topaz - Topaz is renowned for its ability to grow huge gem-quality crystals. Shown here is one of the world's finest large topaz crystals weighing 31.8 kg (70 lb). This crystal, mined in Minas Gerias, Brazil, was originally slated to be cut up for scientific instruments, however a more suitable material was discovered. What look like gas bubbles rising inside are imprints of albite crystals that once grew against the back surfaces. At 22,892.5 carats, the "American Golden" topaz (center) is one of the world's largest gemstones. It was faceted by Leon Agee over a period of two years in the late 1980's from an 11.8 kg (26 lb) stream-rounded topaz cobble. The "American Golden" has 172 facets and measures 17.53 x 14.94 x 9.34 cm (6.9 x 5.9 x 3.7 in).

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