One of the joys of writing a column for a public blog is finding out what interests readers. The downside, of course, is finding out that it isn't what one thought when writing the column.
A recent post of mine cast aspersions on the November birthstone, the topaz. I was rebuked for doing so, and one writer, a self-described rockhound, sent several photos of incredibly beautiful topaz stones. Another commenter suggested my husband might like to provide me with topaz jewelry for my birthday.
So, in the spirit of contrition -- and possibly some hope of inspiration -- here are the photos. Unfortunately, still being utterly ignorant on the subject, I can offer no commentary to accompany the photos, except to inform you, gentle readers, that topaz is a convenient shorthand for a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine, expressed as Al2SiO4(F,OH)2.
If that didn't excite your admiration, try these: