Topaz crystals occur in highly acidic igneous rocks, such as rhyolite, and in metamorphic rocks.
It is also found as a constituent of pegmatite dykes and is often a by-product of mining for other gems such as beryl or metals like tungsten, columbium or lithium.
Topaz sources are distributed around the world. It is found in the gravel deposits along with other gemstones in Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Myanmar (formerly Burma), because of its hardness and specific gravity.
The most important source for topaz is the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Some topaz is also mined in the United States, in the Pala region of California, and in the Rocky Mountains.
Natural pink topaz is found in North Pakistan and Russia.
The world's entire supply of imperial topaz is mined from two mines, the Vermelhao mine and the Capao mine, at Ouro Preto in Brazil, where some experts say the deposit will be exhausted very soon.
Pale topaz that can be enhanced to blue is found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and China.
Other deposits are located in Australia, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Scotland, Tasmania and Ireland.