Blue topaz has been increasing in it’s popularity over the last several years, and it’s not hard to see why.
Topaz is found in a variety of colors from white to yellow, orange, red-brown, light to dark-blue, pink to red, violet and light-green. The minerals iron and chromium, in varying degrees, are what gives topaz its color, while pure topaz is colorless or pale blue. Topaz can range in price, with the more valuable varieties being natural, and the least valuable being the treated or enhanced versions of colorless topaz. Imperial topaz is the most rare and expensive topaz. Mystic topaz is a beautiful multi-colored stone that is created by applying a thin layer of titanium to colorless topaz, and even though the amounts produced each year are small, mystic topaz is one of the least expensive varieties.
Although topaz can come in a variety of colors, the very popular blue variety has three distinct shades: pale or “sky blue”, medium or “swiss blue”, and dark or “London blue”, which is perhaps the most popular. Being an 8 on the Mohs scale for hardness, blue topaz is a durable stone that lends itself to any cut imaginable, and it’s near perfect translucence dazzles all whose gaze falls upon it. Blue topaz is also quite affordable, when compared to other colored gemstones of similar carat size.
When considering blue topaz, always choose a stone that is crystal clear, as blue topaz should be free from internal inclusions and fissures. Also keep in mind that although blue topaz is hard and durable, it displays what is called “perfect cleavage” just like diamonds, which are the hardest gemstone. This means that a sharp blow can split or chip your stone, so it is wise to consider a ring or bracelet mounting that offers a bit of protection if you are hard on your jewelry. This is not as much a consideration for earrings or pendants.
The birthstone for December, blue topaz is also used to commemorate the 4th wedding anniversary (see our Wedding Anniversary blog post for a complete list of gemstones paired with their respective years). Some cultures believe that blue topaz enhances creativity, self-expression, and communication, while others say it promotes virility in men. Who knows if any of that is true…we’ve found that people seem to like it because it’s pretty.
Cleaning topaz is easy. Simply use warm soapy water and a soft cloth to keep your stone bright and clean, or stop by our store anytime for a free ‘quick clean’. As always, if you’re going to store your topaz use a fabric-lined jewelry box, or wrap the item in a soft cloth to avoid scratches.