Blue Topaz – Your Complete Guide
The earliest reference to blue topaz, dates back to over 2000 years when it was discovered by the Romans on the Island of Tapazios, which is the Greek word for the island that is now known as Zabargad, located in Egypt. In more recent times, topaz mined during the gold rush in Brazil became heavily sought after by European royal families during the 1700’s.
Like all gemstones, blue topaz was thought to possess magical abilities. The Romans believed that it could safeguard those who wore it against their adversaries, while in the Middle Ages, it was thought to be able to cure physical sickness and psychological disorders.
Facts about Blue Topaz
- It’s the birthstone for November
- It has a hardness rating of 8 on the Mohs scale, making it suitable for everyday jewellery such as engagement rings or wedding bands
- Natural blue topaz is incredibly rare. Most blue topaz sold today, consists of pallid topaz samples that have been treated using heat and radiation
- Blue is just one of the many colours that topaz is available in
- Although it is found all across Europe, Asia, Africa, The Americas and Australia, the largest quantities of topaz are found in Brazil
How Best to Wear Blue Topaz
Given the relative abundance of large topaz specimens available for use by jewellers, it’s become a very popular gemstone for use in extravagant jewellery designs. Paler blue tones work remarkably well with colours of clothing, with the exception of luminous red or orange ensembles. Blue topaz is particularly fashionable among dignitaries and prominent events, who looks especially fabulous when wearing it with similarly coloured blue gowns and costumes.
Evaluating Blue Topaz Gemstones
As with all other gemstones, there’s no official set of guidelines in place to determine the quality of blue topaz and the quality of each individual stone is calculated based on the 4 Cs; cut, clarity, colour and carat weight. For blue topaz, clarity is the most important indicator of quality, followed by colour and cut.
Clarity – a superior quality blue topaz gemstone will possess no recognisable blemishes within its crystalline structure. Ones that are free from such defects guarantee maximum sparkle. Blue topaz mined in Brazil are renowned for their pristine specimens that are devoid of any such flaws.
Colour – blue topaz is available in a variety of different blues, from a pallid and almost colourless blue, through to a much richer blue tone. As mentioned in the facts section, naturally occurring blue topaz is extremely scarce, with most blue stones being the result of various treatment processes. Fortunately, such treatment procedures do not weaken the stone’s structure and furthermore, do not devalue the gemstone.
Cut – access to larger topaz specimens aren’t particularly hard to come by, allowing skilled artisans to achieve bold and imaginative designs that go beyond the traditional cuts. Despite this, emerald is the most common cut, along with all the other classic shapes.
Carat - quantities of large, voluminous raw topaz crystals are quite easy to come by, resulting in prices for larger stones that are much more affordable than many other gemstones.
Looking After Your Blue Topaz Jewellery
Whilst topaz is a relatively hard gemstone, it can be vulnerable to breakage if proper care isn’t taken. When cleaning topaz, only do so using warm, soapy water. As a precaution, always remove blue topaz jewellery before doing the wash-up or any other cleaning chore that involves the use of chemical agents. When storing topaz jewellery, be sure to store it separately from harder stones such as diamonds, rubies or sapphires, otherwise the gems may become scratched.
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Alexandrite was first uncovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia during the early 19th century. The gemstone was named after soon-to-be Russian Czar, Alexander II and this connection to Russian royalty likely helped it gain prominence as a valuable and precious stone.
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