Jewelry

Topaz – 13 Frequently Asked Questions

Blue topaz frequently asked questions

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Topaz is a popular gemstone that occurs in a wide variety of beautiful colors. This November birthstone has the ability to reflect brilliance and light, making it a much sought after gemstone, perfect for use in a wide variety jewelry settings. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at 13 frequently asked questions about topaz.  

What is topaz?

Blue topaz ring

Sky blue topaz. See this here.

Topaz is a naturally occuring gemstone composed of aluminum silicate which contains fluorine. It comes in a wide range of colors but the majority of topaz is mostly colorless and clear.  Of all its colors, however, blue topaz is the most popular.

Formed in crevices and cracks of igeneous rocks such as granite, rhyolite and pegmatite, topaz has been found in many countries around the world including Sri Lanka, Texas and Nicaragua, to name a few. Topaz is the official gemstone of the state of Utah as it can be found in abundance in the mountain ranges of the state.

What color of topaz is the most valuable?

Pink topaz gemstone

Deep pink Imperial topaz by Sancler Gemstones. See it here.

The most valuable topaz colors are the warm ones including dark pinkish-red, orange-red and golden orange-yellow colors. One such variety is known as Imperial Topaz, a very rare type of the gemstone which is only found in Brazil. The value of topaz gemstones increases with the deepness of the color in reddish and orange hues.

Blue topaz is also valuable, but extremely rare in nature. Due to this, much of the blue topaz found on the market have been dyed. This includes the popular London Blue, Sky Blue and Swiss Blue varieties.

Does topaz scratch easily?

Topaz has a hardness rating of 8 on the Mohs’ scale which means it’s a durable stone that doesn’t scratch easily. This puts it in the same league as aquamarine, morganite and emerald. However, depending on the usage, it can  show signs of wear and tear over time. To prevent this from happening, store your topaz piece safely away from sharp objects or anything that can cause damage to its surface.

Can topaz be worn everyday?

Because topaz is a hard stone, it’s suitable for daily wear. However, it’s also susceptible to damage from hard blows or strikes. If the stone is exposed to certain kinds of heat or exposed to sunlight for long periods of time, it may start losing its color so proper care and maintainence will be necessary.

Is topaz radioactive?

Gemstone irradiation is a standard industry practice, done to enhance the color and clarity of stones. While the word ‘irradiation’ may sound dangerous, topaz that have been treated in this way aren’t harmful. While they can be slightly radioactive, these levels of radioactivity don’t negatively impact human health. In any case, there are regulations and checks in place which ensure that such gemstones are meeting standards to protect public health.

What is the symbolism of topaz?

Throughout history, topaz gemstones have been commonly associated with wealth, love and affection. It was believed that the stone symbolized desire and passion because of its fiery energy and orange color.

The symbolism of topaz gemstones changes according to its color but all topaz stones in general represent the same qualities – passion and love. For instance, blue topaz symbolizes fidelity while sherry red topaz symbolizes prosperity and wealth.  

Topaz is also the traditional birthstone for the month of November as well as December. It’s believed to increase strength and intellect while also boosting one’s self-esteem and bringing good fortune to the wearer.

How can you tell if topaz is real?

While topaz isn’t an expensive gemstone, there are imitations that can look exactly like the real thing. Quartz is commonly used to imitate the look of topaz. When trying to tell the difference between real and fake topaz, an important thing to keep in mind is the hardness of the stone.

Genuine topaz stones can scratch glass, as it’s harder, while a cheap imitation wouldn’t leave a mark on it. Topaz can also get electrified by heat or friction. If you rub a genuine topaz stone against a wool cloth, it would begin attracting hair or paper. These are not hard and fast tests, but they can be easy ways to check your topaz when necessary.

Can you wear blue topaz every day?

Yes, blue topaz is a gorgeous gemstone that’s excellent for every day wear. It looks stunning in engagement rings, pendant necklaces, earrings and cocktails rings, which are some of the most popular ways people wear it. Also, as mentioned above, because topaz is highly durable, it suits daily wear and can withstand exposure.

How do you clean and store topaz?

When cleaning your topaz stone, don’t use any harsh chemicals or acids since they can damage the stone. Instead, simply soak the stone in a solution of mild dish soap and warm water for about 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse off and dry it.

It’s also a good idea to remove topaz jewelry when exposed to detergents and harsh chemicals, such as chlorine, hairspray and make up. When storing topaz, keep it in a separate pouch to prevent it from scratching other softer gemstones, or conversely, from being scratched by harder ones.

Why is topaz affordable?

Common varieties of topaz can be inexpensive, including white topaz which is quite abundant and therefore very affordable. In general, blue or white topaz jewelry will usually be much cheaper than the pink or yellow variety.  However, not all types of topaz is cheap. The rich pink or red types of topaz can cost upwards of $3000 per carat!

What is the true color of topaz?

In its natural form, topaz is completely colorless, or usually with a golden brown to a yellowish color. Treatments and impurities can change the color of a topaz gemstone to pale gray, wine red, pale green, opaque, pink or reddish-orange. Most topaz on the market is created by heat treating the white variety to more desirable shades.

What metals suit topaz jewelry?

Topaz tends to work well with all types of jewelry metals. While silver tends to give topaz jewelry a rustic bohemian look, gold offers a sophisticated and classy touch. Gold is also perfect for vintage topaz jewelry. Topaz usually looks modern and chic (especially blue topaz) when paired with metals like white gold and platinum since the neutral color of the metal allows the stone’s colors to stand out.

Is topaz generally treated or enhanced?

Most of the topaz on the market today has been treated with heat or irradiated to obtain their desirable colors, especially yellow, blue, green, red or pink. The reason for using color treatment so often is because finding natural topaz gemstones with a rich, saturated color is extremely difficult since they’re so rare. They’re also far too expensive for most people to afford.

The treatments and enhancements that topaz undergoes are generally permanent and stable. However, there’s a possibility that the color will fade away if exposed to sunlight regularly or for a prolonged period of time.

 Wrapping Up

Topaz remains one of the most popular gemstones on the market, offering an excellent balance between durability, price and beauty. It’s ideal for use in a variety of jewelry styles, including engagement rings.