The gemstone Topaz is one of the cleanest, clearest and crispest colorless stones ever discovered, and is also host to a phenomenal array of colors. Many of these hues are natural, while others have been developed over many years as a treatment to the stone, but there’s no denying that every single shade is delicious. Let’s explore this enigmatic stone and some of the beautiful variations that are available.
What Color is Natural Topaz?
Pure topaz is a silicate mineral that is transparent and colorless when found in nature. White Topaz, the colorless or translucent variety of this gem is easily available and can be confused with a diamond due to its brilliance and similar appearance. Topaz is a Type 1 gemstone, meaning it’s almost always found with no inclusions. It also measures an 8 (out of 10) on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, so it is quite durable for everyday wear.
Topaz colors are actually a result of natural impurities or defects in its crystal structure. Imperial Topaz is one of the rarest and most expensive varieties, it occurs naturally in yellow to orange hues with reddish overtones. Yellow Topaz refers to the yellow and orange hued varieties of this gem which are easily available and less expensive. Similarly, Brown Topaz refers to the brown hued topaz varieties which are widely available and less valuable than other colors.
Natural Blue Topaz is extremely rare and usually very pale in color. Therefore natural blue topaz and colorless topaz are often heat treated and irradiated to produce the vibrant blue topaz colors seen on the market. Popular varieties of treated blue topaz are: Sky Blue Topaz which has a light blue color similar to aquamarine, bright blue Swiss Blue Topaz, and London Blue Topaz which has a deep blue color with hints of green.
Tips for Purchasing Topaz Jewelry
Along with Citrine, Topaz is the birthstone for November, and is also a suggested wedding gift for both the 4th and 23rd anniversary. More specifically Blue Topaz is noted as the 4th gift and Imperial Topaz for the 23rd. As we’ve learned, most colors of Topaz, except for white, light blue and yellow, derive their color from irradiation or heat treatment, which actually replicates natural processes; inspired by nature and harnessed by scientists to provide many of the colors we now see in Topaz.
Topaz is a fantastic gem to use in jewelry, not only for its stunning colors but also because of its durability. Due to the hardness as mentioned above, only Diamonds, Sapphires and Rubies are harder than Topaz. It’s also a pleochroic gemstone, which means that different colors can be seen from different angles as you move the gem in the light. For example, a Red Topaz may show dark reds, yellows and pinkish reds at various aspects.
When purchasing topaz, familiarize yourself with the differences between topaz varieties, as the gemstones are commonly misidentified because of how vast the color possibilities are. The richer or more vibrant the hue, the more desirable it is, but also the more expensive. Be sure to take a close look at the stone’s hue, tone, and saturation, and remember that depending on your desired color, your stone may be treated.
With all its spectacular hues and magnetic allure, topaz will definitely make people fall head over heels in love with it. We can help you create a custom piece of jewelry with topaz or any other stone your heart desires. Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule an appointment.