Blue Topaz is December’s birthstone and one of the more popular colored gemstones on the market today. Find out more about this cool creation and slip some well-informed hints to the gift givers in your life.
BLUE TOPAZ FACTS AND FLAIR:
Blue topaz has become one of the most popular gemstones on the market today, due to its clarity, durability, availability and affordable cost. Yet it is a shade of topaz rarely found in nature. The stone’s watery blue color is most often created through a combination of heat treatment and irradiation.
Topaz is one of the well-known pegmatite minerals that also includes beryl and tourmaline. Blue topaz is the birthstone for December – and is also the recommended gemstone for couples celebrating their fourth wedding anniversary.
Most blue topaz starts life as a colorless or slightly tinted topaz from places like Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and China. It is then irradiated (to incite the color change) and heated (to stabilize the change). The result is a permanent aqua shade. Despite the stone’s exposure to irradiation, experts say it poses no health hazard whatsoever to the wearer.
Topaz holds the distinction of being the gemstone thought to have the widest rage of curative powers. According to legend, the stone can dispel enchantment and improve the eyesight. The ancient Greeks believed that it had the power to increase strength and make its wearer invisible in times of emergency. Topaz is also said to change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink.
With a ranking of “8” on the Mohs scale of hardness, blue topaz is exceptionally strong and durable and well-suited to everyday wear. However, it should be protected against hard blows that can split, crack or chip it.