Blue Topaz is a form of Topaz with a blue color center. Topaz is generally colorless and found in moderate quantities all over the world, it is an aluminum fluorosilicate. While Blue Topaz is perhaps the most popular type of Topaz, Topaz does come in a wide range of colors. Topaz can be found in colors such as yellow, brown, and brownish-green. Topaz can also come in Imperial Topaz colors. Imperial Topaz colors include the colors pink, orange, violet, and the rarest of all red.
Blue Topaz is a glassy, transparent or translucent gemstone. It is generally very hard to earn an 8 on the Mohs hardness scales, however because of its near-perfect cleavage, it can fracture extremely easily. It is important if you wear Topaz often, to be very gentle with it and protect it from hard impacts. Topaz can be cut into almost any shape and size. While the largest piece of Topaz ever found, was from Brazil weighing over 6 kilograms, most Topaz found are only a few carats in size.
Topaz in its many colors is used for gifts, especially as birthstones. For instance, Topaz is the birthstone for November and is also given as an astrological gift to those that are Sagittarius. Topaz has many metaphysical traits for its believers, it is said to give one spiritual potential and to dramatically increase creativity or intelligence. It is also said that those that were Topaz will be wiser and wealthier.
How and where is Blue Topaz formed and found
Topaz is a mineral that is an aluminum fluorosilicate, this means that it contains aluminum, silicon, and traces of other elements including iron. Topaz comes in a variety of colors but is mostly clear. However, colors such as blue, green, yellow, and brown are popular. There are also rarer types of Topaz called Imperial Topaz, they consist of colors such as orange, pink, violet, and the rarest of all red.
Topaz gets its colors via color centers inside the mineral. A color center is an area in the mineral that can contain different elements, but usually iron, oxygen, and hydrogen. While there is much that is still not known about these color centers, it is known that radiation such as heat and light can affect the color of the Topaz. For instance, 99.9% of Blue Topaz on the market has been irradiated to give it its brilliance. While Blue Topaz is very stable, in some instances heating it or leaving it in sunlight can deplete the color center.
Topaz is found in many parts of the world usually in silica rocks such as granite. It usually forms and crystallizes in granite pegmatites during lava flows. It has been found in large quantities in Russia, in the Ural Mountains, Germany, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Mexico, and even in the United States.
The Uses of Blue Topaz
Although irradiation can cause the creation of blue Topaz, this same irradiation caused by a naturally occurring phenomenon (heat and exposure to light) can also reverse the process. For instance, some irradiated Blue Topaz’s can turn brown or other colors when heated or placed in direct sunlight for only a few days. Heat can vary by each stone, sometimes it can be a difference of a few hundred degrees, sometimes merely a difference of five or ten degrees. However, it is important to note that Blue Topaz out of all the colors is usually the most stable, meaning that the color blue will last the longest while a green or red can last the shortest due to heat or light.
Color centers are important to be familiar with when buying Topaz. Today, practically all the Blue Topaz sold today has been modified using certain techniques to manipulate the color centers. For instance, irradiation or heating can increase or decrease a color. For instance, irradiating clear Topaz can create Blue Topaz.
Blue Topaz – The History and Origins
Besides Blue Topaz and Yellow Topaz, there are also colors of Topaz that are considered Imperial Topaz. Imperial Topaz consists of Topaz that includes the colors orange, pink, red, and violet. These colors are some of the rarest and precious Topaz colors. The term Imperial Topaz was coined by the Czar of Russia, during the 1800s in which he claimed that only he, his family, and the people that received these gems as gifts can own Imperial Topaz.
However, the Topaz of today is a name used to refer to a specific mineral that was coined by Henckel. Henckel wrote of mineral deposits in Germany. Because the name Topaz was used interchangeably with minerals such as quartz and Citrine, you can still see terms such as smoky Topaz and Madeira Topaz which are not Topaz minerals. The original word Topaz comes from the ancient Sanskrit word Tapas, meaning fire.