Topaz is a popular gemstone available in a choice of colors!

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Topaz Facts and Care

blue topaz ring

Topaz is the November birthstone!

Topaz Information

marcasite heart locket with blue topazTopaz is a very common and popular gem material in the silicate family. It is a hard gem, 8 on the Mohs scale, but it can be very easily chipped or cracked because it cleaves very easily along the growth lines parallel to the crystal's base.

The many colors of topaz are caused by impurities, mainly fluorine and water. Natural Imperial Topaz and Golden Topaz are rare, expensive gems. Most of the familiar colors are created by irradiation and heat treatment.

All blue topaz is treated this way - the vivid blue colors popular now do not occur naturally, so clear or very light blue material is exposed to gamma treatment and then heated to produce the Swiss, London Blue and other popular shades. Most of the commercially available stones are from Brazil.

Topaz is also coated with chemical films that cause color changes; these are known as Mystic Topaz or other brand names. This coating is permanent to a degree; but the stones must be handled carefully or the coating could be scratched, uncovering the clear white topaz underneath the coating.

Many people believe that topaz has strong spiritual influence. Topaz is believed by some to enhance psychic abilities, inner tranquility, wisdom and insight.

Topaz Care Tips

Mystic Topaz should never be exposed to solvents or chemicals; the coating could dissolve, revealing the colorless topaz underneath. Uncoated Topaz gems - the blue, clear and golden varieties - are very easy to care for. A good scrubbing with a commercially available jewelry cleaner and a brush are okay, and a rouge cloth for polishing to a high shine is recommended.

Never clean these gems in an ultrasonic or steam machine, because coated topaz gems may lose their color. Try to remember that topaz cleaves easily - so do your best not to strike it against a hard surface!

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