Saturday, June 5, 2010

Blue Topaz

Gemstone :
Blue Topaz

Birthstone Month :
Blue Topaz is associated with the birthstone month of December.

Zodiac :
Blue Topaz is associated with the zodiac sign Sagittarius.

Chemical Symbol :

Chemical Make-up :
Topaz is an Aluminum Fluorosilicate.

History & Lore :
Topaz has long been related to desire and the name is believed to have been derived from the Sanskrit word 'tapas' meaning heat, fire and passion. It is also said to have been derived from the Greek word 'topazos' or 'topazion', meaning “to search.” Topazion was also the name of an island in the Red Sea which today is commonly known as Zebirget or St. John's Island in Egypt.

The Egyptians believed that Topaz would protect them from harm because they believed it was colored by the sun god Ra's golden arms. The Romans believed in a similar theory and associated Topaz with their sun god, Jupiter.

Topaz has also been biblically referenced as one of the gemstones used to make the 'Breastplate of Judgement' worn by Aaron.

Blue Topaz was named the state gem of Texas in 1969 when a small deposit of natural pale blue Topaz was found.

Topaz is said to increase the wearers intelligence, creativity and wisdom, and can enhance one's spiritual potential. It is also known to aid in meditation and in the divine manifestation of desired objects.

Topaz is said to bring physical and intellectual vigor, good health, and is said to offer protection against infectious diseases.

Availability :
Blue was once the rarest color of the Topaz family but today it is the most common, thanks to an irridation color enhancement process developed in the 1970's. It is both affordable and available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Natural Blue Topaz is still however exceedingly rare.

Sources :
Blue Topaz is often created from colorless Topaz that has undergone the irridation color enhancement process. Colorless Topaz can be found in Brazil, China, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka (Ceylon).

Evaluation :
Blue Topaz is rated at an 8 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and although hard, blows should be avoided for they can cause the stone to cleave. Blue Topaz is suitable for all jewelry applications. The most usual Blue Topaz colors are London Blue, Swiss Blue, and Sky Blue, which are listed in order from deepest to palest in color. Blue Topaz is readily available and affordable and can be found in a wide variety of gem shapes and sizes, making it a popular gemstone amongst designers and consumers alike.

Common Cuts :
Blue Topaz is a versatile stone and is therefore regularly cut into most of the commonly recognized gemstone shapes/cuts.

Routine Enhancements :
Almost all Blue Topaz found on the market today was once colorless Topaz that is treated with irradiation and heat to produce the color blue.

Care & Cleaning :
Though Blue Topaz is a relatively hard stone, it has poor toughness due to cleavage. Care should be taken to prevent Blue Topaz from chipping and scratching. As with most gemstones, Blue Topaz should be kept away from sudden extreme temperature changes as these conditions can cause permanent changes to the stone's coloration. Blue Topaz is best cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Blue Topaz should be kept in a fabric-lined box away from other harder jewelry items in order to avoid scratching.

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