Topaz 101: Your Quick Guide to Buying the Ideal Gemstone

If you’re on the hunt for an elegant and unique piece of jewelry, look no further than the gemstone topaz. With its varying colors and ability to reflect light and brilliance, topaz, the November birthstone, is a much sought-after stone utilized in a variety of different settings.

When looking to purchase topaz jewelry be sure to do your research so you know your way around any pitfalls. Let’s take a look at everything there is to know about topaz including what to look out for when buying the ideal one for your jewelry collection.

What is Topaz?

Cushion Cut Swiss Blue Topaz Ring
Cushion Cut Swiss Blue Topaz Ring. See it here.

Topaz, a mineral made of aluminum and fluorine, is famous for being hard, clear, and coming in many colors. Ranking at 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, it’s a durable choice for jewelry. While pure topaz is colorless, impurities often give it a variety of colors like blue, yellow, pink, peach, gold, green, red, and sometimes even multi-colored.

Blue topaz is the most common and popular type, usually enhanced through heat treatment and irradiation to bring out its color. This gemstone is found worldwide, notably in Brazil, Russia, and the United States. As the November birthstone, it symbolizes loyalty and affection. Topaz’s brightness, color range, and affordability make it a popular choice for all kinds of jewelry.

Topaz Color

14Kt Gold London Blue Topaz Teardrop Necklace
14Kt Gold London Blue Topaz Teardrop Necklace. See it here.

Topaz is a gemstone famous for its wide range of colors, including ones with multiple colors. Colorless or white topaz, common in nature, often serves as a substitute for diamonds due to its similar look and shine. Yellow topaz, known for its yellow and orange shades, has historically been the classic yellow gemstone and is quite affordable.

Blue topaz, extremely popular since the 2000s and second only to sapphire, usually undergoes heat treatment and irradiation to bring out its bright blue color. This includes varieties like London Blue, a dark blue-green, Sky Blue, which is lighter and akin to aquamarine, and Swiss Blue, a deeper blue shade.

Pink or rose topaz, resembling pink diamonds or sapphires, is a cost-effective alternative. Champagne topaz, naturally brown, and Imperial topaz, which varies from light peach to orange, are also sought after, with Imperial topaz being more expensive. Mystic topaz, chemically treated to show many colors, has a unique, color-changing effect and can be expensive.

Choosing topaz wisely involves understanding the GIA color grading system, which assesses hue (the primary color), tone (how light or dark the color is), and saturation (the color’s intensity). These factors greatly affect the gemstone’s look and worth.

Topaz Cut

Topaz can be cut into any gemstone shape. Because topaz is a brilliant stone, brilliant cuts such as round, princess, and modern cushion cut to suit the stone well. However, to bring out the clarity and the color of the stone, gemstone cuts with open facets such as the emerald and Asscher cuts are stunning.

Emerald Cut Bezel Sky Blue Topaz Ring
Emerald Cut Bezel Sky Blue Topaz Ring. See it here.

Another unique way to highlight the beauty of topaz is to opt for a cabochon cut. Cabochon cut topaz is a beautiful way to bring out the transparency and vitreous sheen of the gemstone, as can be seen in this beautiful ring.

Topaz Carat Weight

14Kt Gold Blue Topaz Necklace
14Kt Gold Blue Topaz Necklace. See it here.

Topaz is easy to find in large sizes, meaning that whether you have minimalist or maximalist tastes, you can find a topaz to suit. While topaz is a relatively inexpensive gemstone, large stones can command higher prices.

Choosing Topaz Jewelry

Sky Blue Topaz Elegant Halo Pendant
Sky Blue Topaz Elegant Halo Pendant. See it here.

Topaz jewelry, known for its stunning color range and affordability, is a key choice in both high-end and everyday jewelry. Its wide variety of styles suits many tastes and occasions. Often chosen as a less expensive alternative to diamonds, colorless or white topaz features in sophisticated engagement rings, necklaces, and earrings. Blue topaz, particularly in vibrant, treated shades like London Blue, Sky Blue, and Swiss Blue, has gained popularity. Set often in silver or white gold, these cool tones of blue topaz are perfect for both bold statement pieces and daily wear.

Yellow topaz, with its sunny hues, brings a bright touch to various jewelry pieces like rings, pendants, and bracelets, favored for its classic yet lively look. Pink or rose topaz adds a romantic, feminine feel to jewelry, making it a go-to for gifts and special events. For unique tastes, champagne and Imperial topaz, in natural brown to orange shades, often pair with yellow or rose gold settings.

Mystic topaz, famous for its color-changing effects, stands out in modern jewelry designs. Its rainbow colors give a whimsical, contemporary flair to rings, bracelets, and earrings, attracting those who prefer eye-catching jewelry.

When choosing topaz jewelry, it’s important to pick settings and styles that highlight the stone’s color and shape. From simple solitaire rings to intricate, gem-covered necklaces, topaz’s beauty and adaptability make it a gemstone that fits almost any personal style or event.

Is There Imitation or Treated Topaz?

December Birthstone Blue Topaz Necklace
December Birthstone Blue Topaz Necklace. See it here.

Topaz is commonly irradiated and heat treated to obtain desirable topaz colors, especially blue, yellow, red, pink, and green. These treatments are generally stable and permanent, but there is the likelihood of the color fading when directly exposed to sunlight.

It is common for less expensive substances to be passed off as topaz. These include glass, quartz, and other gemstones such as citrine. This is why it’s important to purchase from a reputable seller and to request information about your topaz prior to purchase.

Topaz Symbolism

Natural Swiss Blue Topaz Ring
Natural Swiss Blue Topaz Ring. See it here.

Topaz has long been a symbol of love and affection. Many civilizations pair topaz with desire and passion perhaps due to its orange fiery color. It is often believed that wearing topaz can increase your overall cheerfulness and sweetness. Though the exact symbolism of topaz changes with the primary colors, its symbol of love and passion always remains.

Caring for Topaz

14K White Gold Oval Blue Topaz Earrings
Oval Blue Topaz Earrings. See them here.

Cleaning your topaz is as simple as warm soapy water and a clean dry cloth. This removes the grime and dirt that accumulates on the surface of the stone, restoring its shine.

Due to the hardness of topaz, it is important to store it separately or inside a soft cloth. This will protect your other stones from being scratched by the topaz’s hard surface and also protect your topaz from being scratched by harder stones such as your diamonds or sapphires.

It is a good idea to remove your topaz before working out, applying makeup, or cleaning the house, as sweat, chemicals such as chlorine, ammonia, detergents, and other foreign dust and liquids can damage the quality of your stone.

Shopping for Topaz

  • Blue Nile stands out for its wide range of topaz jewelry, featuring both everyday and more glamorous cocktail pieces. The company commits to quality and integrity, ensuring all jewelry meets high standards. Their topaz collection suits various budgets, offering affordable luxury.
  • James Allen presents a sophisticated selection of fine topaz jewelry, perfect for those seeking luxury and quality. They are known for top-quality gemstones and offer customization options for many jewelry pieces.
  • Etsy, a global marketplace, offers a diverse array of topaz jewelry, including artisan-crafted and vintage items. Shopping on Etsy often supports small businesses and independent artists.
  • Amazon hosts a vast selection of topaz jewelry, appealing to all styles, tastes, and budgets. It offers the convenience of exploring a range of sellers in one place. Amazon’s topaz jewelry spans from affordable to high-end, but buyers need to research and vet the retailer and product before purchasing.

Wrapping Up

Topaz jewelry beautifully combines attractiveness, flexibility, and affordability, appealing to many jewelry lovers. With options ranging from the elegant simplicity of white topaz to the bright charm of blue and mystic topaz, there’s a piece for every taste and event.

Whether you prefer the luxury of fine jewelry or the uniqueness of handmade items, the broad array of colors and designs in topaz jewelry keeps it a timeless and favored choice in the jewelry world.

Nadi Alahakoon

Nadisha has been a fashion aficionado for as long as she can remember! From following the latest trends to checking out vintage styles, she’s always curious about what’s in and what’s out! She has a background in Nursing, literature, and English. When she’s not writing about jewelry and diamonds, Nadisha spends her time window shopping, dancing, or traveling the beautiful landscapes of Canada.

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