Topaz is the birthstone for December and symbolizes love and affection. It has been said that it adds to one’s sweetness and disposition.
Topaz gets its name from a Greek word Topaz-ion meaning fire and the isle named St. John’s Island.
Topaz is an ideal gemstone with its hardness of 8.0 on the scale and its desirable colors make it extremely popular. The availability and abundance of this gemstone adds to its popularity.
Natural blue topaz is rare and almost all are heat treated or irradiated. Blue topaz can generally be found in 3 different colors of blue which are Sky, Swiss and the deep blue known as London blue. The sparkling stones evoke images of the wind, sky and water. Blue is the color of calm and quiet.
There are other colors of topaz such as pink, yellow, and clear or colorless. Although clear topaz looks like a diamond, the hardness is different. Topaz is 8.0 on the hardness scale while diamonds are 10.0
The most valuable color topaz is called “Imperial” topaz with its golden orange-yellow color. The color of topaz determines the value not the carat weight.
Topaz was always prized and rare stone from the time of the Middle Ages until the discovery of the large deposits in Brazil in the mid-19th century. Nowadays, it is extremely popular and affordable.
Topaz largest production was found in Brazil, it can also be found in Nigeria, Australia, Burma, Russia, Sri-Lanka and India.
Cleaning a topaz is like most other gemstones, soak in warm water and dish soap for 10-15 minutes, using a soft brush to clean. Do not use ultrasonic, steam cleaner or jewelry cleaner as they are too harsh for the stone.