Diamond Guide (The 4Cs)
Blue Topaz Guide
Karat Gold Jewelry
Gold Filled/Gold Plated Jewelry
Gold Vermeil/Gold Wash Jewelry
Titanium Jewelry Guide
Blue Topaz Gemstone Information: Buying Blue Topaz Jewelry
What is Blue Topaz / What are Blue Topaz Gemstones?
Topaz (all colors of topaz) is a variety of quartz, along with citrine and amethyst, and is considered a semiprecious gemstone. Topaz (all colors) rates an 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Blue topaz is one of the birthstones for the month of December (along with turquoise and tanzanite).
Topaz is also a Type I gemstone, which means it is usually free of inclusions. Inclusions are internal flaws, cracks and fissures that, if prevalent, can affect a gemstone's strength, durability and clarity. Because most topaz is plentiul, it will be easy to find quality blue topaz jewelry, with decent size stones and excellent clarity, at a relatively affordable price.
Buying Blue Topaz Jewelry
Irradiated Blue TopazOne of the things to know when shopping for blue topaz jewelry is this: Untreated, natural topaz (all colors) generally does not have vivid color, and natural blue topaz is rare. The brilliant blue color found in blue topaz jewelry is usually due to radiation, meaning a natural pale or colorless topaz is irradiated (bombarded with neutrons or electrons) to alter its color to produce vivid blue topaz gemstones.
The manner in which blue topaz is irradiated, as well as its subsequent 'cooling off' period, testing of irradiated blue topaz gemstones, and the initial distribution of irradiated blue topaz is regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). For further reading on the manner in which irradiated gemstones are regulated, please visit the NRC's Fact Sheet on Irradiated Gemstones.
Blue Topaz Jewelry versus Aquamarine JewelryIf you're shopping in general for light blue gemstone jewelry, rather than specifically for blue topaz or aquamarine jewelry, you'll find that blue topaz jewelry is significantly less expensive because it's less rare/more plentiful, and you'll be able to afford jewelry with a greater number of blue topaz gemstones and/or larger blue topaz gemstones than with aquamarine.