Scientific Name: Aluminium Fluosilicate
Chemical Formula: Al2SiO4(F,OH)2
The Blue Topaz is found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Russia, Australia, Pakistan, Mexico, Tasmania, Japan, Africa and the United States. The name Topaz is believed by most to come from the Greek word topazos, the ancient name for St. John ’s Island in the Red Sea. Some still say it is from the Sanskrit tapas meaning fire. Ancient Greeks believed that Topaz had the power to increase strength and to make its wearer invisible. It was said to change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink. It was used as a cure for insomnia and asthma. Topaz is the birthstone of the month of November.
Although a beautiful stone in its own right, the Blue Topaz is also an attractive and affordable alternative to the Blue Sapphire. The blue coloration of the stone occurs naturally, but some of the blue topaz available on the market today is produced from paler colors. These are irradiated or heat-treated to enrich their blue hue. This treatment produces a crystal-clear blue color, described with names such as “Sky Blue Topaz”, “Swiss Blue Topaz”and “London Blue Topaz” referring to the darkness of the gemstone. “Sky Blue” is the lightest. “London Blue” is the deepest blue.
Perfect cleavage is a notable attribute of the topaz. Because of its internal chemical structure, a Topaz which receives a sharp blow may split into fragments. In this sense, the Topaz are similar to a cut diamond. Once the stone is mounted, this problem should be of minimal concern.
Be sure to care for treated gemstones as instructed to keep colors from changing or fading.