It is the relative abundance, desirable colors and a good hardness that make topaz one of the most popular gemstones in the world. The most valuable varieties of the stone come in golden, orange, yellow, orange-red and dark pinkish-red colors. The lustrous golden orange-yellow type of topaz is popularly known as “imperial topaz”. Read More..
The deepness in red and orange hues serves as a factor for gradual increase in the worth of the stone. However, blue colored topaz is considered suitable for jewelry and is commonly used for this purpose. With the use of heat treatment and irradiation of the blue topaz in the past century, the popularity of the gemstone increased by manifolds.
The abundance and easy availability of topaz makes it one of the most common and inexpensive gemstones. Sometimes, the huge flawless crystals of the stone are faceted and joined to make giant gemstones which may have the weight of thousands of carats.
Though not comparable with diamond, topaz crystal is sufficiently hard and durable. Owing to exceptional hardness, most of the chemical solvents cannot dissolve it. However, the perfect cleavage patterns make it susceptible to chipping in case it is hit hard on something.
Topaz has a unique quality of pleochroism. Such an amazing property makes it exhibit varied colored intensities when viewed at different angles. The pleochroic nature and fine cleavage patterns demand that great care should be exercised while faceting it from a rough gemstone into a gem.
There is also a totally colorless variety which is becoming increasingly popular. The immense fame and value of the colorless form is owed to its somewhat resemblance with diamond. Putting in other words, is serves as an inexpensive alternative to diamond.
Imperial topaz is the most popular and most valued variety of the gemstone. The color of this type may be orange-pink, orange-brown or golden orange-yellow. The luster emanating from the imperial topaz fascinates the eyes of the onlookers.
There are various other varieties of the gemstone which are known by their trade names. These trade names may not essentially reflect their appearance or other properties. These names have been coined by the dealers and have become commonplace in the jewelry market. They include White, Sherry, Rutilated, Swiss Blue, Silver, Mystic, London Blue and Azotic, etc.
Making comparison of London Blue and Swiss Blue, the former has a deep sky-blue color which is darker in tone than the latter. Silver Topaz is a colorless variety which is regarded as synonymous with the White Topaz. Mystic Topaz is characterized by multiple colors with a rainbow-like effect. It is a synthetic color which comes from an extremely thin metallic layer deposited on the top of the gemstone.
Like Mystic Topaz, Azotic Topaz also have a rainbow-like color effect. This rainbow-like effect is rendered by the coating of the gem with an extremely thin metallic layer. However, the word Azotic does not refers to its shape or appearance. In fact, it is the name of company (Azotic®) which first introduced topaz in such color patterns.
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