The Hues of an Ocean Sunset... Cast your eyes upon the ocean waters as the setting sun displays its dance of color, and youll discover all the rich spectral hues of topaz. On its cool side, topaz ranges from a soft sky blue to the richest and most vivid aquas and greenish blues imaginable. Warmer tones of topaz take on the golden hue of a fine chardonnay or the blush of a tree ripened peach. Other colors range from rich, warm browns to lusty variations of orange and cinnamon. Some of the most rare and exceptional shades of topaz include rich pinks and sherry reds.
Topaz owes its long-lasting popularity to many things, but chief among these is its remarkable combination of beauty and affordability. Found in many different colors and sizes, topaz continues today to be one of the worlds most desirable and sought after gemstones.
Topaz is the birthstone for November. In recent years blue topaz has been used as an alternate birthstone for December.
The most prolific sources for topaz are Brazil and Nigeria. Topaz is also found in Myanmar, Russia, Sri Lanka, and the United States.
Topaz is routinely treated to bring out its best color. When enhanced by heat, shades of brown, orange and yellow often change to pink. A wide variety of rich blue and greenish blue shades can be created using a combination of heat and irradiation. The color of enhanced topaz is usually very stable.
Topaz is a hard gemstone that is very resistant to scratching, but because of its internal structure it may break or split if subjected to hard blows or sudden changes in temperature. Topaz should never be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaning machine. Topaz can be cleaned with most any commercial jewelry cleaner or plain soap and water using a soft brush. Be sure to rinse and dry your jewelry thoroughly after cleaning.
Photo: Robert Weldon, Copyright Professional Jeweler Magazine
Editors Note: This article is © 2002-2014 Jewelers of America Inc.