Regarded as a semi-precious gem, topaz is one of the gemstones with the broadest color spectrum. The color range of topaz virtually includes all colors of the rainbow, and they may also be found in a colorless form. Colorless topaz gems are the most common ones, and they are generally heat treated to create shades of blue. Topaz occurs in various lava flows and granite rocks as crystal minerals.
Blue topaz is the most widely used variant of the Topaz family. It owes its popularity to its captivating blue color. Even though blue topaz is a naturally occurring gem, it is rare and mostly found in light colors. Because of this, colorless and light blue colored topaz gemstones are often heat treated and irradiated to improve their blue color.
While there are many opinions regarding the etymology of topaz, many sources suggest that the name comes from the Island of Topazos. Alternative sources claim that the name was derived from the Sanskrit word tapas, which means fire, or heat.
Topaz has been adored by many ancient civilizations, and some of them presumed that the gemstone held powers. The Egyptians associated topaz with the sun, and they believed that the sun god Ra has colored the gem himself. The ancient Greeks thought that topaz would give them strength and increase their power. Romans have linked topaz with the God of Sky, and King of Gods, Jupiter.
One of the largest blue topaz gems is the Marbella Topaz which weighs 8225 carats. This marvelous blue gem was unearthed in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil. Marbella Topaz is part of the Spanish Programa Royal Collection.
According to a renowned gem and jewelry magazine, since the beginning of the 21st century, blue topaz has become the second most popular gemstone in the world (sapphire is often number one). The popularity of topaz is certainly not surprising since blue topaz is a very beautiful stone available in a wide range of vivid hues with a spectacular glassy luster.
Brazil’s Minas Gerais region, which known for its large topaz crystals, is the main topaz supplier of the world. China, Russia, and the United States are the other locations where Topaz is mined.
Blue Topaz has a hardness rating of 8 on the Mohs scale, which makes it a quite durable gem. However, it should be taken into account that topaz is not the most durable gemstone. The topaz has a property called a perfect split, a property that it shares with the diamond. This means that it can be broken or split into two pieces by a strong blow, so it must be protected from hard blows. Topaz should also be kept away harder substances which may scratch its surface.