TOPAZ The Fire

TOPAZ The Fire

Topaz is a traditional birthstone for the month of November. Today most topaz offered in mall and department store jewelry stores at low to moderate prices has been treated in a laboratory. Colorless topaz can be heated, irradiated, and coated with thin layers of metallic oxides to alter its color. Most topaz is colorless to milky. Yellowish and brownish colors are also common. Natural pink, orange, red, purple, and blue topaz are rare and valuable if they are of gem quality.

Natural blue topaz is extremely rare and is usually pale blue. Almost all of the blue topaz offered in stores today is colorless topaz that has been irradiated and then heated to produce a blue color. “Swiss blue” and “London blue” are trade names for two of the most common varieties of treated blue topaz seen in today’s market.

Brazil is the leading source of gem-quality topaz today. Sri Lanka is another important producer. Small amounts of topaz are produced in Nigeria, Australia, Pakistan, Russia, India, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and Namibia. In the United States, Utah named topaz as its state gemstone in 1969.

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