What color is it?: Topaz can occur in many colors. Most notable is the Imperial colors of peach, champagn, pink, salmon, and cherry red. Can also be found in blue, yellow and colorless. Others possible.
What is the story behind this gemstone?: Colorless topaz occurs in very large crystals. Sometimes weighing in the tons. The blue colors are generally due to radiation and heating. In the US, only the peach color is considered Imperial Topaz since it has not been heated. But in the rest of the world the term Imperial can be applied to almost any of the fancy colors as listed above as these are very rare and quite expensive.
Can I wear it everyday?: Absolutely. One of the best gemstones for everyday wear.
Is it expensive?: Blue topaz will usually cost only a few dollars per carat, while the Imperial colors of topaz can run in the thousands of dollars per carat. Consumers are recommended to shop around before making a purchase.
Is it a birthstone?: Yes. The yellow variety is the birthstone for November.
What do I need to know before going shopping?: Be sure and shop with a qualified professional jeweler when shopping for topaz. Look for a store that carries a lot of colored gemstones, and a store who has a trained gemologist, to be sure that you are getting the quality and the stone you are paying for.
Blue topaz crystals shown above. Below, blue topaz after radiation but before heating…and after heating!
Source: Brazil, Sri Lanka, Russia, United States, and many more world wide
Chemical: Varies with variety of stone
Formation: In pegmatite dikes.
Crystal System: Classic orthorhombic crystals.
Unusual Properties: Bi-color topaz have been found in Russia.
Above: Bicolor topaz from Russia. All photos by Your Gemologist