If you are searching for the perfect gift this holiday season, consider December’s birthstone, the blue topaz. Symbolizing eternal love and faithfulness, the blue topaz is the perfect choice no matter what the recipient’s birth month is, as it also represents high points in the lives of any couple. In addition, the blue topaz is a traditional gift for the 4th, 9th and 19th wedding anniversary.
About the Blue Topaz
Naturally occurring blue topaz is extremely rare. Topaz is often found colorless and heated or otherwise treated to achieve colors. The lightest shades of topaz are sky blue, while medium shades are Swiss blue and London Blue is the deepest shade of blue. For the birthstone, the traditional color is turquoise, although the American Gem Trade Association assigned Tanzanite as an alternative birthstone for December in 2002. Blue topaz ranks an 8 on Mohs’ hardness scale, providing good durability. A beautiful sterling silver and blue topaz diamond accent necklace, or earrings make the perfect gift for that December birthday.
History of the Topaz
Although mentioned in the Old Testament, the actual discovery of topaz is ancient and unknown. It is believed that the stone is named for Topazos, the former name of an island in the Red Sea that is now known as Zebirget, where there was an early topaz discovery. Some historians believe that the stone referred to in the Bible as blue topaz was actually peridot, as early topaz identified based on modern, scientific information were yellow crystals found in Germany in 1737. Over the years topaz has symbolized gentleness, fidelity, friendship and integrity. It is also believed that those who wear topaz experience love, wealth and protection. The most famous blue topaz, first thought to be a blue diamond, was set in the Portuguese crown, the Braganza, while another large topaz is found in the Green Vault in Dresden. The Smithsonian Institute displays cut topaz of many thousands of carats each. For today’s woman, a sterling silver, one-third carat diamond and blue topaz ring is the perfect gift for an anniversary, birthday or to demonstrate love and friendship.
Caring for Blue Topaz
Because blue topaz has weaker bonds parallel to the base, a characteristic known as basal cleavage, the stone should be cut from the crystal at a particular angle, before being polished and carefully set. Extreme pressure, sudden temperature changes, hard hits or drops onto hard surfaces could break a topaz, so care should be taken with any jewelry containing this stone. Avoid ultrasonic and stream cleaners, as well as prolonged exposure to high heat or bright light, as bright light could cause fading of the stone. The safest way to clean a blue topaz is with warm, soapy water and a soft brush.
Bette Midler, Lucy Liu, Ozzy Osborne and Alyssa Milano, whose birthdays probably own several blue topaz in honor of their December birthdays. See the blue topaz collection, available online or at any one of the locations of Rogers Jewelers.