The exquisite and stunning beauty of blue topaz is mesmerizing. It has become by far the most popular topaz colour for modern jewellery. When you walk into a room wearing brilliant blue topaz, it will not go unnoticed and neither will you!


The Rich Meaning Behind the Stone


A topaz, by any other name…


Zabargad is a small island in the Red Sea. It was once known by the old Greek name of Topazios. Even though topaz was never found on the island, many authorities believe the island was indeed the source of the gemstone's name. It may not have produced topaz, but the island was known for its peridot. Before the advent of modern mineralogy, topaz was often confused with peridot because of their similar appearances.


However, other scholars believe that topaz's name comes from an ancient Indian language known as Sanskrit. The word for fire in Sanskrit is "tapaz" (sometimes spelt topas), thought to be a reference to the stone's naturally fiery brilliance. People of the Indian sub-continent have worn topaz above their hearts for many centuries. They believe that wearing it so confers beauty, intelligence, and long life upon the bearer.


However it got its name, topaz in all of its colour variations is a lovely semi-precious gemstone worthy of praise and honour. Perhaps that's why it has had so many magical properties heaped upon it!

  • Topaz has long been believed to possess cooling properties. This should certainly be true of blue topaz, with its refreshing resemblance to cool, blue water!  
  • The Ancient Greeks trusted topaz amulets to give them strength.
  • Wearing a topaz amulet on the left arm supposedly protected the wearer from dark magic.
  • Renaissance-period Europeans believed topaz could dispel anger and also break those annoying magical spells.
  • A wine-soaked topaz was believed to help vision when rubbed on the eyes. A related belief was that properly worn topaz rendered its wearer invisible!
  • Perhaps because of its rich, golden colour, topaz was believed to have a mystical attraction to gold. This attractive force was enhanced if the golden topaz was also set in gold.
  • Carving the figure of a falcon upon a topaz was believed to attract the favour of royalty.
  • Over the centuries and in many parts of the world, topaz has come to symbolize wealth, health, love and affection.
  • It was so strongly linked with love that is was once even used to gauge a potential loved one's sweetness and disposition!


Colour Variant Names


In the nineteenth-century, orangish pink or red topaz was found in quantity only in Russia's Ural mountain range. To honour Russia's Czar this naturally and regally coloured stone was named Imperial Topaz. Naturally, ownership of the orangish-pink stone was restricted to the Imperial Russian family!

Attractive, yellowish-brown to brownish-orange topaz is named for the wine it resembles, Sherry Topaz.

Bicolour Topaz is a topaz fashioned so that it displays a combination of two colours.

Mystic Topaz has a multicoloured sheen from being coated with a metal such as titanium.

Swiss Blue and London Blue topaz are irradiated and heat-treated to produce their stunning blues.


Millennia of History


Topaz has a long and rich history as a valued gemstone, revered around the world. It even has an important place in Biblical history. It was so highly valued throughout the centuries that, up until the twentieth century, any transparent gem that was yellow, orange, or brown was proclaimed a topaz!


Swiss Blue or London Blue?


Topaz is available in a broad range of colours. These include colourless (clear or white), yellow, green, blue, brown, orange, pink, red, purple, grey, and multicoloured. Natural (untreated) blue topaz is extremely rare and costly. Fortunately, in the early 1970s gemologists discovered that the quite common and inexpensive colourless topaz could be made to turn blue! 


This was done by first bombarding the stones with high-energy radiation. This irradiation causes minute damages to the crystalline lattice within the stone. These tiny defects within the stone change the way the stone interacts with light and hence how our eyes perceive the stone's colour.


Since all naturally-occurring topaz colours are a result of interior damage to the crystalline stones, it's not surprising that the irradiation process sets the stones up to change colours. Heat-treatment then finishes the job. Variations within the treatment process produce the dazzling array of blues that are seen. They vary in colour, tone, and level of saturation.


Because of the abundance of colourless topaz, as well as the precision of the treatment process, it is possible to produce beautiful, high-quality blue topaz gems at reasonable prices. That may well account for this brilliant gem's popularity!


Swiss Blue Topaz


Swiss Blue is a vivid, bright blue with a light tone and only light to moderate saturation. This gives it a sparkling clarity and light-hearted look.


London Blue Topaz


London Blue is a dark, rich blue with a moderately dark tone and deep saturation. It often looks almost inky or metallic and may show hints of green when viewed at certain angles.


What to Consider When Buying Quality Blue Topaz Jewellery


Imperial topaz, as well as the rare naturally coloured pink and red stones, are the most valuable topaz gems. However, quality blue topaz is also a valuable gemstone in its own right. When choosing one of these brilliantly blue gemstones, you should consider the following factors as established by the world-respected GIA and commonly known as the "4 Cs".




A fine blue topaz should be clear and free of any visible flaws or inclusions.




Blue topaz is available in all the usual cuts. However, because of its often elongated crystalline structure, long oval or pear shapes are most common. An emerald cut is popular in order to maximize a stone's colour and weight.


Mixed cuts and intricate, designer-inspired fantasy shapes are quite popular for larger stones.


Carat Weight


Blue topaz is a relatively inexpensive gemstone in the smaller sizes. However, prices naturally increase as the sizes increase. This is especially true for stones above the 10×8 mm range.




The colour should be attractive and pleasing to your eye. All other factors being equal, colour is often the basis upon which a personal decision is made.


Stunning Pieces of Topaz Jewellery


Purchasing from your local Reading jewellers ensures that you will find stunning, and affordable, blue topaz jewellery pieces like these.

  • This elegantly simple Savannah silver and light blue topaz ring from the line of renowned Danish silver designer Georg Jenson is a size 56. It was designed in 2006 and launched in 2017. The ring is hallmarked. 
  • This Gianfranco Bigli 'Moon' pendant features a London blue topaz as darkly mysterious as the far side of that celestial body. The topaz and mother-of-pearl cabochon are embraced by a hallmarked 18ct white gold setting replete with diamonds. The pendant is suspended from an 18ct white gold fine trace chain necklace. The chain is 16" long with a trigger clasp. The whole is presented in a Gianfranco Bigli box for the perfect gift.
  • Hulchi Belluni has created an endearing design with this 'Quadrifoglio' blue topaz ring. It truly resembles its four-leaf clover namesake! The central cabochon consists of a lovely quatrefoil blue topaz surrounded by a pavé border of brilliant-cut diamonds, the whole set in 18ct white gold. 
  • Exquisite hardly describes this blue topaz and diamond dress ring. Stunning would perhaps be more appropriate. Five brilliant blue topaz centred with a diamond form the first flower. It is accented by a smaller flower composed entirely of diamonds. The setting is of hallmarked 18ct white gold.


Caring for Your Blue Topaz Jewellery


Topaz has a rating of eight on the Mohs Hardness Scale. This makes it quite hard although it also has perfect cleavage and will, therefore, cleave easily if handled roughly. Knock it about too much and one perfect gemstone could quickly become two that aren't nearly as perfect! It might also fracture if heated or exposed to sudden temperature changes.


However, you won't have to worry about the lovely blue colour fading if exposed to strong sunlight. The treatment process produces a stable and permanent blue colour. 


To clean your blue topaz, simply immerse it for 20 minutes in a bowl of warm, sudsy water made using a mild washing up liquid. Scrub it gently, but thoroughly, with a soft child's toothbrush dedicated to the purpose. Rinse in a bowl of clean, warm water and dry thoroughly with a soft, cotton cloth.


If you are in any doubt about the cleanability of the settings or other gemstones present, you may want to opt for a professional cleaning instead. At Jacobs the Jewellers, we will be happy to accommodate your needs.


Finding that Special Piece of Blue Topaz Jewellery


Besides being the birthstone for December, blue topaz is also recommended as a 4th and 19th-anniversary gift. If you are in search of the perfect blue topaz for a celebrant in your life, look no further than your local Reading jewellery shop! Contact Jacobs the Jewellers for enquiries or for help in choosing the perfect piece of blue topaz jewellery for that special gift!