Yes, December is the month of Blue Topaz, Turquoise and Tanzanite - three beautiful gemstones and very dissimilar from each other. This is hardly a surprise considering their very distinct precedence. Tanzanite, as the name suggests, is only mined in Tanzania. Turquoises are mined mostly in Iran, Sinai and the USA. Blue Topaz, is found chiefly in Brazil. According to well respected industry magazine Colored Stone, blue topaz has become the second most popular coloured gemstone after Sapphire!
Blue topaz colours – there are three hues - are really wonderful, but did you know that the pure topaz is colourless and transparent? Natural blue topaz can occur but is very rare. Typically, to give the blue topaz the really beautiful and dark colour we are used to seeing, you have to irradiate and heat the colourless topaz.
There are two different irradiation methods used to produce blue topaz. One of them applies gamma rays from cobalt, and the other bombardment from electrons. Both are followed by heat treatment. The treatments were investigated by the NRC (American Nuclear Regulatory Commission) in August 2007 and - fortunately for blue topaz lovers - no health risk was found!
As I mention before, you can find three different hues of Blue Topaz in the market, named Sky Blue, Swiss Blue and London Blue (the darker version). The most expensive one is the London Blue Topaz, although the Sky blue and Swiss blue are very popular as well. Personally, I think the Sky blue is the most natural colour, but both, Swiss and London blues are pretty.
In this picture, the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing a pair of diamond and Sky blue topaz hoop earrings by Kiki McDonough. The jeweller - http://www.kiki.co.uk/ - seems to be investing in blue topaz and quartz stones for her latest collection. It is worth taking a look at the collection to see how lovely jewellery can be made with blue topaz.