Topaz is a mineral that is abundant in the earths crust and it can be found in a multitude of colors. The answer to ‘what color is topaz’ is something that’s not as simple as offering one color choice due the variety available. When you find pure topaz you can see right through it like glass but when it has been affected by the structure being damaged or other types of impurities the colour can range from yellow, to orange and brown and even in shades of red, pink, blue and purple!
Pure topaz is widely available and is often used as a diamond substitute in Jewelry. With a hardness of 8 on the MOHS scale it is very durable and suitable to almost any Jewelry application. Some call it the Braganza diamond and it was even owned by the Portuguese royal family. The gem they owned went missing after King John VI died and has never been recovered.
Today the most common colours found of topaz in its natural state are a pale shade of yellow, grey and brown. You can also find pastel shades in pinks, violets and milky green. Unfortunately most natural topaz doesn’t give off the vibrant colour that people of this day and age want so they tend to treat them to make them more exciting before making them into jewellery. Blue is the most sought after color and is the best seller of all the colours thanks to the brightness. The fact that it’s not overly expensive is also a great selling point making it more attainable for everyone.
Unfortunately the sought after blue rarely appears in nature. The natural hue is quite pale which means that those you purchase have been enhanced by using techniques of irradiation and then heating. This gives them the beautiful blue tone you see in many jewellery pieces today.
The most valuable type of topaz are those that are of an orange or pink colour and they are called imperial topaz. There’s no clear definition of imperial topaz color because it’s so varied ranging from a gold orange colour to peach and pink. If you see light pink topaz it could be the result of having special heat treatment.
The bright pink colour is also created using a special high tech process which is called thin-film deposition. This process involves using a thin layer of metal to change the property of the gem to make it more appealing. It is applied to half of the gem and the colours are then reflected through the top. The metal is then bonded so that it is not only part of the treatment but part of the stone itself. Through this type of treatment numerous colours can be created, especially the popular bright hues that are in demand today. You could have anything from electric blue to lime green or even a mystic style which gives a prism type effect. There are no restraints to colour which is what makes this type of stone so popular with so many people.
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