Blue gemstones are dreamy and tranquil, bringing to the surface feelings of peace and calm. Perhaps it’s their likeness to pristine ocean waters, or the way the light flickers and dances across the sharp facets, but we can’t get enough of blue gemstones! Two of the most popular are aquamarine and blue topaz. When it comes to selecting your gem, it helps to compare the two.
There are pros and cons to both jewels. For starters, aquamarine is prestigious, twinkling from the hands of celebrities like Jessica Biel and Jennifer Aniston.
By contrast, blue topaz is more affordable and widely accessible, coming in second place to sapphire for the most popular blue gem.
Buyers smitten with blue gems find themselves torn between these striking jewels.
When it comes to blue topaz vs. aquamarine, which is better, and how can you spot the differences? Read on to learn more about each of these blue jewels to decide which deserves the coveted spot in your jewelry collection.
Topaz is a vibrant gem in a variety of richly saturated colors. Let’s survey the unique attributes that make this blue gem worthy of selection.
We mentioned that blue topaz is popular, and that’s primarily because of its abundance. With deposits spanning Sri Lanka, USA, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Russia, and Afghanistan, topaz is in large supply. Originally named after the ancient Greek island of the Red Sea, Topazos, the gem was initially used for physical and mental healing.
Like sapphire, topaz gemstones are available in assorted colors, but its natural color is white. However, meeting with certain impurities and minerals alter the gem’s color. It’s the presence of chromium and iron that instill topaz with its brilliant blue hue reminiscent of aquamarine. However, you can find blue topaz in various blue tints, from sky blue to Swiss blue to London blue.
Unlike aquamarine, blue topaz is often color-treated to enhance the blueness or alter it entirely from white to blue. Most blue topaz gems undergo heat treatment to reach desired shades of watery blue. However, the tone never quite matches the naturally blue-green tiny of aquamarine.
In terms of durability, we analyze gems by their relative hardness. On the Mohs Scale, blue topaz ranks at 8, two positions from the top spot. This means that topaz is durable and hard enough to wear daily. However, topaz has cleavage, delicate planes prone to cracking or fracturing.
Blue topaz is significantly more affordable than aquamarine, mainly due to color treatments. When a gemstone undergoes alteration, its value lowers. That said, it’s important to keep perspective. When you compare blue topaz vs. aquamarine side-by-side, they’re equal in durability, beauty, and coloring. If your prime motive is to buy a striking blue gem, blue topaz wins for affordability.
We’ve sorted through the details of blue topaz, but how does aquamarine stack up?
Unlike topaz, aquamarine is exclusively blue. However, this naturally blue jewel essentially comes in 50 shades of blue, from sky blue to aqua. There are few gems as calming and watery as this lustrous jewel. Let’s explore the factors contributing to aquamarine’s striking beauty.
Aquamarine is less widespread than morganite and emerald, but it comes from the same beryl family. This water-themed jewel has oceanic origins, named after the Latin expression, “water of the sea.”
Nature gifts us many treasures, but aquamarine is one of the rare jewels with a signature color akin to the aqua waters of the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. These serene jewels come from regions spanning the seven seas, including Brazil, Kenya, Russia, and the USA.
While blue topaz is most commonly heat-treated to obtain its lustrous hue, aquamarine is 100% natural. Beryl jewels come in a variety of colors, but each has its own respective name. For instance, emerald is beryl and similar in composition to aquamarine, but they are considered different gems.
Mainly, this is because each of the beryl gems exists in a stunning array of shades. Of course, the most striking of all is its famous blueish-green shade.
Most fascinating of all, aquamarine requires no enhancements or heat treatment to illuminate its naturally blue-green color. Of all these shades, the most desired are richly saturated. In cases where the color is muted, designers will heat treat the gems to match the coveted blue color. That’s why it’s always best to inquire about any treatments or enhancements before purchase.
Aquamarine ranks between 7.5-8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, making it strong enough to resist damage. Compared to blue topaz, aquamarine doesn’t have fragile cleavage, meaning it’s less susceptible to exterior cracking.
However, aquamarine is vulnerable to internal cracks upon impact. It’s best to avoid any high-impact exercise or sports while wearing aquamarine. Additionally, its naturally beautiful coloring can fade when exposed to extreme sunlight.
By a landslide, aquamarine is more valuable than blue topaz because of its natural color. If you compare blue topaz vs. aquamarine jewelry, it’s easy to see where the chips fall. Generally, aquamarine jewelry is approximately twice the cost of blue topaz.
Now that we’ve fully explored each of these beautiful blue jewels, let’s see how they stack up side by side:
Availability: Both gemstones are easy to find, but blue topaz is slightly more available because of the common heat treatments. Aquamarine is rarer due to its natural color, and the most richly saturated gems are scarce and pricey.
Color: Most blue topaz gems are heat-treated, while aquamarine is primarily natural. Of course, some aquamarines receive treatment to enhance their watery color.
Durability: Regarding blue topaz vs. aquamarine durability, aquamarine wins for its resistance to external cracking. However, you’ll need to take equally safe measures with each gem to preserve its lifespan. Explore protective settings and schedule regular cleanings and maintenance to keep them dazzling in all their blue glory.
Price: Blue topaz is the more affordable gem because it’s more widely available. Aquamarine generally costs twice as much as blue topaz, thanks to its natural coloring.
Which is your favorite between blue topaz vs. aquamarine? Are you having trouble deciding? Don’t worry, because you genuinely can’t go wrong with either! If you want the best bang for your buck, blue topaz wins. However, if you’re a purist who values the rare and organic, it’s aquamarine for you!
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