Are you considering buying topaz jewellery? Topaz is a beautiful and lustrous gemstone that comes in several colours, including blue, yellow and white. The best topaz gemstones display vivid colour, often in pastel tones, with no imperfections visible to the naked eye. In our guide below, discover 10 tips on how to buy the best topaz jewellery.
Guide to Buying Topaz Jewellery – 10 Facts
1. Look for even, vivid colour
Topaz comes in many colours, including white (colourless), blue, yellow, red, pink and orange. The rarest and most expensive topaz colours are orange and red, while most people will be acquainted with blue topaz because it is widely available and affordable. But whatever colour you decide to buy, remember that your topaz should look even and vivid in colour, and never dull or blotchy.
2. Always pick a clear gem
Topaz sold in commercial jewellery should look translucent and be free of any visible imperfections or markings (called inclusions). This is particularly true in the case of blue, white and yellow topaz.
3. Choose from many shapes, from classic to fantastical
Natural topaz crystals have an elongated shape. For this reason, gem cutters often carve topaz into long or oval gems to preserve as much of the rough stone as possible. Having said that, topaz lends itself to creative cutting, so you can find it in many creative shapes including round, emerald, pear and heart cuts.
4. Size VS price
Topaz is a fantastic starter gemstone for your jewellery collection. This is because especially blue and transparent topaz gems are inexpensive in small carat sizes. However, topaz carat prices rise for gemstones above 10×8 mm. So if you want a big statement jewellery piece made of topaz, be prepared to spend a little more.
5. As a birthstone or anniversary gift, topaz has added meaning
If you’re considering topaz jewellery as a gift, it will have added meaning for some people. It is the birthstone for November, as well as the star sign of Scorpio. Blue topaz is also the official 4th anniversary gemstone gift.
6. Ensure conflict-free origin
While topaz is mined all over the world, the finest samples come from Brazil. Today, the Brazilian gemstone trade is still largely artisanal and the country regulates heavy mining practices to preserve the environment and tribal culture. When you buy topaz, make sure you are purchasing conflict-free gems from a jeweller that abides by the NAJ Code of Ethics.
7. Wear as an engagement ring, but treat with care
On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, topaz rates 8. Close to diamonds, which rank 10, topaz is very hard. However, hard does not always equate strong, and topaz can be brittle along its crystal lattice lines (in fact, just like diamonds are). Therefore, while topaz is hard enough to be suited to engagement rings, you should wear it with care and protect it from knocks and scratches.
8. White topaz is an affordable alternative to diamonds
If you’re on a budget, white (transparent) topaz is a fantastic alternative to diamonds. Firstly, these white gems offer beautiful sparkle while being affordable. Secondly, you’re getting an authentic, natural gemstone, without resorting to synthetic diamond-substitutes like cubic zirconia. Finally, their white radiance suits any complexion, just like diamonds do, so they make beautiful and versatile accessories or gifts.
9. These 3 characteristics make topaz unique
First of all, topaz has the largest crystals out of all the gems in the world, so it’s a surefire choice for big statement jewellery pieces. Secondly, topaz that is cut in facets is so smooth after it has been polished that it actually feels slippery to the touch. Thirdly, topaz is “pleochroic”, meaning that it can display different colours when you look at it from different directions.
10. Always check terms and conditions before you buy
In the UK, always buy your gems from a registered jewellery retailer that is a National Jewellers’ Association (NJA) member. This will guarantee you’re buying the real thing. Additionally, always check the terms and conditions for your purchase, including any guarantee period, as well as a return policy.