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Blue Topaz

Blue topaz is the most affordable gemstone, giving consumers the look of aquamarine for less.

But it doesn’t start out its life that beautiful blue. When it comes out of the ground, it is colorless. The color of blue topaz is an achievement of the gem treater’s art. In the 1970s, dealers discovered that they could treat white topaz by exposing it to radiation, and then heat. What was originally a colorless gem then turned the blue of aquamarine.

When blue topaz first appeared on the market, it was a pricey novelty. But as more dealers figured out how to produce the color, production exploded and prices dropped to their affordable levels today.

The blue color is permanent, making this gem ideal for affordable gemstone jewelry.
Quickly after the new color treatment was developed, blue topaz became a very popular gem with consumers.

But despite the success of blue topaz, many jewelers who sell it do so with ambivalence.
Granted, they admit, the stone has unrivalled beauty for the money. But the fact that the color is created by man makes blue topaz feel less natural than other gems. Gems like sapphire may also have their color improved by heat. But the enhancement of sapphire doesn’t always work, and it is a difficult and expensive process. In contrast, blue topaz is easily and affordably mass produced.

Trade ambivalence about topaz is evident in the marketing and merchandising of the gem. Few retailers even bother to tell consumers that blue topaz owes its color to either a nuclear reactor or a linear accelerator.

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