London Blue Topaz Gems
The Dark Blue Topaz Gem Stone
The darkest color shade of blue topaz is referred to as London Blue Topaz. This dark blue topaz is very impressive and has often been clubbed with the gems like blue sapphire, tanzanite and iolite. This is an interesting compliment for London blue topaz since, it is several times cheaper than iolite, tanzanite or blue sapphires. Given the beauty and durability of blue topaz, you will appreciate the very modest price range of this amazing gemstone. Men's rings and bold pendants are jewels that are ideally suited for this deep blue topaz gem stone. If you had to consider a blue gemstone for a large mens ring, the gemstone size could be a hefty 4 carats or above. An average quality blue sapphire of this size would not cost less than 2,000 U.S$ to 4,000 U.S$. A good iolite gem stone with this size would be priced at around 200 U.S$ to 400 U.S$. A medium grade tanzanite gem with this weight would not be priced less than 1,000 U.S$ to 2,000 U.S$. Remember that we are talking just about the gemstone and have not thrown in the cost of the metal and craftsmanship.
Do not let the above price estimates scare you, a very impressive blue gem ring or pendant can be produced with london blue topaz gems. The price of this gemstone in the 4 to 6 carat range would be around 45 U.S$ to 75 U.S$ even for the best quality. Good quality in a london blue topaz gem stone would imply a gemstone that is eye clean, has uniform color and is perfectly cut. When you look at the very modest price of london blue topaz gems, you will agree that the stone is suitable for blue topaz jewelry that is produced in gold or sterling silver. The price of London Blue topaz gemstones would move up (per carat) as the gemstone size hits the 10 carat and above size range. For this reason a 20 to 30 carat round london blue topaz with good quality and color, might be priced at around 400 U.S$ to 750 U.S$. While this is not cheap it might help to understand that, it would be almost impossible to get a good blue sapphire or tanzanite in a 20 carat size. We have heard of Hollywood stars flashing 15 carat tanzanite gemstone jewelry but the cost of such gems would be in the range of 10,000 U.S$ to 16,000 U.S$. So on an equation of color, durability and price London blue topaz would be a sure winner.
You might have heard that most of the topaz that is mined is white in color, some very pale blue topaz has also be found naturally. So how does this pale colored topaz end up with the impressive deep blue color of a London blue topaz? The normal process for producing blue topaz is to use controlled radiation to treat the gemstone. Once radiated, the gems are stored for a 'cool off' period that is scientifically determined and stringently followed. The cooling period takes any traces of radiation off the blue topaz gems. The gemstones are then cut into final shape and polished by gem cutters. Before we move ahead to discuss another newly introduced method of producing blue topaz, let us understand the advantages of controlled radiation as a treatment process. The most important thing about this treatment is that, the color is derived throughout the gemstone and not just on the surface. So if you had any need to repolish or even recut your london blue topaz (or other blue topaz) gem you would have no problem.
Now coming to a newly introduced process for making blue topaz. Are you one of those who loves to eat a cake that is pasted with heavy cream on the top? If yes, we know how you feel once the cream has been eaten off the top. You will know in just a moment why this comparison is relevant to our discussion on blue topaz. The new treatment for blue topaz was introduced with much noise and publicity. Some gem dealers also cried foul play when a simultaneous uproar was raised regarding radiation as a treatment for producing blue topaz. Suspicions aside, the new treatment did arrive but has not gained much momentum. The worst thing about the newly treated blue topaz is that the color is spread only on the surface, much like the cream on top of your delicious cake. So if you had to scratch your london blue topaz gemstone, a repolish or recut would ruin the gemstone. This is because the color of the stone is superficial and not all through the gem. While topaz is not a soft gem, it would be better to have a blue topaz that will retain it's color even after a repolish or recut.
So when you purchase any shade of blue topaz, make sure that you get a gemstone that uses the earlier treatment for the color. The controlled radiation treatment for blue topaz has been used for at least 3 to 4 decades, there have been no proved cases of health issues raised until today. The gemstone manufacturing industry realizes the importance of buyer safety, short cuts and carelessness can ruin them as much as it could affect the buyer. A gem dealer could be holding several thousand carats of blue topaz at any given moment, so he is as much worried about health and safety as you are.
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