What Is London Blue Topaz ? Here’s How Topaz Gets Turns Inky Blue

If you’ve been browsing jewelry lately you’ve definitely run into some London blue topaz. This is one of the most interesting colors of topaz, especially since it’s not a bright and saturated as other colors. Instead it appears rather muted, mysterious, and more intriguing than a bright, brilliant gem.

But what is a London blue topaz, and how did it get that strange blue color ? Is it related to Swiss blue topaz ? And how well does topaz behave in jewelry, can it be worn everyday ? Let’s take a look at this hauntingly beautiful blue gem and discover more.

london blue topaz

What is London blue topaz ?

London blue topaz is a steely-blue, inky color topaz, of a medium saturation with occasional green-grey flashes in some angles. It starts out as a colorless, clear topaz crystal and ends up darker than regular blue topaz.

The deep blue is obtained by subjecting the topaz to gamma radiation and then heating it, after which the gem is stored in a radiation-safe box until the radiation levels drop enough to be used in jewelry. This sort of deep blue is nearly impossible to find in nature, since is requires the perfect pressure, heat, and radiation exposure for the color to happen.

Are London blue topaz and sapphire the same ?

No, London blue topaz and sapphire are not the same gem, though their colors may appear similar. Where a London blue is a steely, inky blue a sapphire blue leans more towards indigo and cornflower blue, so it has a slight violet hue to it.

There are sapphires that don’t have a very strong color, but even those still display a very vague hint of violet.

What is Swiss blue topaz ?

Swiss blue topaz is the alternate name of regular blue topaz. It is a very strong, electric sky-blue and the result of irradiation and heat treatment, only a little different than London blue topaz.

Swiss blue topaz (or simply blue topaz) has been on the market sine the ’70s and has been the default topaz color since then.

Read also: Stainless Steel VS Sterling Silver 

Is London blue topaz better than Swiss blue topaz ?

London blue topaz is not better than Swiss topaz, as both colors offer something different. Where the London blue is deep and inky, and you could say mysterious, Swiss blue topaz is a bright, electric blue.

One could be used in more subdued jewelry, the kind that aims to draw the eye and make you wonder that’s in there. The other could be used in bright, flashy, jewelry that will impress instantly.

Really it’s all about choices, and what you’re trying to show with your color play. Because of this, we think neither color is better than the other, rather each color says something different. And who knows, you could be wearing one today and the other tomorrow !

Can you wear topaz every day ?

Yes, topaz can be worn every day as it ranks an 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. All gems above 7 can be worn every day, as long as they have a protective setting. This means your topaz can be worn in nearly any setting, since it does not necessarily need a bezel setting.

Another great point for topaz is that it won’t lose its color or fade at all when exposed to sunlight. This means it’s a good choice for jewelry that you will be wearing every day, or at least often, and you want the color to last.

Take for example this gorgeous Swiss blue topaz pendant and chain on Amazon.

It is a beautiful blue topaz, cut in a pear shape, with a single white diamond set atop the topaz. The metal can be wither white or yellow gold, and it comes in 14k quality. It can serve as a really beautiful birthstone gift, since topaz is the traditional birthstone for those born in November.

Or, if you’d like a London blue topaz example, try this pendant and chain, also from Amazon.

It’s an oval cut London blue topaz, surrounded by small white diamonds. All of it is set in 14k white gold, and does come with a chain attached. As it’s still a topaz, it can still be given as a November birthstone gift. Or it could work very beautifully for someone who has a strong connection to both November and April (diamond).

What color topaz is the most valuable ?

Imperial topaz is the most valuable (expensive) topaz color range, and this is a deep apricot orange color with flashes of red and pink. Next is sherry, which is a deep, warm brown with golden flashes. In fact, all golden-orange-red topaz fall within the imperial topaz family and thus come at a premium price.

Red and pink natural topaz are also fairly expensive since they are pretty rare.

Natural topaz comes in a variety of colors, the most common being yellow, brown, light blue, orange, clear, red, and pink. The most common is light yellow and colorless, and these can be heat treated to achieve different colors.

Aside from color, you’ll notice that topaz is also prized for its clarity. This is one of the naturally clear gems, just like aquamarine, morganite, and smoky quartz.