Blue Topaz Ring – December Birthstone
December 17, 2008 by Afshin Yaghtin
“And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row” (Exodus 28:17).
Most scholars agree that the concept of birthstones had its origins not in the celestial sphere or the zodiac, but in the Breastplate of Aaron or the Hoshen, a ceremonial breastplate worn by the High Priest of the Israelites adorned with twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel–and later perhaps, a foreshadowing of the Twelve Apostles.
Because the ancients did not classify gemstones based on their mineral species, various cultures assigned a mystical or symbolic meaning to each gemstone instead. The Hebrews, the Romans, and the Arabs assigned ruby to the month of December, whereas Hindus chose Topaz, and the Russian and Polish chose Turquoise–all of which now serve as alternate gemstones for the month of December.
- Pure topaz is actually colorless and translucent but is usually tinted by small impurities. Typically colorless, gray, or pale, topaz is heat treated and irradiated to obtain its blue hue.
- Based on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, topaz has a hardness of 8. The Mohs Scale rates mineral hardness on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being diamond). Precious metals such as gold and silver are rated between 2.5 to 3, platinum is rated between 4 to 4.5, titanium comes in at 6, tungsten at 7.5, and tungsten carbide at 8 to 8.5.
- Blue Topaz is the Texas state gemstone, often cut by the Lone Star design. The Texas Natural Science Center exhibits a 1778 carat blue topaz found in a Brazilian mine (Wikipedia).
There are several varieties of the blue topaz common to the jewelry industry:
- Sky blue topaz — this is the most common blue topaz used in jewelry, referred to simply as blue topaz. This variety is similar in color to aquamarine but without aquamarine’s gray undertone.
- Swiss blue topaz — this variety has a more saturated appearance compared to sky blue topaz and is sometimes referred to as electric blue topaz.
- London blue topaz — this type of topaz has a steely, grayish, and deep blue color. This is the darkest blue topaz variety available in jewelry.
Symbolism and Meaning of the Topaz
There is some confusion regarding the mystical meaning of the topaz gemstone because most mythology surrounding the stone was based on the yellow topaz (alternative November birthstone). Topaz was associated with the sun, due to its fiery color, and like many gemstones, was considered a royal gemstone.
Depending on where you research your information, there are often numerous meanings associated with each gemstone. But with topaz, the consensus seems to declare that topaz is the gemstone of understanding, wisdom, and fulfillment.
Topaz is said to promote clear vision and understanding both of the self and of the world at large, making topaz the stone of both self-realization and worldly wisdom.
Topaz is also said to promote creativity, individuality, and self-expression. Other meanings include the topaz gemstone as a protective stone, a healing stone, and a promoter of truth.
As one of the stones in Hoshen or the Breastplate of Aaron, topaz inherently contains within its abstract and metaphysical properties a spiritual depth unrivaled by many gemstones. Although it is sometimes disputed whether the Biblical text referred to a yellow topaz or chrysolite (another yellow stone), in Jewish writings, the topaz is said to bring blessings of joy and abundance to one’s life.
Apples of Gold Jewelry offers many unique blue topaz rings.
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