Monday, 25 March 2019

Pink Topaz

Blue topaz, the cheap gem that owes its color to irradiation, took the jewelry world by storm in the 1980s.
The trade expected pink topaz could be just as inexpensive. It's one thing to coax deep-blue from cheap colorless topaz but another to coax deep-pink from uncommon precious topaz. Topaz transformable into pink stones costs a lot more than topaz transformable into blue ones.

The reason it costs more is limited supply. Not just any precious topaz, but precious topaz with an essential coloring agent: chromium, the same trace element responsible for red in ruby.

Topaz that can be turned pink seems only to come from Brazil, much of it from one mining locality: Oro Preto.
Pink topaz is often cut to maximize rough yield, making calibrated gems suitable for jewelry exceedingly rare.

Pink topaz looks good in low-light conditions due to its transparency and high refraction. With a Mohs’ hardness of 8, pink topaz is a good choice for everyday jewelry.