Birthstones by the Month

One of The December Birthstones is Blue Topaz

Blue Topaz faceted teardrop the December birthstone.


Topaz cut from the Xanda Mine, Brazil. A very pretty faceted teardrop gemstone. [1]

Blue Topaz Mineral Form

The gemstone Topaz is an aluminum silicate that grows in an orthorhombic crystal formation, meaning it has three axis of unequal length. Topaz gems are transparent in nature with a vitreous luster and high refractive index. Some Topaz displays pleochroism, which means the gem is able to display two or more different colors at the same time depending on the angle of light refraction.

Blue Topaz the December birthstone.

Emerald Cut Blue Topaz

Blue blue-topaz crystals from Brazil.[2]

Blue Topaz Facts

An incredibly popular gemstone, blue-topaz is a favorite for jewelry applications due to its color variances and Mohs hardness of 8. Topaz comes in a wide variety of colors including shades of red, orange, brown, yellow, pink and colorless. While Brazil is the world’s largest supplier of Topaz, other sources include India, China, Burma, Sri Lanka, Japan, Russia, Mexico, United States and more. Topaz has been used in jewelry since antiquity wherever it has been found.

Transparent Blue Topaz in the rough.

Transparent Blue Topaz

A very transparent blue-topaz crystal with a magnificent blue color and fabulous etched shape. The termination and the upper part of the primary faces are splendidly smooth and very well defined. [3]

The characteristics of Blue Topaz

In recent decades, a variety of Topaz known as Blue Topaz has seen an increase in popularity. This color however, does not occur naturally and is a result of colorless Topaz undergoing specific treatments. In metaphysical beliefs, Topaz is said to improve curiosity and your sense of humor. The gem has been associated with compassion as well as communication.

Cut and Clarity for the December birthstone

Topaz typically has little to no inclusions, making these gemstones appear clean to the eye. For this reason, Topaz is a favorite alternative to diamonds and is sometimes used in diamond simulants as well. It is not uncommon to find incredibly large carat Topaz gems with a flawless appearance. Gem cutters take special care when faceting Topaz due to its cleavage potential. Topaz has a perfect cleavage, resulting in the stone potentially chipping if struck too hard. It’s also important for gem cutters to capitalize on the pleochroic nature, showcasing multiple colors. Topaz has been cut into all traditional and non-traditional shapes, though because of its typically elongated or column-like growth they are favorites in long ovals or pears and teardrops.

The value of Blue Topaz

The more intense the color, the more valuable the specific Topaz gem is. Imperial Topaz named for its gold hue is especially favored, as well darker shades of the pink-red and orange-red spectrum. Especially valuable is the rare red Topaz which makes up less than half a percent of gem-quality Topaz found. Topaz tends to be a fairly affordable gemstone, making it a favorite for use in all levels of jewelry from costume to high-end.

Blue Topaz crystal the December birthstone.

Blue Topaz Crystal

This specimen is vivid blue, with color and luster comparable to old Brazilian material, although with a unique crystal habit. From The Zapot in Nevada. [4]

Is Blue Topaz ever treated?

All Blue Topaz is treated by irradiation first and heat treated to stabilize the color change. Due to the high amount of treatment on Blue Topaz, there have been instances of the blue color fading if left exposed to direct sunlight for a long period of time. Other Topaz colors are sometimes treated with similar methods to intensify the existing color.

Blue Topaz the December birthstone.


Crystal of blue-topaz, (lepidolite) from Brazil. [5]

More about Blue Topaz the December birthstone

To clean Topaz it is recommended to avoid steam or ultrasonic cleaning systems since high heat or sudden temperature changes can cause fractures. While Topaz is a fairly hard stone and can handle most chemicals, it is still best to clean the gem and any jewelry with Topaz in it with warm, soapy water. Make sure to completely dry the jewelry before storing or wearing.

The American Gem Society's December Birthstone page has more information to help you buy from knowledgeable and skilled jewelers and to help you make the most informed buying decision.

Image Attribution

  1. By Didier Descouens (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  2. By Mauro Cateb (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  3. Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  4. Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  5. By By Parent Géry (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons