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Topaz, and especially blue topaz, has grown in popularity over the years. The "pure" topaz color is yellow, and was often confused with chrysolite, the yellow variety of peridot. However, the use of distinct colors has helped topaz come into its own. Blue topaz in particular is popular in jewelry today. It has a watery blue similar to aquamarine, but often without the green overtones, and its hardness and good clarity make it an excellent gem. The blue color is often enhanced through heat-treatment and irradiation.
Topaz was believed to have incredible medicinal powers in the Middle Ages, even against the plague. For a healthy individual, it brought about a pleasant disposition and patience and was a symbol of fidelity and love.
Blue topaz is December's birthstone.