Icy Blue Elegance
Depending on where you are in the world, winter is generally associated with the cold and the snow, and it all begins the last month of the year, December. It’s only fitting that December’s gemstone features the same properties as this chilly season.
A Cooling Gemstone
Ancient civilizations believed this birthstone was a “cooling” gem and was said to possess the ability to temper physical and emotional attributes. They believed this gemstone had the ability to cool boiling water, relieve burns and even calm hot tempers and anger. So this gemstone is said to have cooling abilities, just like how winter cools everything around it. It’s the perfect fit. December’s birthstone is none other than the sparkling blue topaz.
A Stone of Many Colors
There’s topaz, and then there’s blue topaz. Topaz comes in a variety of colors including colorless, yellow, orange, red-brown, pink, violet and light green, but the blue variety is the most popular. Topaz is pleochroic, which means that it can show different colors depending on the angle you’re viewing it from, giving each topaz gemstone a unique color makeup. December’s birthstone is specifically the blue topaz, and ranges from a paler sky blue Swiss blue to a deeper, richer London blue. The blue topaz is also used to celebrate a 4th wedding anniversary.
The rarest colors of topaz are the red and violet variations. Actually, the most rare and expensive topaz is called the Imperial topaz, and the royal court of Portugal celebrated its discover in 1768. The color of the Imperial topaz ranges from a medium reddish orange to orange-red.
A Well-Traveled Gemstone
Topaz comes from all corners of the world, including Brazil, Australia, China, Germany, Madagascar, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and even in our own backyard, the USA. Because it can be found all over, it’s no surprise that topaz’s history features tales and legends from Europe to the Middle East.
Let’s start with the name. The topaz name alone has many theories associated with it. Some believe topaz got it’s name from the Greek word “Topazios,” which is the name of an island in the Red Sea where the ancient Greeks mined a yellow gem they believed to be topaz. In other parts, it is said that the name topaz comes from the Sanskrit word “tapaz,” which means fire and pays tribute to it’s fiery orange yellow variation.
Legends of the Blue
The meaning of topaz, and what it represents, ties into its historical significance. Ancient Greeks believed that the topaz birthstone was a powerful stone and could increase the physical strength of the person who was wearing it. Legend says that topaz could even provide invisibility in emergency situations. Similar to the beliefs that topaz is a cooling stone, in Europe during the Renaissance (from the 1300s to the 1600s), people thought that topaz could break magic spells and calm anger; they thought the topaz gemstone had magical powers and brought good luck. Legend also says that topaz can change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink, so if you’re ever questioning what’s in your food, harness the powers of topaz for some help.
Today, topaz is associated with learning, creative inspiration, peaceful communication and understanding. It is said to be very beneficial for self-expression, and could be useful for artists, writers, and public speakers to think clearly.
No matter which shade of the blue topaz birthstone you’re looking to sport, this unparalleled gemstone looks stunning in both yellow and white metals. It compliments almost anything in your wardrobe, from brown and gray to pink, black, neutral hues and more. Blue topaz jewelry gives you the pop of color you’re looking for without being overbearing. It’s the next best thing to hit your jewelry collection.
Whether you’re celebrating a December birthday or simply appreciate the brilliant colors of this gem, you’ll find a stunning array of blue topaz jewelry at Zales.