Aquamarine VS Blue Topaz-What's the difference
April 8, 2016
Do you have a piece of jewelry with a light blue stone and you're not quite sure if it is Blue Topaz or Aquamarine?It is truly difficult to discern the difference, but there are variations to the trained eye.
Aquamarine is the March birthstone and comes in a broad range of hues, from almost colorless to rich blue-green shades reminiscent of the deep sea. Aquamarine is a derivative of the beryl mineral. While many precious gemstones, such as emeralds and sapphire, are prone to flaws, there are an abundance of flawless aquamarine in the market. It is wonderfully durable, though it is susceptible to internal cracks if hit hard against unforgiving surfaces. Left in direct sunlight for too long, some aquamarine experience fading. Aquamarine boasts a slightly larger spectrum of colors.
Topaz is a gem of all colors including orange, sky blue, pink, light or deep blue, blue green, green, transparent, light violet and white. In terms of hardness, aquamarine tips the Mohs’ scale at 7-7.5 while topaz is at tough level 8 . Though hard, Topaz varieties feature perfect cleavage, which means they are easy to crack and chip on impact. Nonetheless, after Sapphire, blue Topaz is the most-popular colored gemstone on the market. It is also very affordable. It is fairly easy to obtain Topaz in the same color range and clarity as aquamarine,at a fraction of the cost,making it an outstanding value.
The word Topaz came from the name Topazos which is the ancient island in the Red Sea while Aquamarine came from the Latin word that means water of the sea. Aquamarine is actually an expensive gem as it far rarer. The color of Aquamarine is actually washable. It can fade if it is exposed to the sun. Blue topaz on the other hand is less expensive and colors do not fade. Because Topaz is so common and Aquamarine so rare, the price difference is huge. If your goal is to purchase a fine Aquamarine bracelet, ring, pendant or earrings, go to a repudiated jeweler., since it is so difficult to tell the difference. It wouldn't hurt to have it appraised after purchasing.
A main difference is the refraction property of these gems. Aquamarine has weak refraction while topaz has stronger refraction. If two refraction lines can be easily spotted, the stone in question is a blue topaz. You can differentiate the two by using a diamond tester, Simply press the tester tip to the gemstone. If the results on the display of the diamond tester register thermal conductivity, the stone is aTtopaz. If the tester does not register thermal conductivity, it is safe to call the stone Aquamarine.