GemSelect April 2014 Newsletter - Swiss Blue Topaz
What is Swiss Blue? Back to Top
Swiss blue topaz is a colour somewhere between sky blue and London blue. The middle of the road for blue topaz; not too light and not too dark and without the dark greenish colour of London blue. It may be the middle of the road, but this gemstone is certainly not mediocre. Swiss blue topaz has a beautiful vivid blue colour.
The hue of Swiss blue topaz has been compared to the azure of the sky and the vivid blue of the ocean. Swiss blue is a little brighter than aquamarine and lighter than electric or cobalt blue.
Symbolism and Meaning of the Colour Blue Back to Top
Blue is said to be the colour of calm. Peace and tranquillity can be found when looking into the blue of the ocean. Blue symbolism relates to trust, wisdom, confidence and truth. The calming effect of blue is thought to slow the metabolism. Additionally, light blue is a more feminine shade than dark blue and is associated with healing, understanding and tenderness.
How Swiss Blue Topaz is Produced Back to Top
In nature, blue topaz is a very pale blue, so in order to achieve a vivid blue, topaz is enhanced through a stable and permanent procedure, known as irradiation. Topaz gemstones are exposed to an artificial source of radiation to alter their colour. Sometimes, heat treatment is used following irradiation to change the colour of gemstones even more. This is known in the trade as "combination treatment". A deep blue enhanced topaz is known as "London blue"; medium blue is called "Swiss blue" and light-blue is termed "sky blue". Those who feel anxious at the thought of wearing irradiated gemstones can rest assured that the distribution of irradiated gemstones is strictly regulated to ensure that these gemstones do not reach the market too soon after irradiation, for the safety of all, from lapidarists to jewellery designers and finally, those who wear the jewellery.
Why Choose Topaz? Back to Top
Topaz is an understated gem, it is affordable, has great hardness, lustre and excellent clarity. In fact, the famous "Braganza Diamond", a 1680 carat stone owned by the Portuguese royal family, was revealed to be colourless topaz. This shows just how brilliant topaz gemstones are, such that they can be mistaken for the most popular and highly prized gemstone of all time; diamond.
Blue topaz is one of the top selling non-traditional coloured gemstones. Swiss blue topaz can be overlooked, since the darker London blue is tends to be the most highly valued. However, the softer and more feminine Swiss blue makes a stunning jewellery gemstone.
Topaz Jewellery Ideas: Back to Top
Swiss blue topaz is the perfect coloured gemstone for the summer. When set in silver, platinum or white gold, it looks cool and icy. In yellow gold settings, it is reminiscent of golden sand and ocean blue.
Since Swiss blue topaz is affordable in substantial sizes, it is an excellent gemstone for cocktail rings or pendants. One ring by Paolo Costagli features an approximately 35 carat cushion-cut Swiss blue topaz set in 18 karat white gold and is called "by the pool", probably due to its cool, watery blue hue. Versace have used faceted blue topaz in their Barocco range and have also created a "V-line" cabochon-cut blue topaz in a white gold set ring. Gucci have a checkerboard-cut topaz dinner ring.
Anzie have a range of jewellery fashioned from Swiss blue topaz, which includes silver earrings, bracelets and necklace pendants. Swarovski have produced faceted blue topaz beads. A number of Cartier products use Swiss blue topaz, such as an amethyst, diamond and blue topaz necklace and a platinum set blue topaz and diamond brooch. Tiffany and Co. designer, Paloma Picasso designed a simple blue topaz dot charm that incorporates a smooth topaz cabochon in 18 karat gold. Some designers mix London blue, Swiss blue and sky blue topaz into one piece of jewellery, which shows an intriguing range of hues.
Famous Blue Topaz Gems: Back to Top
The Duchess of Cambridge has been seen wearing a pair of pale blue topaz and diamond hoop earrings by Kiki McDonough. She also has peridot, blue topaz and diamond earrings by Ms McDonough.
Vanessa Williams from "Desperate Housewives" was snapped in West Hollywood, wearing a Manya & Roumen 18 karat gold Celestial Goldfish ring with eyes made from Swiss blue topaz.
Singer, Katy Perry wore a sterling silver blue topaz cuff bracelet by Anzie for the 21st Annual MuchMusic Video Awards.
Featured Gems - Ammolite, Imperial Topaz and Chrome Tourmaline Back to Top
Ammolite is a rare organic gemstone, made up of the fossilized shells of Ammonites. Aragonite is the material that ammonites are mostly composed of; the same material found in nacreous pearls. Ammolite gemstones have a striking play of iridescent colour, which mostly exhibits green and red hues. In rare specimens, pinks and purples can also be seen. This is a result of light reflecting off thin platy layers. Ammolite is only found on the eastern side of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and this supply is expected to be depleted within around twenty years. Alberta and Lethbridge have both declared ammolite to be their official gemstone. Ammolite is also known as "korite". Due to the fragility of ammolite, it is usually layered for use in jewellery. When used as a jewellery gemstone, ammolite emits such an interesting play of colour that it draws attention to the wearer.
Imperial topaz is the most sought after natural topaz and is considered to be the colour of the setting sun. It is also known as "precious topaz". In the 17th century, it was mined in Russia and was exclusively worn by the Russian Tsars. Imperial topaz used to be the term reserved only for orange topaz with red dichroism, but nowadays, imperial topaz refers to a wider range of colours, including yellow, pink and pink-orange. These golden, peachy and pink tones are in trend for spring and summer 2014. The versatility of topaz allows for a variety of jewellery designs, with both large and small gemstones in a range of cuts and shapes.
Gemstone quality forest-green chrome tourmaline from Tanzania is rare; therefore, it is seen in private collections more often than in jewellery designs, which is a shame because it is a beautiful gemstone. It is a variety of chromium-bearing green dravite. Chrome tourmaline sometimes also contains vanadium, which is the colouring agent found in emerald and tsavorite garnet. Chrome tourmaline has good hardness, but is often only available in small sizes. Jewellery designs for chrome tourmaline include bezel-set and pronged-set rings, earrings and pendants. Chrome tourmaline is said to rival the green of emerald and tsavorite, but has the advantage of being available at more affordable prices.
Gem News Back to Top
On April 16th, Christie's New York will hold a magnificent jewels spring sale at the Rockefeller Center. Both colourless and coloured diamonds will be on sale and Christie's anticipates procuring over $50 million in sales. The lot features a 6.10 carat intense pink diamond ring, which is expected to sell for $4 to $6 million.
Graff Diamonds revealed a $55 million lady's watch, called "Hallucination", which features rare multicoloured diamonds, at BaselWorld 2014. The timepiece is said to be the most valuable watch ever made.
Tiffany & Co. will welcome new executive vice president and chief financial officer, Ralph Nicoletti, from 2nd April 2014. Mr Nicoletti will be moving from CIGNA where he held the position of executive vice president and CFO. The current chief operating officer and CFO, Mr James Fernadez, will be retiring in July.
Gem & Jewellery Events for April 2014 Back to Top
Customer Questions Back to Top
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- First Published: March-27-2014
- Last Updated: June-25-2015
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