Into the silvery winter slips a bit of blue sparkle! Just in time for those celebrating December birthdays, we have unwrapped some wonderful blue topaz pieces. If you are following the blog regularly, you will know that we covered the aspects of topaz in November. The golden-brown variety is the stone of choice for that birth month. Blue topaz is the colorful December stone.
Crafted from the colorless variety of the mineral, which is plentiful, blue topaz is often irradiated with 10 million electron volts to create its vivid sky blue hue. One such famous gem is the Adiel Topaz that weighs 20,769 carats and took a year to cut. It is kept in Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History.
Blue topaz shares the December birthstone honor with turquoise and lapis.
Turquoise is found in only a few places on earth where dry and barren regions meet acidic, copper-rich groundwater. While it might lack the sparkle and clarity of transparent colored gemstones like ruby, emerald and sapphire, turquoise’s rich history and crowd-pleasing color make it a desirable gem. Ranging from grass green to a bright sky blue, this stone has an ancient heritage and unforgettable color. Turquoise buried in Ancient Egyptian tombs is among the world’s oldest jewelry. It’s most often cut into cabochons, but it might also be cut into beads or flat pieces for inlays.
An ancient stone, lapis lazuli – sometimes just called lapis – was mined in northeast Afghanistan as early as the 7th millennium B.C. Lapis was treasured by the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, Greece and Rome. During the Middle Ages, lapis was ground into powder and made into the most expensive of all blue pigments. During the Renaissance, the pigment was often reserved for depicting the robes of Angels or the Virgin Mary. Although associated with a dark blue color, lapis is also found in other shades of blue, ranging from deep violet to royal blue, light or greenish blue. Today you can enjoy lapis cabochons, beads, inlays and tablets, but we have one special pair of earrings in the store that have been faceted to show off this showy stone.