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Topaz, an Offbeat Alternative for Blue Rings

Mar. 24 2014
Looking for something slightly different that will adorn beautiful blue engagement rings? Why not consider topaz as an interesting option?

Bridget popped round the other morning for a coffee and even though L wasn’t here, I was inclined to ask her in and offer her a drink. I was right in the middle of something and hoped that I hid my mild frustration at being disturbed, but I am not sure Bridget would have noticed anyway.

Her confident manner, direct approach and love of an argument make me a prime subject for an hour’s entertainment for Bridget. I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to get back to my reading until she had gone and put the kettle on.

It was soon obvious that she had known all along that L would be out and she wanted to come round to talk to me about an idea she had had for blue engagement rings. Before I could explain that we had not finally decided on blue engagement rings necessarily, she was off.

Fashionably Blue

She went on to tell me how blue is definitely becoming more and more popular and that her friend, who spends her days suited and booted and attending the likes of Ascot and Burley Horse Trials, had just bought a blue engagement ring as it was the en vogue alternative to the diamond.

Blue Engagement Ring by Fei Liu

Blue Engagement Ring by Fei Liu

L and I had already discussed how we loved the idea of deviating from the diamond and the uniqueness of some of the other gemstones, but when I tried to explain this to Bridget she just bulldozed on.

Introducing the Blue Topaz

Have you considered though, she said, the idea of blue engagement rings that are made up with the beautiful topaz, and not the more popular sapphire or blue emerald? I had to admit that I hadn’t and that I had assumed that topazes were predominantly yellow in colour, not blue.

Bridget soon put me right. In fact, they are mainly colourless, but can appear in a huge range of different shades, from pale green to smoky brown (a colour that is often confused with smoky quartz) and blue to gold. According to Bridget, smoky quartz is the least stable of the stones and can fade over time and, in her opinion, should not be considered. I feebly tried to tell her that we were talking about blue topazes anyway and smoky topaz did not fall into that category, but she didn’t appear to hear me.

The Science Behind Topaz

She continued, telling me the science behind the gemstone. She smiled, as she knew that this would impress me and she had obviously learned carefully so that I would not be able to catch her out. Bridget explained that, basically an aluminium silicate, topaz is the hardest among these types of minerals, mainly due to the strong chemical bonds within its core. It is more typically found in Sri Lanka, from which it was imported in ancient times by Roman and Egyptian nobles, but also in Brazil.

In the Middle Ages, topaz was thought to have powers that would strengthen the mind and prevent sudden death.

It was also believed to have the power to boil water and cool flaring tempers that meant it was considered to be a ‘cooling’ stone, the opposite of a ‘hot’ stone such as the ruby. I asked Bridget why she wasn’t wearing one but she chose to ignore my attempt at humour.

A Most Durable Option

It did interest me to discover that topaz is a hard gemstone and achieves an eight out of ten on the specialist hardness scale. It would actually make a very durable choice of stone for our ring, should we decide on going with a take on one of the blue engagement rings we have seen.

Bridget left soon after coffee was done and I am sure she was happy that she had said her bit. I was, however, distracted for the rest of the morning thinking about blue engagement rings and the idea of using a rare and unique topaz in favour of the more common sapphire and wondering what L would think about it.


Robert FeatherYorkshire
Deborah CadbyLondon
Fei LiuBirmingham
Andrew EnglishLondon
Mairi BurrowBelfast