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Though the first thing that may come to mind when you think of topaz is an affordable blue bauble, there’s so much more behind this underrated gemstone. Above all else, topaz is versatile. In fact, it's quickly becoming a popular alternative to the traditional diamond engagement ring among modern brides-to-be.
What Is Topaz?
Topaz is a gemstone that appears in a wide range of colors including green, yellow, orange, and, most commonly, blue. Its color is caused by impurities or defects in its crystal structure rather than its chemical composition, according to the Gemology Institute of America.
Pros and Cons of Topaz Engagement Rings
There are pros and cons to a topaz engagement ring. On the downside, “topaz’s are fragile stones and can scratch easily,” Kalan notes. As well, if your topaz has been heat or color-treated, it “can fade in color in high heat or if it comes in contact with chemicals.” However, there are also several benefits to a topaz gemstone. For starters, it’s more affordable. “Not everyone wants or can afford a large diamond. A topaz helps create the larger look for a fraction of the price,” Kalan says. She also adds that topaz can take a high polish, which is ideal for a sparkling ring stone.
Meet the Expert
Suzanne Kalan is a California-based fine jewelry designer with over 28 years of experience in the industry. She works with custom-cut colorful gemstones and diamonds to create her signature collection of covetable jewelry that’s been worn by the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Aniston, and Lady Gaga.
What to Look for in a Topaz Ring
- What are the different shades of Topaz? As previously mentioned, topaz offers a large color range, including glistening tones of green, yellow, blue, orange, red, purple, and pink as well as colorless topaz (known as ‘white topaz’). Among the more popular topaz color options is London Blue and Imperial Topaz. The two represent opposing sides of topaz. The former (London Blue) is treated topaz, which involves “a long process to create the beautiful blue color,” Kalan explains. Imperial, on the other hand, is the rarest form of topaz. It originated in 19th-century Russia and boasts a fiery golden yellow and pinkish-orange hue. All of these color variations impact the price of topaz and offer varying aesthetics.
- What shape works best with a Topaz gemstone? “The stone usually comes either elongated or columnar and is often cut as long oval or pear shapes to improve yield,” says Kalan.
- What setting works best with a Topaz gemstone? “Protective ring settings like a bezel should keep the stone safe from knocks and a skilled jeweler can position prongs so they don’t place stress on the cleavage plane,” Kalan explains. “Stones with less elongated shapes often appear in halo settings.”
How to Care for Your Topaz Ring
Kalan suggests cleaning your topaz with warm water, mild soap, and a soft toothbrush. "Keep your topaz away from any chemicals like lotions, hair products, or household cleaning supplies,” she says. "Additionally, you shouldn’t shower or go into any warm bodies of water with treated topaz stones.”
The History of Topaz Gemstones
It’s challenging to note precisely when topaz was discovered as it was often mistaken for other gemstones in part due to its expansive color range (more on that ahead). The name itself comes from Topazios, the old Greek moniker for an island in the Red Sea. The island never produced topaz but it did produce peridot, which was confused with topaz. “For us, topaz engagement rings have been a fun alternative to the standard diamond solitaire,” jewelry designer Suzanne Kalan tells Brides. “Topaz is a symbol of love and affection hence a popular gem for an engagement ring.”
And now, scroll through the beautiful topaz engagement rings below.
Two blues are better than one, as is proven in this stunning Swiss Blue and English Blue topaz ring featuring a band of white diamonds.
The Imperial Topaz center stone on this unique engagement ring is set between two small diamonds and a 14k yellow gold band.
If you're looking for a unique wedding band consider this 14k rose gold ring featuring topaz and diamonds.
A one-of-a-kind asymmetrical ring featuring lotus garnet, white and champagne diamonds, and precious topaz.
If you’re looking for a sweet, simple engagement ring consider this chain version featuring blue topaz and green peridot gemstones.
This heart-shaped topaz ring is a charming option for the understated bride-to-be.
A striking option for the bohemian-inspired bride.
The lines on this diamond and emerald-cut blue topaz ring feel artistically inspired.
The beauty of topaz is that it plays nicely with other gemstones, like morganite as seen on this delicate three-stone engagement ring.
This London Blue topaz center stone feels regal and elegant as do the 56 round brilliant cut genuine diamonds that line the band.
Leave tradition behind and go for a signet ring featuring a flash of blue topaz—it’s the epitome of unique.
This ring features a cluster of sapphire, London blue topaz, aquamarine, and diamond gemstones.
You won't be able to take you eyes off this emerald-cut blue topaz ring. The gemstone is held in a prong setting with diamonds on either sides.
You'll get lost in the beauty of this mystic blue topaz gemstone. It is flanked with round brilliant cut diamonds on a 14K white gold band.
Is there anything more enticing than chocolate diamonds? It doesn't seem like it. This Deep Sea Blue Topaz ring features vanilla & chocolate diamonds on either side of the gemstone.
This ring truly looks like it is something from a fairytale. Inspired by the Disney princess Cinderella, this emerald-cut London Blue topaz ring is part of Zales Enchanted Disney Fine Jewelry Collection.
The mixture of white topaz and mother-of-pearl makes for a chic yet sophisticated engagement ring . The stone is held on an 18K yellow gold band.
If you are looking to completely skirt the rules of traditional engagement rings, this avant-garde piece is an eye catching choice. The twisted band paired with the pear cut blue topaz makes for a one-of-a-kind combination.