Q:

What is white topaz?

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Quick Answer

While pure topaz is clear, most of the mineral comes from the mine tinted in one of several colors and requires treating to create white topaz. White topaz is one of the most valuable of all colors of the stone. Most topaz comes from Brazil.

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Full Answer

Topaz, or the chemical Al2SiO4(F,OH)2, is a mineral of aluminum. Jewelers sometimes substitute white topaz for diamond to reduce the cost of the jewelry. It has a similar appearance but is not as hard as diamond. On the Mohs scale of hardness, diamond is rated at a 10 while topaz rates at an 8. The softness of topaz means the corners of the stone wear down and it is easily to scratch.

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Related Questions

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    What is smoky topaz?

    A:

    Smoky topaz is the name for a type of gray, black or brown quartz, but it's not a type of topaz. Professional jewelers maintain that the smoky topaz gemstone doesn't exist. Quartz is a type of silicone dioxide, and amethyst and citrine are gemstones made of quartz.

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  • Q:

    What is a mystic topaz?

    A:

    A mystic topaz is a chemically treated clear topaz with a shiny, multicolored luster that flashes blue, green, purple and pink. According to Gem Select, some retailers sell mystic topaz labelled as "fire topaz," "Alaska topaz" or "mystic fire topaz." It is inexpensive and durable but prone to cracking when hit with significant force.

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  • Q:

    What birthstones are most commonly purchased?

    A:

    Although some months have alternative birthstones, the most commonly purchased birth stones are the 12 traditional stones: garnet, amethyst, aquamarine, diamond, emerald, pearl, ruby, peridot, sapphire, tourmaline, topaz and tanzanite. June, October, November and December have alternative birthstones that are not as popular as the primary ones.

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  • Q:

    How hard is a diamond?

    A:

    Diamond is the hardest mineral on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, with a rating of 10, and is four times harder than the next mineral on the chart, corundum, of which sapphire and ruby are varieties. The Mohs scale is the most common system used for this measurement. It is a relative scale, grading the comparative hardness of 10 common minerals and their resistance to scratching.

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