Blue topaz shines with a radiant azure hue unmatched by other colored stones. It comes in a variety of distinct shades, each beautiful in its own right and symbolizing ideas like freedom, imagination, and inspiration. And perhaps the most sought-after of these blue gems is what’s called London blue topaz.

What is London blue topaz?

Well, it’s a stone with some unique and distinct properties, as well as its fair share of intrigue surrounding it. To better understand this brilliant stone, our London blue topaz guide will take a look at topaz in general, and what makes this variety of it so special.

What Is Topaz?

Topaz is a rare mineral that takes its name from the Sanskrit word ‘tapas,’ which means fire. The name alone tells you a lot about its chief quality, being one of the most popular colored stones used in jewelry. It’s usually found in yellow and brown varieties and was the original birthstone for the month of November.

But while those are the most common varieties, topaz can come in a wide slate of colors, including natural pink, orange, red, purple, and yes, blue. These colors are both very rare and highly prized.

Aside from its color, it’s very popular due to its durability. Topaz has a hardness of 8 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. Diamond, corundum, and chrysoberyl are the only commonly known minerals that are harder.

Its scarcity, durability, and beauty all make topaz a coveted material for jewelry.

What Is London Blue Topaz and What Sets It Apart

Blue topaz does appear in nature. However, it’s very rare, expensive, and tends to lake the deep-blue hues that we tend to seek. By contrast, London blue topaz has a very dark, inky shade to it, about halfway between regular topaz and sapphire.

There is some debate as to how London blue topaz got its name. One of the more plausible explanations is that it comes from the fact that London is home to the United Kingdom’s Natural History Museum and its famous collection of minerals. One of their prized pieces is the Ostro Stone, a massive, flawless, blue topaz stone.

It’s the kind of association that jewelers would want to encourage, so it’s likely that’s where the name originates. But unlike the Ostro Stone, you’ll never find a piece of London blue in nature.

You see, there’s no real trick to identifying London blue topaz because it’s an artificially enhanced stone. A piece of real, uncolored topaz is treated with heat and radiation to give it its signature hue.

And it’s that hue that makes it so popular. To see how this brilliant stone is used in jewelry, you can check it out in a variety of pieces.

A Meaningful, Blue Stone

There are many ways to define what is London blue topaz. You could describe it in terms of chemistry or history. But it’s more interesting to consider what it represents.

It’s sometimes called the jewel of love and loyalty. It symbolizes high romance and eternal friendship, making it the perfect gift for a loved one.

But taste is a subjective thing, and it may not be quite the right fit for every occasion. For more ideas on the perfect gift or a little something for yourself, be sure to keep up with our latest fashion and jewelry guides and tips.