If you love gemstones, particularly, the color blue, then there’s a good chance you’re attracted to both aquamarine and/or blue topaz.
Both of these stones are stunning and are highly coveted because of the beautiful blue hues they showcase, not to mention the metaphysical properties they may bring.
Whether you’re thinking about buying one or want to know more about it, let’s discuss all of the differences as well as the similarities between aquamarine and blue topaz.
Is aquamarine and blue topaz the same?
Even though they do look similar in appearance, they are very different gemstones. They have different chemical compositions, colors, and crystal structures. For example, blue topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminum and fluorine, whereas aquamarine belongs to the beryl family, which is a mineral made of beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate.
Aquamarine vs. blue topaz
Birthstone: Aquamarine is the official birthstone of March, whereas blue topaz is the birthstone for December.
Clarity: Aquamarine will usually have fewer inclusions than topaz, making it more transparent. Most of your blue topaz will be “eye clean,” whereas aquamarine will not have flaws to the naked eye.
Color: Aquamarine will be more of a pale blue to greenish-blue stone, whereas blue topaz will come in varying shades of blue, from a lighter shade to something much deeper. To achieve this color for topaz, it’s usually heat treated to change the gray, yellow or colorless gemstone to a more attractive blue. The color of topaz will greatly depend on the impurities, such as iron and chromium. The higher the levels, the bluer you can see. Keep in mind that natural blue topaz is extremely rare.
Crystal System: Aquamarine is a variety of beryl, which will have a hexagonal crystal system, whereas blue topaz is a variety of topaz and has an orthorhombic crystal system.
Hardness: Both of these gemstones share a similar score of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. The higher the number, the less susceptible it is to scratching. With a higher score, this means it’s a rather hardy stone, making it a great choice for jewelry. Topaz, on average, is said to be a pinch more durable than aquamarine. With this being said, though, both gemstones are still susceptible to cracking if handled improperly.
Price: Aquamarine will almost always be more expensive than blue topaz, as it’s considered to be rare and often more valuable.
Rarity: Natural blue topaz is a much rarer find than that of aquamarine; however, aquamarine is rarer than topaz because of its natural color. This is the reason it’s typically sought after in comparison to topaz.
Sources: Blue topaz is often sourced from a variety of countries, including Brazil, Sri Lanka, Australia, Madagascar and Ireland to name a few. Aquamarine, on the other hand, will be sourced from countries such as Brazil, Kenya, Zambia and Nigeria.
Symbolism: Aquamarine is said to represent tranquility and harmony, whereas blue topaz represents love, loyalty and honesty.
Treated: More often than not, blue topaz is heat treated or irradiated to enhance the color, whereas aquamarine is usually not treated. If aquamarine is heat treated, it’s done so to remove any green tint seen within the stone.
Which is better?
Determining which gemstone is better will greatly depend on your personal preference and the factors involved, such as color, rarity and symbolism.
Usually, as noted throughout this guide, aquamarine is deemed rarer and more valuable. If you want a stone that symbolizes tranquility and harmony, then it will make for an excellent choice if you want a calming stone.
As for blue topaz, almost all gemstones you see on the market will be treated, so if you want something more natural, you’re going to have to pay much more than aquamarine usually. The colors are similar if you’re thinking of a blue gemstone, but it will have a different meaning, usually love, loyalty and honesty.
Mainly, you’re choosing what it represents as well as what your budget is. Only you can answer this question as to what works for you.
Which is more valuable?
On average, aquamarine is said to be more valuable than blue topaz, and this is mainly due to its rarity as well as the natural color aquamarine posses. As mentioned, blue topaz can be naturally blue, however, this is very rare. Instead, the blue you often see will be treated to enhance its color, which can increase its visibility, but can lessen the value.
The value of each gemstone will greatly depend on a few factors like any crystal, such as the color, clarity, cut, carat weight and overall quality. As there are so many factors, it can be hard to determine the exact value. You will want to keep these factors in mind when analyzing any crystal.
Why is aquamarine more expensive than topaz?
This is simply because blue topaz is more accessible than aquamarine. However, remember that most topaz isn’t blue so it will have to be treated. Most of what you find naturally, topaz wise, will be white or colorless, and this is when irradiation occurs. Aquamarine is much rarer and more desirable because of this. As with most crystals, the rarer it is, the more it will cost due to demand.
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