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aquamarine or blue topaz? How can you tell?

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T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Please take this somewhere else. Topaz and tourmaline have low RI''s and the RI he told you of 1.8 is very high, which firmly indicates it''s NOT a topaz or tourmaline (both have RI''s around 1.6). Is this a gemologist? That stone doesn''t look to have a very high RI either, but it is difficult to tell with step cut stones from photos alone.
 

zeolite

Brilliant_Rock
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Date: 2/10/2009 5:57:48 PM
Author: needmorediamonds
The plot thickens! It is NOT an aqua!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RI 1. - uh-oh. 1.86? What did he SAY?????????? Sorry...BUT - he said the RI rules out aqua, but planted it firmly in topaz - or TOURMALINE territory. Huh?
He kept it to do further work. He found tiny needle inclusions he wants to examine more closely.
I will keep you informed.
This is totally bizarre. But I trust them absolutely.
1.86, no. You might have remembered that wrong. Aquamarine R.I is about 1.56-1.60, Topaz is 1.61-1.64, and tourmaline about 1.62-1.64. Tourmaline is easily separated from topaz by its much higher bi-refringence. An R.I. of 1.86 very high for colored stones. Only andradite garnet comes to mind in this high range.
 

needmorediamonds

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Date: 2/10/2009 6:51:50 PM
Author: tourmaline_lover
Please take this somewhere else. Topaz and tourmaline have low RI''s and the RI he told you of 1.8 is very high, which firmly indicates it''s NOT a topaz or tourmaline (both have RI''s around 1.6). Is this a gemologist? That stone doesn''t look to have a very high RI either, but it is difficult to tell with step cut stones from photos alone.
My mistake - the RI was 1.68. i knew there was an 8 and a 6, but being left-handed, mixed the order (you lefties know exactly what i mean.) Anyway, that''s why he''s keeping it. They''ve got a full-time gemologist and their clerks are all either GIA colored stone cert., or working on it (which is why they have to hand everything over to the gemologist for testing).
 

zeolite

Brilliant_Rock
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1.68? Hmm. What's in that range? Peridot 1.64-1.70; tanzanite 1.69-1.70, ultra high lead glass (not bright enough), synthetic spinel 1.71-1.73?

None of these make sense if 1.68 is really accurate. Are you sure that they can read read a refractometer correctly? With proper equipment, this shouldn't take a gemology student more than one minute.
 

coatimundi_org

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Date: 2/10/2009 8:09:05 PM
Author: zeolite
1.68? Hmm. What''s in that range? Peridot 1.64-1.70; tanzanite 1.69-1.70, ultra high lead glass (not bright enough), synthetic spinel 1.71-1.73?


None of these make sense if 1.68 is really accurate. Are you sure that they can read read a refractometer correctly? With proper equipment, this shouldn''t take a gemology student more than one minute.

... and we can pretty much guess that it''s not jeremejevite or euclase.
3.gif


I think the RI reading is off. You sure they didn''t say 1.58?
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I actually own a euclase that looks very much like that, but one in that size would be museum worthy since theyr''e so rare.
 

ma re

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/10/2009 8:09:05 PM
Author: zeolite
1.68? Hmm. What''s in that range? Peridot 1.64-1.70; tanzanite 1.69-1.70, ultra high lead glass (not bright enough), synthetic spinel 1.71-1.73?

None of these make sense if 1.68 is really accurate. Are you sure that they can read read a refractometer correctly? With proper equipment, this shouldn''t take a gemology student more than one minute.
If R. I. reading is correct I''d guess it ends up a synthetic. It would explain that "maybe it''s an aqua, but I''m not sure so I''ll sell it to you for a topaz price" story told by the vendor; cause to most customers that sounds much better than "it''s synthetic". If vendor had any reason to believe it was an aqua he/she would get it tested A.S.A.P., cause the price difference between the two is at least 50$/ct in those sizes - more than enough to justify the testing costs.

Just my 2 cents.

BTW, here is another example of how big eye clean aquas can be.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/10/2009 9:49:19 PM
Author: coatimundi
TL--do you have a pic of the euclase? I'd like to see. What size is it?
Chrono, I don't remember the carat size. It's just a colorless Euclase I bought over 10 years ago. The measurements are 10.5 x 8.4 mm.

Sorry for the bad picture. If you want more pics, I can open a new thread. The black is the camera shadow, but it's an ice white stone.

euclaseTL.JPG
 

needmorediamonds

Rough_Rock
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I get the ring back tomorrow. I think they kept it because the gemologist wasn''t 100% on topaz. He also wanted to check out the inclusions more closely. Personally, I think they kept it to have fun with it. Very upscale place, other customers there are buying ready-made items - perhaps a slow day? Anyway, I can tell you for sure tomorrow afternoon.
 

needmorediamonds

Rough_Rock
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The verdict is in. Blue topaz. It was fun while it lasted! I really didn''t think it was a tourmaline, but gee, topaz sounds so..unglamorous....I still love it
30.gif
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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wow, that''s a pretty light blue topaz.
 

needmorediamonds

Rough_Rock
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Date: 2/12/2009 8:19:08 PM
Author: tourmaline_lover
wow, that''s a pretty light blue topaz.
Oh, definitely. The seller said her jeweler told her that if it was a topaz, it might well be untreated, because that pale a stone would be heated to make it more attractive.
 

T L

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Date: 2/12/2009 8:28:51 PM
Author: needmorediamonds

Date: 2/12/2009 8:19:08 PM
Author: tourmaline_lover
wow, that''s a pretty light blue topaz.
Oh, definitely. The seller said her jeweler told her that if it was a topaz, it might well be untreated, because that pale a stone would be heated to make it more attractive.
Actually they''re typically irradiated to get to the more typical colors of blue topaz. There is natural blue topaz, but it is very light blue, like yours.
 

needmorediamonds

Rough_Rock
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Date: 2/12/2009 8:30:07 PM
Author: tourmaline_lover

Date: 2/12/2009 8:28:51 PM
Author: needmorediamonds


Date: 2/12/2009 8:19:08 PM
Author: tourmaline_lover
wow, that''s a pretty light blue topaz.
Oh, definitely. The seller said her jeweler told her that if it was a topaz, it might well be untreated, because that pale a stone would be heated to make it more attractive.
Actually they''re typically irradiated to get to the more typical colors of blue topaz. There is natural blue topaz, but it is very light blue, like yours.
Do you think this one is natural? The original paperwork has no date on it, but gold was listed as $262. an ounce, which was in 1999 (of course, it could also have hit that mark many other years). Is topaz normally irradiated? I can''t imagine why they''d leave this one so pale if people prefer darker stones in topaz.
 

ma re

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Yes topaz (usually colorless as far as I know) is very often irradiated to make it one of those blue topaz shades we see all too often these days. But untreated blue topaz actually looks like yours and there''s no reason to doubt this verdict. And by the fact that no one here (where some people are gemologists) even thought of that possibility, tells you just how rare they are. Natural blues have always been quite rare, untill people started getting even deeper shades of blue with irradiation. So you not only have a large one (even for topaz), but also untreated, which is a real rarity and something quite unique.
 

babysteps

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OK, have to say regardless of what type of stone this is (I was in the aqua camp but looks like topaz) - I think this ring is a STUNNER! Love it!
 

needmorediamonds

Rough_Rock
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Date: 2/13/2009 3:00:47 AM
Author: ma re
Yes topaz (usually colorless as far as I know) is very often irradiated to make it one of those blue topaz shades we see all too often these days. But untreated blue topaz actually looks like yours and there''s no reason to doubt this verdict. And by the fact that no one here (where some people are gemologists) even thought of that possibility, tells you just how rare they are. Natural blues have always been quite rare, untill people started getting even deeper shades of blue with irradiation. So you not only have a large one (even for topaz), but also untreated, which is a real rarity and something quite unique.
That''s what I thought, that ususally they''re irradiated. Thank you for your input.
 

needmorediamonds

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Date: 2/13/2009 5:02:19 AM
Author: babysteps
OK, have to say regardless of what type of stone this is (I was in the aqua camp but looks like topaz) - I think this ring is a STUNNER! Love it!
You are too kind!
35.gif
I love the big stones, truly. One of my earliest memories is of sitting on the floor of my mother''s closet with her jewelry box at age 3, prying all the sparkly stones out of her jewelry and hiding them in my ankle socks.....
 

geckodani

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Date: 2/13/2009 11:25:53 AM
Author: needmorediamonds

Date: 2/13/2009 5:02:19 AM
Author: babysteps
OK, have to say regardless of what type of stone this is (I was in the aqua camp but looks like topaz) - I think this ring is a STUNNER! Love it!
You are too kind!
35.gif
I love the big stones, truly. One of my earliest memories is of sitting on the floor of my mother''s closet with her jewelry box at age 3, prying all the sparkly stones out of her jewelry and hiding them in my ankle socks.....
23.gif
23.gif
23.gif
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I have a very light blue topaz set in an antique ring. The setting used to have a diamond in it (my grandmothers), but at some point the original stone was lost. At the time I was given the setting (pre-internet days), I just wanted to put an inexpensive stone in it so I could wear it if I wanted to. I am glad I didn''t buy a diamond, because now I know I''d need to find an OEC to really do it right. But my topaz is round and that color as well. I am happy to know it may not be irradiated.
 

needmorediamonds

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Date: 2/13/2009 5:13:47 PM
Author: diamondseeker2006
I have a very light blue topaz set in an antique ring. The setting used to have a diamond in it (my grandmothers), but at some point the original stone was lost. At the time I was given the setting (pre-internet days), I just wanted to put an inexpensive stone in it so I could wear it if I wanted to. I am glad I didn''t buy a diamond, because now I know I''d need to find an OEC to really do it right. But my topaz is round and that color as well. I am happy to know it may not be irradiated.
Do you have any pictures? Why do topazes get such disrespect? i mean, the jeweler who pronounced mine was apologetic. Just because they''re not considered as valuable? They are very pretty - similar situation as zircons. i have a rootbeer/orange zircon I adore, but because of cubic zirconium, people make a face at it.
 

needmorediamonds

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Date: 2/13/2009 11:34:38 AM
Author: geckodani

Date: 2/13/2009 11:25:53 AM
Author: needmorediamonds


Date: 2/13/2009 5:02:19 AM
Author: babysteps
OK, have to say regardless of what type of stone this is (I was in the aqua camp but looks like topaz) - I think this ring is a STUNNER! Love it!
You are too kind!
35.gif
I love the big stones, truly. One of my earliest memories is of sitting on the floor of my mother''s closet with her jewelry box at age 3, prying all the sparkly stones out of her jewelry and hiding them in my ankle socks.....
23.gif
23.gif
23.gif
i know....BOY was she mad! Because of course she knew who had done it...I mercifully do not remember the punishment.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/13/2009 8:04:01 PM
Author: needmorediamonds
Do you have any pictures? Why do topazes get such disrespect? i mean, the jeweler who pronounced mine was apologetic. Just because they're not considered as valuable? They are very pretty - similar situation as zircons. i have a rootbeer/orange zircon I adore, but because of cubic zirconium, people make a face at it.
Not all topaz gets disrespect, there are natural colored imperial red/pink topaz that is very valuable. Unfortunately, white topaz is very abundant, and it is this material that is irradiated into deep blue colors. That's why it gets a bad rap. Topaz is also the stone of choice for many treatments like a myriad of color coatings.
 
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