Among all varieties of topaz, including London blue topaz, Swiss blue topaz, and white topaz, the Imperial topaz is the most expensive one. It is extremely rare and its price can easily go above $1500 per carat.
What is Imperial topaz?
Imperial topaz, the most expensive variety of topaz with a deep orange-red color, is one of the most beautiful and rarest gemstones in the world. Today it is only produced in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
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In ancient Europe, the Imperial topaz was a gemstone reserved for the royal family or the church and was a rare and expensive variety of all colored gemstones. Common people know very little about it.
By the mid-18th century, Imperial topaz became popular in France and Spain along with diamonds. It was often set in precious metals as bespoke jewelry for the upper classes.
Today, renowned jewelry brands still value the beauty of Imperial topaz. It is often paired with other precious gemstones and metals to create luxurious jewelry.
Imperial topaz properties
Generally, topaz is bright and translucent, but imperial topaz is an exception. The larger the size, the more likely it is to contain impurities.
Therefore, large and transparent Imperial topaz is extremely rare. Because of the low yield, it is even more valuable than diamonds.
Imperial topaz has a hardness of 8, which is as hard as ruby and sapphire.
However, it exhibits low levels of toughness, so we need to take care of topaz jewelry carefully to avoid chipping or cracking.
In addition, high temperatures or sudden changes in temperature can cause topaz to fracture. Its color may fade with prolonged exposure to heat or sunlight.
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Color: Gold, orange, red, and dichroic
Although there has been some controversy about the colors of Imperial topaz, the mainstream view is that it is mainly gold, orange, and red.
Generally speaking, gold is the entry-level for Imperial Topaz. The redder, the higher the market price.Therefore, the red Imperial topaz is the rarest and most expensive variety of Imperial topaz, with a unit price easily reaching $10000 per carats. And its quantity is very limited, you can't buy it even if you want.
In recent years, the newly discovered peach and purple imperial topaz stones have been particularly noticeable, but these gems have been treated at high temperatures, so they are still less valuable than the red and orange varieties.
Finally, the best imperial topaz not only exhibits a reddish-orange hue but is also dichroic. Sometimes we can even see three colors on a single imperial topaz.