Not all that shines is gold, or, in this case – it doesn’t have to be a diamond to look splendid on a special day. When you think of buying a piece of jewelry, the first things that come to your mind are precious stones – diamonds, that is.
However, if you’re very demanding in size, you might as well just be left with the desire. Seriously, the prices are insane. That said, many sparkly options will get that diamond off your mind – they look good but include spending much less money. And among these is the white topaz.
You’re probably wondering right now – what is a white topaz? It’s a clear, translucent gem that is widely considered an alternative to a diamond. Before enlightening you about the best pick and settling the white topaz vs. diamond debate, it is better to know a little about each of them.
Let’s get to it!
What Is White Topaz?
Any topaz is a natural gemstone. It gets the name from the fact that it was first discovered on an island called Topazion, located in the Red Sea, and is now called Zeberged. There’s another version of where the name “topaz” came from, though. And in this case, it came from the Greek language, meaning “to seek.”
In ancient times, miners in the Urals called it “heavyweight” since its size was relatively small, yet its specific gravity was greater than many other gems. The gemstone’s famous for its magnificent variety of colors and shades, which largely depend on the geographic location of the deposit and the chemicals that are contained in the particular specimen.
One of its most common representatives is white topaz, which is the purest form of topaz – and, as many believed in the past, has medicinal and magical properties. But that’s not the only quality the white topaz has.
This gem forms when water from nearby rocks crystallizes magma into a rock called pegmatite, which hides within inactive volcanoes. Topaz is placed inside this rock, and it becomes colorless once the sun rays hit its surface.
Pretty cool, right?
Attention: Easy To Confuse With A Diamond!
Even though white topaz is quite common in nature and does not belong to the category of rare stones, it’s no coincidence that it’s considered a more affordable alternative to diamonds.
White topaz – also called “colorless topaz” or a “white stone” – has clear edges, the same as a diamond. It’s also defined with high levels of transparency and purity with rich color tones in the inner parts. These facts gave this gem so many names, and many people interested in gemstones are often surprised by that.
But an inexperienced person could get confused with other things regarding white topaz.
As we already mentioned above, these kinds of stones become colorless due to being close to the surface during extraction. And once exposed to the sunlight, they gradually become cleared of color shades.
It can be extremely challenging to distinguish a white topaz from a diamond after being cut and refined by a professional or someone who wants to sell a diamond imitation at a higher price. That’s a bit of an oversimplification, though.
A diamond can easily be distinguished from other gemstones if examined closely. As you know, diamonds have the highest hardness values, which cannot be said about topaz. In addition, the optical properties of diamonds are much higher.
White Topaz Vs. Diamond: Which One’s The One For You?
Diamond Vs. White Topaz: Origin
While diamonds are mainly produced in Botswana, Russia, and Canada, they’re also continually manufactured in Australia and other African countries.
On the other hand, white topaz mainly comes from Brazil, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka deposits. That said, these gems can also be found in the United States in states such as Texas and Utah.
Diamond Vs. White Topaz: Durability
The hardness of a gem is measured on the Mohs scale, ranging from 1 to 10. Diamonds lead the rest with the impressive ranking at 10 – but topaz is close to 8. That makes topaz the hardest natural silicate mineral globally and, without a doubt, harder than most gems out there.
Diamonds are scratch-resistant. White topaz, to the contrary, is not that hard – and with a strong enough hit, it can crack. It can’t rival the world’s hardest gem – but in general, it does a great job in this department.
Simply put, white topaz is closer to diamond than most gemstones, excluding precious sapphire and ruby. But does it scratch?
Yes, white topaz is prone to scratches, breaking, and chipping, while diamonds are pretty much scratched-resistant. Over time, these scratches can build up and make a white topaz look duller.
The bigger question is, will it continue to shine?
Diamond Vs. White Topaz: Clarity
The clarity of a gemstone is referred to as its degree of transparency.
Now, if the stone has no impurities inside, it gets the highest mark. But if either small or large inclusions appear inside the gemstone, it will have a lower grade. With that in mind, it’s evident that gems with fewer internal inclusions are more expensive than those with more flaws.
Both diamond and white topaz contain internal inclusions. However, it is worthy of mention that smaller inner inclusions are not visible to the naked eye and that both of these stones are pretty popular because of their clarity.
So, everything comes down to your preferences. If you don’t mind the inclusions, then going with white topaz is not a bad idea at all. If you’re wondering why, here’s the answer: White topaz with high clarity can have microscopic inclusions that won’t be so visible and won’t bother you.
Diamond Vs. White Topaz: Color
Color is a characteristic that allows white topaz to be compared to a diamond. Both of them are colorless in their purest form.
White topaz is quite transparent, but it can also hold more minor impurities that influence color quality. If you’re searching for a white topaz that’d be a diamond’s perfect imitation, you should consider only a perfectly colorless white topaz.
Diamond Vs. White Topaz: Cut
Diamond’s cut is one of the most crucial gemstone qualities. It imposes how much light the gem reflects. The gemstone can have a perfect color and clarity, but if it reflects little light, it’ll be lifeless and dull.
Also, we need to clarify that a diamond cut is not the same thing as a diamond shape. Among many things, the cut of a diamond refers to the symmetry of its facets, the measurements of its angles, and so on, while a diamond’s shape specifies its external form.
You can find both of these stones in different cuts. The most favored cut is, obviously, the most brilliant one. When used as a diamond imitation, the preferable cut is a round white topaz cut. When both are round cut, the only difference between them is their reflective index, or, in other words, a measure of their brilliance.
Diamond Vs. White Topaz: Sparkle
When talking about their sparkle, diamond takes a considerable lead over his opponent – the white topaz. If you are in pursuit of a gemstone that can be resilient to everyday threats, like scratches and chipping, and that can also sparkle and shine forever, a diamond is the best fit for you.
Although white topaz may look glorious, radiant, and gorgeous under the perfect light, it is not scratch-resistant like the one in a jewelry shop. The scratches can accumulate over time, and the gem will develop a cloudy and faded look.
If you are wondering why a diamond you bought a long time ago doesn’t look as sparkly as the day you got it, it is not because of the scratches. It is well known that diamonds are resilient to scratches due to their hardness level.
Diamonds might happen to look less sparkly due to all the accumulated dirt and oil on their surface. The only thing you should do to have a brilliant diamond again is clean it up yourself, while to repair a white topaz after it’s been scratched, you need professional help for re-polishing.
One more thing we should mention here is the reflective index. Reflection is what happens to the light when it enters a gemstone, changes speed and direction, and goes out of the stone. In simple terms, the stronger the reflection, the more sparkly the stone.
While white topaz has a 1.64 reflective number, the diamond has 2.42. That means that when a topaz reflects light, it can’t be as brilliant as a stone with a higher reflection index.
Diamond Vs. White Topaz: Size
As for diamonds, diamond size is the least important feature. If you’re looking for a larger diamond, you should have a bigger budget since they are hard to find – and, therefore, more valuable than the smaller ones.
On the other side, the situation with white topaz is different. Smaller white topaz stones have fewer imperfections than the bigger ones. Hence their price is higher. Besides, we’ve already mentioned that it is easily scratched, its brilliance diminishes with time, and all of these things are more apparent when the stone is large.
Learn More: What Size Diamond Is Considered Big?
Diamond Vs. White Topaz: Value And Price
It is pretty evident which one is way, way less valuable – a white topaz. There are no two ways about it. A one-carat diamond can cost you thousands of dollars, while a white topaz stone can make you spend a hundred – or a couple more – on it.
But it doesn’t mean a white topaz is not a good option, though. If you cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars on a diamond jewelry piece, a white topaz can be a good option for you.
Diamond Vs. White Topaz: Maintenance
Diamonds are not particularly demanding when it comes to cleaning and keeping them shiny. If the diamond has caught dirt or oil on its surface, it will probably appear cloudy. The only thing you have to do to clean it is to use a soft brush to take off the dirt while soaking the gem in warm water with soap.
Since white topaz is more prone to scratches than a diamond, they make it seem unattractive. In case of huddled scratches, you’ll have to consider professional re-polishing so that the gem gains back the label of the attractive, good-looking gemstone.
Moreover, most diamond jewelry can be cleaned using ultrasonic cleaners. However, white topaz stones need to stay away from this type of cleaners since they are more likely to get damaged.
That said, strong chemicals that can be often found in house cleaners can damage diamonds and white topaz since they can ruin the gem’s surface – or the surrounding metal. While doing the cleanup or laundry or dishes, it’s recommended to take any ring off your hands.
Apart from this, both of these gemstones should be professionally checked every now and then to ensure that they are being maintained and in good shape.
Related Read: Should I Take Off My Rings At Night?
So, now that we’ve gone through this white topaz vs. diamond debate, which one’s the one for you? The stone you chose for your jewelry piece is based on your individual needs and preferences.
If sparkle and durability are essential for you, then the diamond is the right choice. However, if you don’t have a big budget and you’re looking for a decent diamond substitute, white topaz can manage to fill the role better than most other gemstones out there.
All things considered, white topaz is a great diamond alternative. But, if you’re not so price-conscious and you’re thinking long-term – not just how beautiful a gem appears when it’s brand new and clean – you should probably go for a diamond.