There are a multitude of beautiful gems in the world, from sapphires and rubies to pearls and opals. These natural gemstones have long been a part of this world and used to create beautiful adornments, such as rings, necklaces, and earrings for centuries. If you’re new to the realm of gemstones, you may not be familiar with white topaz gemstones, and whether you’re new or not, you’re surely familiar with diamonds. While one is far more popular than the other, these two precious gems have more in common than you may think.
Here, we’ll uncover the unique qualities of white topaz, compare white topaz vs diamond, and help you determine if white topaz is a good diamond alternative for you. Whether you’re shopping for an engagement ring or a pair of earrings, you may find that white topaz, or another diamond alternative, is just what you’re looking for.
What Is White Topaz?
Topaz stone is a silicate gemstone made of aluminum and fluorine that comes in many colors. Like other gemstones, the presence of different minerals can change the color of the resulting gemstone. Pure topaz, however, is completely transparent. Topaz in this pure, completely colorless form or slightly milky-white hue is called white topaz. Other popular forms of topaz include blue topaz and yellow topaz, but many of the most valuable forms of topaz are orange and red. Another coveted form of topaz is mystic topaz, which is topaz that is chemically treated to show a rainbow of colors.
This rainbow of color variations is likely why topaz got its name. Topaz is said to be derived from the Sanskrit word “tapas,” which means “fire.” The majority of topaz gemstones are sourced in Brazil, where they are found in the crevices of rocks, including granite and pegmatite. Of all the colors of topaz, white topaz stone is actually the most common form naturally found in nature.
In addition to being a beautiful gemstone, topaz is the birthstone of November. However, anyone born in any month can wear white topaz jewelry.
White Topaz vs Diamond
From a visual standpoint, white topaz and diamond are quite similar. They both have a transparent white color and remarkable shine. There are differences, though, between white topaz and diamond gemstones, and they are important to know if you are considering one or the other for an engagement ring or any piece of fine jewelry. In terms of color, sparkle, durability, meaning, and affordability, here is how diamonds and white topaz gemstones compare.
Color is where white topaz and diamond are the most similar. While both gems come in a variety of colors, they are often sought-after in their purest forms, which have a bright white or transparent hue. White topaz appears clear and glassy, just like a diamond, which is why these two stones are easily confused at first glance.
Because of their white, transparent color, both diamonds and white topaz stones are extremely versatile. Whether you love the look of yellow gold, rose gold, silver, or platinum jewelry, either gemstone will appear bright and white set in any color metal. Colored or colorless accent stones also complement both diamond and white topaz beautifully. This versatile nature makes both diamonds and white topaz stones suitable for a variety of jewelry, from earrings and necklaces to bracelets and rings.
If you’re shopping for an engagement ring, the sparkling quality of the stone you select as the centerpiece is likely a priority. When it comes to the sparkle of white topaz vs diamond, both stones will sparkle, but diamond is the clear winner. While white topaz does give off brilliance, it also gradually loses its brilliance over time, which may not be a quality you want in an engagement ring or other piece of heirloom jewelry. Diamond, on the other hand, with proper cleaning, will sparkle as beautifully as the day you first wear it years later.
Different gemstones have different meanings, which may be important to you to know when selecting a stone for a special gift or wedding ring. White topaz has symbolized many things over the centuries including strength, clarity, truth, and openness, incredible qualities that can contribute to the meaning of topaz jewelry.
Diamond has symbolized many things as well, including strength and invincibility due to its incredible hardness, and eternal love and commitment due to its invincibility and popular use in engagement and wedding rings.
Clarity is an important factor in overall gemstone quality. The fewer the inclusions (internal flaws) and blemishes (external flaws) of a stone, the greater the clarity. Excellent clarity ensures the stone looks clear, reflects more light, and thus sparkles, but also that it is more durable and less prone to chips and breaks. When it comes to clarity, size plays an important role; the larger the stone, the more apparent the imperfections in it will be. This is true for both diamonds and white topaz, however, with white topaz, clarity will become even more important with time because as brilliance fades, imperfections will be more visible. It’s also important to note that diamonds free from inclusions and blemishes are more expensive than diamonds with lower clarity grades.
On the Moh’s hardness scale, diamond ranks 10 out of 10 and white topaz ranks 8 out of 10. While still quite hard, white topaz is a more vulnerable gemstone that can be easily scratched, unlike diamond. This quality of white topaz also makes it more difficult to clean as any astringent cleaner can discolor the stone. Even steam and other forms of high heat can damage topaz, causing internal breaks. However, with proper care and careful cleaning, it can make a beautiful stone for jewelry.
If you’re wondering, “how much does white topaz cost?” you may be pleasantly surprised. White topaz is an extremely affordable precious gemstone. Good quality topaz gemstones are actually quite easy to come by, which makes them less expensive than rarer gemstones, diamonds in particular.
For reference, diamonds average in cost over $3000 per carat. White topaz, on the other hand, averages in cost $50-100 per carat. In addition to rarity, the fact that diamonds are far more popular than white topaz is another reason for the difference in price. This is undoubtedly a significant difference that makes white topaz jewelry far more affordable than diamond jewelry.
Is White Topaz a Diamond Alternative?
If you are looking for a gem that appears as a diamond but is much more affordable, it’s worth considering colorless topaz; it has a similar white color and costs much less than diamond. For these reasons, white topaz is often used as a diamond substitute for earrings, necklaces, and rings. However, although it may look similar, it won’t sparkle as much, or be as scratch-resistant. For these reasons, if you are looking for a diamond alternative for an engagement ring, it may make more sense to consider lab grown diamonds. These colorless gemstones have the same quality standards as a mined diamond—they are just as durable, and sparkle just as brilliantly—at a much lower price point.
These characteristics make lab diamonds an excellent option for engagement rings and other pieces of heirloom jewelry. Browse engagement rings set with Nexus Diamond™ alternatives to see how similar this diamond alternative appears to diamond.
White topaz jewelry can be beautiful, but it may not stand the test of time as you hope it would. With other diamond alternatives, like morganite vs diamond or moissanite vs diamond, you can have the benefits of white topaz gemstone and the benefits of diamond without any of the drawbacks, not just for engagement rings but for all fine jewelry.
Visit us at Nexus Diamond to find the right diamond alternative for you or to answer any questions you may have like what is a moissanite diamond or how to afford an engagement ring.