Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Color change on pink and blue topaz


#1

Hello everyone! I am a wire jewelry artist. I have some heat treated
pink and medium blue topaz and have experienced some awful problems
with these stones. They completely lose their color if exposed to
liver of sulphur and/or water (which is the solvent for the LOS). Why
is this happening? I know not to tumble topaz, but I had no idea that
LOS would also produce a reversion of color. I am concerned that
these stones will simply fade over time or due to exposure to skin
secretions! Help!

Cindi Hendrickson


#2
I have some heat treated pink and medium blue topaz and have
experienced some awful problems with these stones. They completely
lose their color if exposed to liver of sulphur and/or water (which
is the solvent for the LOS). Why is this happening? 

The obvious answer is that you DON’T have heat treated pink and blue
topaz. Instead, you’ve got something with a surface coating of some
sort. In short, most likely a fake. Color in topaz is inside the
material, intrinsic to it. You can affect it with radiation or heat,
etc, and some (brown is the color I’ve seen this in the most) which
owes it’s color to irradiation, is sensative to sunlight. But no
legitimate color in any stone should be sensative to simply getting
wet, or to mild stuff like LOS on the surface. Some topaz,
originally white, is coated with a vapor deposition coating that
gives it an irridescent color coating, sold under names like
"mystery" topaz. But even this material’s coatings are considerably
more durable than what you describe. Liver of Sulphur is not an
aggressive chemical, and shouldn’t be affecting much of anything
other than causting sulphide colors to form on silver and copper
based metals, and certainly shouldn’t be affecting even a coating on
the stones. If even water is affecting the color, then face it. You
bought fraudulent stones. Who knows what they’re colored with, but
they either need to go back to the seller (perhaps with a strongly
worded complaint), or in the trash. I’d be willing to bet they
aren’t even topaz underneath it all. Most likely glass or plastic…

Peter


#3
I have some heat treated pink and medium blue topaz and have
experienced some awful problems with these stones. They completely
lose their color if exposed to liver of sulphur and/or water
(which is the solvent for the LOS). Why is this happening?

Ouch this is why no matter who the supplier is I test my stones by
simply cleaning them first. That is how I find ordinary shell dyed
blue for example and sold as paua. Most of the suppliers I deal with
are completely up front about dyed or synthetic products. But when
buying from feebay beware. I won’t buy from anyone but a reputable
supplier usually, but at times I get mixed lots at auctions and will
test all things thoroughly. I have about 300 4x6 shell cabs from
such a lot lol they clould have least used a permanent dye sighs.

First wash in plain water then use jewelry cleaner solution if it
passes those tests it is good to go.

My best friend is a costume jewelry expert and has a secret cleaning
formula she uses to test and clean all finds. She got me into the
habit of cleaning everything pre-use to test it’s stability. She
drags me to flea markets then we sit and have coffee, cake, and
cleaning parties. Dip the jewelry see what falls off lol it is also
how she finds dead rhinestones and glue disasters immediately so the
sorted stuff is easy to pile.

I forget the ratio. I will ask her for her formula and post
it…remind me lol bad short term memory.

Teri


#4

Hi,

if it hasnt been said already, they are probably coated rather than
heat treated. Heat treatment of topaz doesnt produce colour, that is
due to radiation. There are many coated topazes about, often sold as
mystic topaz and these have either a metal or oxide coating to them.
I have never tried dunking a coated stone in LoS, I might try now.

Nick Royall