The mystic topaz, also known as mystic fire or Caribbean, Alaska or Bermuda topaz, has only existed since 1998, when a method for coating white topaz was patented by Azotic Coating Technologies, Inc., in Minnesota. Mystic topaz is considered a semi-precious gemstone, most popularly given an emerald cut, and then specially coated to reflect green, blue, purple, red and brown hues. The quality of the stone depends not on the coating, but on how many defects, or inclusions, the stone naturally contains.
Mystic topaz is treated with a very thin layer of titanium applied to the underside, or pavillion, of the stone through a process called physical vapor deposition. This changes the way the stone absorbs and reflects light.
Mystic topaz is not as expensive as other gemstones because its rainbow appearance is man-made. It’s often set in less precious metals, such as silver or 10-karat gold, which results in attractive, yet highly affordable jewelry.
You need to treat the coating of mystic topaz as delicately as you’d handle pearls. Scratching the coating or the stone itself will affect how it refracts light.
Chemical jewelry cleaners safe for pearls and opals are the only ones you should use on mystic topaz. You may also clean it with Windex or other ammonia-based cleaners, or a mild solution of dishwashing soap and cool water. Dry it with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Don’t use abrasive polishing clothes or cleaners, or chlorine- or bleach-based cleaners. Brushes can also scratch the coating. Don’t put mystic topaz in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner with an acid-based cleaning solution. Don’t use heat on the stone, such as the steam-cleaning method professional jewelers use. It can dull the stone’s colors.
Because the top, or table, of the stone is untreated, it’s quite durable. But to avoid scratching or damaging the pavillion coating, remove your Mystic Topaz before engaging in rough activities, swimming in chlorinated water, or doing household chores that expose it to harsh or abrasive chemicals.
Store mystic topaz in a cloth bag or a fabric-lined jewelry box. Keep it from bumping against other jewelry pieces that could scratch the stone or the coating.
Mystic topaz first gained attention at the Tucson gem show in 2003, causing a demand so great that the natural white topaz from which it’s made had a temporary period of short supply until demand tapered off. Natural topaz is the state stone of Utah and the November birthstone.