Mystic Topaz and Alexandrite: What Are They, And What’s The Difference?

Mystic Topaz and Alexandrite and two very popular color-changing stones.

With their similar colors and color changing ability, they can be confused.

They have some other similarities and many differences that can help differentiate between the two.

Mystic Topaz and Alexandrite (EXPLAINED)

What Is Mystic Topaz?

Mystic Topaz is a popular variety of Topaz.

The stone is fairly young, first appearing in 1998.

This variety is a colorless Topaz that is created using vapor depositions.

The name comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “fire” or “heat.”

It is likely called Mystic Topaz because of the colors it exhibits or because some believe it to hold mystic energies. 

Some may believe that it is a completely artificial stone.

This is a misconception.

The stone is an enhanced naturally occurring Topaz. 

Mystic Topaz is enhanced with a chemical vapor deposition, or thin film deposition.

This process gives the stone its rainbow effect on the surface.

It is this rainbow effect that sets it apart from other Topaz Varieties.

The treatment is a coating, so it is not considered a permanent enhancement, though it can last a long time. 

This deposition also helps this particular Topaz to be more desirable.

The process brings out greens, blues, purples, and sometimes yellows as well.

In the process, a thin layer of titanium is placed onto a colorless Topaz gemstone. 

Real Mystic Topaz can be differentiated from quartz to determine that it is real.

Mystic Topaz can scratch glass, while quartz will not leave a mark on glass.

Mystic Topaz is also typically cool to the touch. 

The gemstone has been given a variety of names.

In addition to Mystic Topaz, the stone has been known as Fire Topaz, Mystic Fire Topaz, Alaska Topaz, Alaskan Ice, Caribbean Topaz, and Rainbow Topaz.

The stone can be found on various continents.

Some of the most common locations that the stone can be found are in Brazil, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Australia.

The stone can sometimes be found in Japan, Madagascar, Namibia, and the United States. 

Topaz is one of the birthstones for November, so this gemstone could make for a great gift.

It can be embedded in jewelry, so there is a range of options for the gemstone to be used in everyday life.

The gemstone can have a large range of prices depending on the quality from anywhere between $10 and $500.

What Is Alexandrite?

Alexandrite is one of three varieties of Chrysoberyl.

The other two varieties are Yellow-to-Green  Chrysoberyl and Cat’s Eye, which is also known as Cymophane.

Alexandrite was found in the Tokovaya River of the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830.

The stone is one of the rarest gemstones and is typically expensive.

Alexandrite is a rare gemstone that is also fairly modern.

This gemstone exhibits emerald green, and red and orange-yellow colors.

The colors change depending on the light, specifically in polarized light.

Artificial light and daylight also have an effect on how the stone is viewed.

In daylight, the stone is typically greenish to the eye, while in artificial light or incandescent light the stone can seem reddish-purple.

This dual color-change is what sets the Alexandrite from other Chrysoberyl varieties and also led to the coined phrase “the Alexandrite Effect.”

It is also known to be described as Emerald when it has a greenish look and described as Ruby or Garnet when it is viewed with the red shade.

Sometimes the stone is called “Emerald by day and Ruby by night.”

In addition to the color change, the stone can also sometimes have a Cat’s Eye effect similar to Cymophane, another Chrysoberyl.

It is the presence of iron, titanium, and chromium that causes  the green color of the gem.

The replacement of aluminum by chromium ions is what causes more absorption of light, leading to the dual colors.

The stone has a high rating on the hardness scale, exceeded by Diamond and Corundum.

Though the stone was originally found in Russia, it can now also be found in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil.

These different locations can have a different shade of Alexandrite in the dual colors, sometimes presenting as more blue or yellow in daylight and sometimes more brown or orange in incandescent light.

The gemstone is considered a birthstone for June along with Pearl and Moonstone, as well as a gemstone for the day Friday.

This stone is great for everyday use as well but must be protected from the elements, harsh chemicals, and temperatures, as well as scratches.

Though it can be used every day, it is not easy to find everywhere.

Similarities and Differences Between Mystic Topaz and Alexandrite

The two stones may be confused because of the colors.

They both are similarly shaped stones and can have some color-changing nature depending on the light and angle.

When the stones are looked at they have a similar color palette.

They share blues, greens, and purples. 

When changing color, Alexandrite may show the dual colors at the same time.

Because of this, it is not uncommon to think the two gemstones look similar. 

Though the two stones share a similar color palette, they have plenty of differences that can help identify the two.

Mystic Topaz does have the kaleidoscopic effect, so they should appear different on the surface.

Mystic Topaz is also a treated gemstone.

In its completely natural state, it is a standard colorless Topaz.

Alexandrite on the other hand has the dual colors naturally and reacts a certain way to light from the time it is mined. 

Mystic Topaz has a kaleidoscopic effect of rainbow colors, while Alexandrite shows one flat color at a time, changing only in various lights.

The colors may overlap depending on how the light hits the stone.

This can give a similar effect to how the various colors in the Mystic Topaz present. 

Though Mystic Topaz and Alexandrite have some similarities, the two stones are unique.

They each are desired for their range in colors and can each be used in everyday life for various jewelry.

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Mystic Topaz and Alexandrite