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What is it?
Mystic Fire Topaz® gemstones are designer gemstones treated in a labratory owned and operated by Azotic Coating Technology, Inc. in the US. They developed and patented (US Patent #5853826) the process in 1995 to create these beautiful colors on what would otherwise be a white stone. They have almost 1800! different colors of Azotic® Enhanced Designer Gemstones. They coat Sapphires, Goshenite, Quartz, Cubic Zirconia, and a variety of other 'white' stones but the vast majority of the stones coated are Topaz. You cannot purchase stones directly from the lab. They only process stones sent to them by wholesalers. However I do recommend that you "Google" their name and visit their website to see the colors for yourself. I can't link from this guide - eBay policy. (Pssst - there's a link toward the bottom of my "About Me" page.)
How is it made?
I'm not sure I understand the process completely but I'll try to give you my understanding. The process involves a thin sputter coat dispersion of microscopic mineral flakes. It's called Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD). The PVD method is unique: utilizing various minerals, oxygen and high vacuum. Various metals, when reflected through the stone, produce different color reflections. Titanium is particularly stunning in its variety of colors reflected. Some processes are coated on the underside of the stone (pavilion) and others are applied to the surface of the stone (table). Once the stone has been coated it is heated to adhere the coating. This process has been approved by the FTC as an acceptable enhancement of gemstones.
Mystic Fire Blue® on Topaz Mango Magic® on Topaz (lotus cut)
Are there differences in quality?
The lab is top-rate but they don't pick the stones. They only process stones sent to them by the wholesalers. The better the quality going into the lab, the better they come out. Some wholesalers send quality stones with unique cuts. The most remarkable are those with the concave (or millennium) cut, the lotus (or onion) cut and the surface checkerboard (or pineapple) cuts. The cut, clarity and polish of the stone will only be enhanced by the treating process. Some stones are damaged during the heating phase. Carefully check the stone to make sure you have not received a slightly damaged piece (cracks, chips or fissures).
What's in a name?
Hmmm... well this is a pet peeve of mine. The lab makes a point of naming every color they create yet sellers have no qualms about making up their own names. This makes it very confusing for the buyer. I'm often asked by buyers if I have the Mystic Caribbean Topaz or Alaskan Glacier Ice that they've recently seen on a cruise. While Azotic does have a "Caribbean Blue®", usually the color the cruisers have seen can be "Mystic Fire Green®" or "Mercury Mist®" depending on which ship they were on. Other names misused are Peacock, Rainbow, Aurora Borealis and Northern Lights. These are not Azotic's names. Sometimes that can signify a process done in an overseas lab of lesser quality. My advice is to be careful and ask questions. Watch for evasiveness from the seller.
Mercury Mist® on Topaz (surface coat) Mystic Twilight® on Topaz (checkerboard cut)
What's the best part?
Without a doubt - colors, colors and (1800) different colors! To which I'll add - light, reflection and changing constantly! My particular favorites are those processes with more than one color. The best show-off happens to be Cubic Zirconia. Created as a substitution for diamonds the refection and color change is nothing short of stunning! I can take six pictures of an enhanced CZ in different locations. Each picture makes it look like a different stone, depending on the light in that location. It is unfortunate but some sellers will sell CZ as Topaz. You won't be disappointed unless you really wanted a genuine stone. Again, ask questions and expect direct answers.
Jupiter's Envy® on CZ - this is the same stone under different lights
How do I care for it?
The thin film treatment applied to gemstones is durable and hard. The treated layer is only microns in thickness. It is not deposited in thick layers. If the wearer utilizes care, the enhancement will last the life of the jewelry setting, whether silver, gold, ring, pendant or earrings. The Azotic® Designer Enhanced Gemstone should not be exposed to any abrasives, acids, or immersed in an ultrasonic cleaner. Ultrasonic cleaners may contain a pickling solution that would cause damage to the Azotic® enhanced surface of the gemstone. Azotic Coating only recommends cleaners that are safe for pearls or opals. In fact, Azotic Coating uses Windex or Jewel Brite to clean the Azotic® enhanced gemstones in their inventory. A mild soap and water rinse also works well.
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Many Thanks for reading