STAFF REPORT IBD: Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) has kicked off a collaborative project in order to standardize the tools and techniques for adding blue colour to topaz by neutron irradiation which will increase the value of low cost topaz, abundantly available in the country.
Pakistan is rich in topaz deposits and has the neutron reactors too. This meets the basic needs to change the low cost topaz to valuable blue topaz by neutron radiation.
“Successful experimentation has already been carried out on little quantities and results are very encouraging,” said PSF spokesperson Rehana Batool while talking to the media.
In the second step, she said, larger quantities of topaz will be treated with neutron radiations to change their colour to blue.
“After optimization of dozes and duration, commercialization of this facility is planned”.
Many countries like Thailand and Sri Lanka are already selling this service and several international companies are seen offering the colour change of topaz for 0.2 to 1.0 $ per carat depending on the quantity to be treated.
After the successful completion of this project, Pakistan will not only be able to add value to own low grade topaz but will also be able to sell this service to international traders to earn foreign exchange, Rehana said.