Natural blue sapphire ring or synthetic blue sapphire ring- A complete Guide:
If you are a lover of the blue sapphire ring, you should know that sapphires in jewellery stores are not all-natural. You will also find some synthetic (lab-created) sapphires.
When we have natural blue sapphires for rings, what is the purpose of introducing blue sapphire rings with a synthetic stone?
Are synthetic sapphires as valuable as natural sapphires? How can we spot the difference? We are going to answer every query here.
Sapphire is the type of corundum family. The most common color is sapphire is blue. However, you can find Sapphire of other colors such as pink, orange, and grey. Above all the sapphire ranks 9.0 on Moh’s scale of hardness, making it a durable stone.
What is a synthetic sapphire?
Synthetic sapphires are lab-created sapphire with the same chemical composition and properties that of the natural stone.
However, a natural sapphire takes several years to form. On the contrary, synthetic sapphire time very little time. Thus, it is becoming popular. Additionally, the mining process of natural stones is expensive. Therefore, synthetic sapphires are an economical option.
Synthetic blue sapphire ring:
Sapphire is the most popular stone for engagement rings due to its good durability and exquisite colour behavior. However, a blue sapphire ring is also famous as a birthday gift for people born in September.
Synthetic blue sapphire is inclusions free and more economical. Thus it is getting more popular among the masses.
Methods of sapphire creation in the lab:
Man uses technology to replicate the hard blue sapphire. However, the process does not follow a specific set of rules. Thus it is difficult to predict the shade of sapphire. The two standard methods of sapphire preparation in the lab are:
The crucible consists of a mixture of several nutrients meltdown. Furthermore, the process includes dipping the thin seed of sapphire in the molten mixture and then pulling it out at a controlled rate immediately. Hence this process becomes expensive and complicated.
The sapphire seed dissolves in the flux, and when cools down sapphire crystals start to form. This process is known as the solution growth method and used widely to produce lab-created sapphire.
Synthetic sapphire identification:
The ways to identify synthetic sapphires are:
Expert gemmologist uses spectroscopy to identify whether or not the sapphire is lab created or natural. Hence using special technological instruments, some natural strains of inclusions become visible. Natural sapphires only possess these inclusions because elements mix during the molten stage of sapphire.
However, lab-grown gems are free from inclusions.
Carbon dating helps to identify synthetic sapphire. The natural sapphire grew under controlled conditions and took several years.
Carbon dating can identify the age limited to sixty thousand years. So carbon dating can detect the generation of synthetic sapphire.
Are synthetic sapphire and imitation sapphires the same?
The answer is No! They are not the same. On the one hand, the synthetic sapphires are human-made sapphires produced under the same conditions available for natural sapphires. They even bear the same chemical composition. It is hard to detect a synthetic sapphire.
On the other hand, imitation sapphires replicate the appearance of sapphire. Moreover, imitation sapphire is less durable and easily detectable. The imitation sapphire imitates using glass which has no worth.
Difference between synthetic sapphire and natural sapphire:
The natural blue sapphire is considered to be a symbol of fortune. The royal family appreciates sapphire stone from earlier times. Moreover, the stone gains popularity due to its excellent metaphysical properties achieved after a million years of formation. However, synthetic sapphire is the result of the Verneuil process in the lab.
The synthetic sapphire is cheaper and flawless than the natural sapphire. The benefits and healing properties of natural sapphire made this advantage pretty much useless.
The inclusions present in natural blue sapphire gives a tremendous glow when exposed to light. However, synthetic sapphire lacks this shine due to inclusion-free nature.
Natural blue sapphire possesses a darker shade of blue hue. Whereas synthetic sapphire is brighter but has a lighter blue shade.
Synthetic sapphire is popular for industrial usage due to its excellent hardness.
Inclusions likewise, rutile provides a velvety texture to the naturally occurring sapphire. However, the synthetic sapphire lacks this texture.
Reasons for choosing synthetic blue sapphire ring over natural blue sapphire rings:
If you have convinced yourself to buy something extra and unique from natural sapphire, you probably want some reasons. Here we are discussing reasons to choose a synthetic sapphire ring over a natural one:
The first and foremost advantage of choosing synthetic sapphire is a monetary benefit. Thus synthetic sapphires require fewer resources in a lab to grow it is available at cheaper rates than natural sapphire.
The second thing is the time taken by the process of formation of naturally occurring sapphires. It thus gives the synthetic process an edge of the natural process.
Synthetic sapphire is environmentally friendly because it reduces mining footprints. And the lab creation ensures the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore it is an ethical choice.
Factors to consider before buying a blue sapphire ring –natural or synthetic:
Other than the deep blue colour sapphire also comes in some different colours.
Natural sapphire colours:
The yellow sapphire includes iron—the presence of iron traces in the stone results in the bright yellow colour.
Again the traces of iron can produce dark green or lime green sapphires.
The presence of chromium and titanium in the sapphire results in a dark purple hue. Moreover, it is the rarest form of sapphire.
Synthetic sapphire of colours:
The orange-pink lotus that resembles sapphire is known as padparadscha. This sunset stone can easily be made in the lab under strict supervision.
This sapphire type is consists of the asterism effect or popularly known as the star effect. The needle inclusions are responsible for this type of effect. Thus the lab-created version of this sapphire bears induced needles inclusions.
Both natural or synthetic sapphires have to go through several treatments to enhance their pale colour. Some of these treatments include
The pale sapphire is subjected to 1700 degrees Celsius for a few minutes. This enhances the colour of sapphire, and it produces brighter saturation.
This process is unique in the way that the gem melts down with a varying colour element. Hence the changing colour element absorbs on the surface of the gem producing different colours.
There are two types of the diffusion process, surface diffusion, and lattice diffusion. For deep blue colour, surface diffusion uses titanium for shallow penetration. Moreover, the lattice diffusion uses beryllium to penetrate deeper and to produce orange colour.
It is not a common method of colour enhancement. In this method, certain radiations attack the stone to produce vibrant color. However, this method has some cons, like the stone loses its color when exposed to light and heat.
Natural and synthetic Sapphire shops:
You can easily buy natural and synthetic sapphire from online stores or your nearby jewellery stores. However when you shop for sapphire always make sure you go to a reputable seller such as BBB-Gem. Moreover, the demand for an authenticity certificate from your vendor. The authenticity certificate will help you to pay for your synthetic sapphire rather than natural sapphire. After all, natural sapphires are expensive than synthetic ones.