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The “Gem of Gems” Sapphire; is treasured since centuries and everyone wishes to own them.

The royal hue of this September birthstone is considered truly magical, captivating the hearts of many. Vibrant pink, yellow, blue all types of sapphires are in demand, but classic allure of blue sapphire holds substantial worth.

The growing popularity of the stone, gave birth to its physical twins, synthetic and imitation sapphires, as natural sapphires couldn’t meet the growing demand. So, these natural counterparts started flourishing well.

The basic reason for rise of imitation sapphires is, we don’t know, what's real and what's fake.

Most of the buyers don't know the difference, so there's a need for help in figuring out what's genuine.

So, Let’s check out the differences that can help us in understanding:

  • Natural sapphires:

    Natural sapphires are gemstones belonging to family corundum, born deep in the earth’s crust. These gems extracted after thousands of years through intense mining are precious and rare. Rich history of mined sapphires reflects their amazing durability and brilliance since times.

  • Synthetic Sapphires:

    Synthetic sapphires are created by replicating similar conditions like mined stones in labs under the supervision of experts. These are similar to natural sapphires in every aspect that is it’s molecular composition, physical appearance and brilliant appeal.

  • Imitation Sapphires:

    Imitation sapphires are the gemstones that physically appear like natural ones, but chemically they are not. They are different in every other way, that is they are less durable, less valuable and differ in their molecular composition too. These imitation stones are created using cubic zirconia, dark blue glass and blue spinel.  These sapphires are fake, not at all real.

  • Buying any of the three sapphires is not a bad deal, it totally depends on your preference and choice.

Let’s check out, how we can spot the difference in real and fake sapphires:

  • Check out Flaws

    Natural sapphires have foreign matter in them, which presents them as dark crystals and feather like inclusions. During the formation process these bind with the stone and this differentiates them from synthetic stones

    How to check them?

    You have to hold the stone against light and with a jeweler’s loupe or any magnifying glass, check these flaws or specks. These blemishes mark them them real.

  • Notice Color

    Most of the fake sapphires have lead glass fillings today, which are responsible for uneven color distribution in the stone. This affects the overall beauty of the stone and one can easily notice that under a bright light. Fake gems most of the times have uneven coloring.

  • Check for Scratches

    Second to diamonds, sapphires are one of the most durable gemstones with rating of 9 on Mohs scale. So any material possessing a hardness rating equal to or less than that of sapphire can not scratch it. Any kind of marks noticed after scratching with glass or spinel can help in differentiating.

    Another way to check which is real, if you have two stones and you are familiar with the real one, then scratch one with another. Equal hardness stones don’t scratch each other, so nothing will happen if both are real. If scratches are noticed on the second sapphire, then it’s fake.

  • The Fog Test

    This test is quite simple and relies on the principle that real sapphires are very good conductors of heat. For this you need to exhale your breath on the stone to fog it up and begin counting. If it takes less than three seconds to clear up, then it has passed authenticity test and your gem is real. Comparatively created sapphire may take more time to clear.

  • Bubbles Test

    Most of the imitation sapphires have tiny air bubbles trapped within the stone. And you can easily check this under a bright light. For this you need to check it from different angles with the help of a jeweler’s loupe.

    If it’s a fake sapphire you will easily find cluster of air bubbles.

  • Light Reflection Test:

    Shine a flashlight on the sapphire after turning off lights. If the same color light is reflected as of the sapphire, then it’s a real sapphire. And if you see other colors besides gem’s color, then there are chances that your stone is fake.

  • Tracing Intersecting Lines:

    Crisscrossing lines that are formed due to lead glass filling in the stone are visible in a bright light. These fillings improve the look of stones, but degrade their quality, so its recommended not to invest in them.

  • You Need an expert Advice:

    If after performing all the tests, you are still not completely sure about the authenticity of your gemstone, then its better to take expert advice. You can discuss all the aspects you checked with a trustworthy and reputed jeweler to understand in detail. These professionals use gemological tools to determine if your stone is authentic or fake.

  • Consider A Certified Gemstone to Be on the Safer Side

    Number of imitation sapphires have entered the market, its better to be on the safer side by ensuring the quality by purchasing certified gemstone. Look for a reputable and registered jeweler, whenever shopping for sapphires as they provide a certificate of authenticity for their gemstones. This certificate will include every detail that determines your gemstone’s authenticity and grade.

Wrapping Up:

Differentiating between real, synthetic, and imitation sapphires is important due to the rise in production of fake stones, that looks exactly similar. Natural sapphires most of the times have flaws like inclusions, while synthetic ones lack them. Tests such as color inspection, scratch tests, fog tests, and bubble checks aid in authentication of gemstones. Seeking expert advice or opting for certified gemstones ensures a secure purchase in the flooded market of imitation sapphires.

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