We specialize in all untreated sapphires and our unique inventory sets us apart from other gem and jewelry dealers. We hope that after learning more about sapphires in general, and the differences between treated and untreated sapphires, you will be able to confidently make your gemstone purchases.
Nearly all sapphire stones and jewelry in the market today (online and in stores) are described as “all” sapphires. However, those sapphires often do not include proper disclosure regarding the treatments they have undergone. The word “natural” identifies a sapphire crystal that has been developed in the ground, not synthetically created or treated in a lab. What is not mentioned is that the “natural” stone’s color and clarity is actually a result of a chemical procedure. The color and clarity, the paying value in a sapphire, is created from a heating process that would not have naturally occurred in the stone.
Treating and heating a stone significantly changes the original appearance (and therefore, value) of the rough crystal. Special gas furnaces heat the stones for a period of 3-10 days, at or above the melting point of the crystal (1800° C). Additives such as glass or coloring agents can be included during heating in order to fill natural cavities and cracks in the sapphires. The coloring agents are then diffused throughout the crystal, altering the sapphire’s color completely.
Treated sapphires are not rare. In fact, they are quite common and unlimited quantities exist. Consumers looking for true value in their sapphire jewelry should be aware of misleading descriptions of what is “natural”. As always, you have to look at the fine print in order to find out what you’re really considering to buy.