Rare and valuable minerals

What is the difference between grown sapphire and natural one?

Sapphire is a royal stone. In ancient times, it was used to decorate royal regalia: the best examples crowned the crowns of Russian tsars and British rulers. Sapphire also costs a fortune, so attempts to synthesize it in the laboratory have been made for quite some time. Modern synthesis methods make it possible to grow crystals with properties identical to natural ones. Only a specialist can distinguish them from ordinary sapphires.

First attempts at synthesis

Synthetic sapphire was first obtained by the French chemist Verneuil in 1904. To do this, he used a method he himself invented: he placed the finely ground mixture in the flame of a hydrogen burner. Verneuil’s method quickly found wide application and is still used almost unchanged today. But it’s not perfect, so the experiments continued. In 1916, Polish chemist Jan Czochralski came up with a method for growing crystals from a melt. According to legend, he dropped a pen into a crucible of molten tin, and when he took it out, he noticed that a thin thread of hardened metal was trailing behind the pen. It turned out that it has a monocrystalline structure. The chemist developed a method for the synthesis of other single crystals, which was later called the Czochralski method. The first hydrothermal sapphire was created almost 60 years ago by two researchers – Laudise and Balman. They managed to obtain a high quality colorless stone. And several decades later, scientists from Novosibirsk selected a dopant based on divalent nickel, achieving a uniform “sky blue” color of sapphire. Since 1995, the technology began to be used for industrial purposes, and was later supplemented and expanded.

How are sapphires grown?

  • uneven color distribution;
  • strong internal tension;
  • many inclusions – gas bubbles, cracks;
  • small size.

Sapphires synthesized by the Czochralski method do not have these disadvantages: it allows one to obtain corundums of high jewelry quality. The crushed mixture is placed in a special vessel made of a refractory metal (for example, platinum). Under the influence of pressure and high temperatures, the seed is pulled upward, which leads to the formation of a crystal.

Features

Standard characteristics are used to assess the quality of synthetic sapphires. The better the color, clarity, cut and weight of the stone, the higher it will cost.

Color

Color is the most important characteristic of sapphire. In mineralogy, sapphire itself is called blue corundum. The cost is affected not only by the shade, but by the intensity of the color and its lightness.

The most famous shades are Royal Blue and Kashmir cornflower blue. Cornflower blue stones have a silky shine and seem to glow from within.

Dark blue sapphires, reminiscent of Australian ones, are not very highly valued. The same can be said about light blue stones.

Sapphires of fancy colors are also used in jewelry. Modern synthesis methods make it possible to create stones:

  • yellow;
  • green;
  • orange-pink (padparadscha);
  • kunzite (purple);
  • with alexandrite effect – color change depending on the lighting;
  • two-color – with a clear transition boundary between different colors in the stone.

The presence of an asterism (ray star) or color changing effect increases the cost of sapphire: such stones are rare in nature, and therefore are in great demand among jewelers.

Cleanliness

Sapphires may contain inclusions and cracks. Most of them are invisible to the naked eye and therefore do not affect the visual perception of the stone. By the nature and location of the inclusions, you can determine the origin of the sapphire, as well as find out by what method it was obtained.

Corundums synthesized by the Verneuil method often contain gas bubbles and cracks. Sapphires obtained by the Czochralski method are purer.

The weight

Pure natural sapphires over 5 carats are rare and very expensive. The larger the sapphire, the higher its cost per carat.

Existing synthesis methods make it possible to grow corundums of sufficiently large size. For example, the mass of a crystal synthesized by the hydrothermal method can reach 240 carats. The Czochralski method produces sapphires weighing 10 thousand carats or more.

Cut shape

As a rule, sapphires are given a facet cut. It ensures uniform reflection of light and enhances inner radiance. The most popular forms:

Synthetic sapphires do not limit the craftsman when choosing a cut shape. When working with natural materials, he has to take into account the characteristics of the stone – inclusions, microcracks, defects, so the shape is not standard. Synthetic corundum does not impose these restrictions: the stone can be given any shape.

Sapphires with asterism effect are cut in cabochons. This is the only way to reveal all the beauty of the ray star located in the center of the stone.

How to distinguish synthetic sapphire

When buying jewelry, it is easy to distinguish synthetic sapphire from natural one: you need to look at the tag. The inscription “synth” means that this is a stone obtained in a laboratory – without specifying the method. “Gt” is a designation for hydrothermal sapphires, “corundum sapphire” is a designation for crystals obtained by the Verneuil method.

Another visual marker is price. High quality natural sapphire cannot be too cheap. Dark blue stones sell for an average of $200 per carat; very good quality stones sell for $3700 per carat or more. If you are offered a cheap sapphire of rich color without noticeable inclusions, it is most likely grown in a laboratory.

It is difficult to distinguish synthetic sapphire from natural sapphire by visual signs: special equipment is required. An experienced gemologist may notice swirl patterns and growth zones caused by crystal synthesis technology. In addition, nickel is often used in synthesis to obtain the desired color, but it is not found in natural stones.

Why is synthetic sapphire interesting?

Grown sapphires are cheaper than natural ones. Moreover, they grow in conditions close to natural, but under human control. To obtain a precious stone, there is no need to create deep quarries, destroy ecosystems, or organize wars: the entire process takes place in the laboratory.

The properties of synthetic and natural sapphire are identical. Both stones have a Mohs hardness of 9: scratches will not appear on the surface for a long time, and the edges will not wear off.

Synthetic sapphires come in a wide range of colors. Synthesis technology allows you to reproduce natural shades, as well as create crystals with the effect of asterism or color change. It is much easier to obtain them in the laboratory than to find them in nature.

Sapphire – a beautiful stone, most often it has a blue color and makes a lasting impression. When choosing, you should take into account your zodiac sign, properties, appearance, and personal preferences. Who is the sapphire stone suitable for? Anyone can purchase jewelry with this addition, but it favors some zodiac signs the most. It is worth owning the presented stone for its special properties.

Magical and healing features

Sapphire – a stone of fate, it is believed that it attracts financial benefits; it is also worth including increased attractiveness in its magical properties. This quality of the mineral is especially important for women, and it helps male representatives achieve their goals. Sapphire has various properties, including demonstrating talents and the best qualities of the owner; it is also considered healing, bringing prudence and prudence. A person can use any variety to search for lies, insincerity; the stone protects against deception and treachery. The sapphire stone exhibits quite strong magical properties; it helps to clarify the mind, improve memory, and is ideal for creative people. If passion matters to you, it is worth considering that it extinguishes it, but gives cosmic energy and helps creativity.

Sapphire is a healing stone, including the following:

  • restoration of vision;
  • the gemstone is good for memory;
  • improvement in problems with the musculoskeletal system;
  • properties of sapphire stone for women include a beneficial effect on the reproductive organs;
  • sapphire improves the condition of diabetes;
  • The stone improves blood biochemical parameters and reduces blood pressure.

The properties and meaning of sapphire stone are quite attractive; it helps to achieve harmony.

Which zodiac sign suits

A popular question is: who is the sapphire stone suitable for according to their zodiac sign? It harmonizes best with Sagittarius. The magical features of the jewelry are able to correctly direct their energy, and it will also balance Aquarius. They will gain more confidence if your zodiac sign is Capricorn or Taurus, sapphire is not the best choice. It will promote excessive risk and adventurism. The zodiac signs presented are already gifted with the qualities that jewelry can give.

The impact on human life is as follows:

  • gives peace and wisdom;
  • guides to spiritual development;
  • sapphire – a stone of courage, fortitude;
  • gives peace of mind.

Not only is the decoration chosen based on the zodiac sign, the attractiveness of the stone in question is that it helps get rid of enemies and attract true friends.

Physical features

Is sapphire a precious or semi-precious stone? The stone is a type of corundum and belongs to the category of precious, the four most expensive; according to Mohs, its hardness is 9. Even from the photo it is clear that sapphire has a significant shine. The blue color is created due to the presence of iron and titanium, and there are also a number of other colors.

The gemstone exists in a wide range of shades:

  • blue. Who is the sapphire stone suitable for? Anyone who wants to show their best qualities. There are many such offers, they are the most valuable and may differ in shade;
  • pink. Who is this sapphire suitable for? It is expensive and rare, so it is used for jewelry made of red and white gold;
  • black. Suitable for men’s and women’s jewelry, looks great, comes in partially transparent and opaque;
  • yellow. It is selected according to the zodiac sign in the same way; the color does not change the properties.

They are also white, blue, green, purple, star-shaped, the latter can be assessed when exposed to sunlight.

Compatibility with other jewelry and wearing features

Sapphire has magical properties for women by nature; it is best to place it in gold (white, pink, yellow). It is worn in the form of pendants, pendants, rings become talismans, ideally they are placed on the index finger. The elements of the stone are water and earth; when worn on the ring finger, it helps to organize your personal life. Sapphire is combined with ruby, opal, emerald, aquamarine, and diamond.

Who is sapphire stone suitable for and how to care for it properly

The properties of sapphire and who it is suitable for are important, but it needs proper care:

  • in order to preserve the magical properties of the jewelry, it is stored separately; the stone is also hard and can harm other products;
  • A place with access to direct sunlight is not suitable for storage; sapphire is also protected from chemical compounds;
  • The stone can be cleaned with soap, a household liquid will do, all you have to do is wipe it with a cloth.

How to distinguish a fake from an original

The originality of a sapphire should only be taken into account when purchasing natural jewelry; it is often counterfeited. How to distinguish a real stone? We offer basic recommendations:

  • placing in water. Natural sapphire will instantly sink to the bottom;
  • using metal objects to scratch. The stone is durable, so there should be no marks;
  • increase. The description of the correct actions is as follows: use a magnifying glass to examine the inclusions.

Usually such actions are unacceptable, so an experienced appraiser is involved.

Where else is sapphire used?

In addition to being used to obtain a positive effect and create jewelry, sapphire can be used to form artificial eye lenses and braces. They are relevant in instrument making (microcircuits), rocketry and the aviation industry. Much depends on what kind of stones are used.

What is artificial sapphire?

There is also a synthetic stone, such sapphire is used quite widely. It does not receive standard qualities, healing and magical properties, but allows you to get more affordable jewelry. The created products are more ideal, since there are no cracks, chips or inclusions. Who is the sapphire stone suitable for? Artificial can be used without restrictions, natural is also compatible with almost all zodiac signs and will give its positive energy.

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