How to Tell If a Sapphire Is Real or Fake

By Mary Smith. January 12, 2021
How to Tell If a Sapphire Is Real or Fake

We mostly think of sapphires as being blue in color. Although they are most commonly blue, you can find them in other tones such as purple, yellow, orange and green. This might lead to some people questioning the authenticity of a particular stone, but color is not the only way you can tell if a sapphire is authentic. If you want to know how to tell if a sapphire is real or fake, you can go to a trusted jeweller. However, we can help explain the methods they will employ. If you want to know whether a sapphire is real, keep reading with oneHOWTO

You may also be interested in: How To Know If A Diamond Is Real

What is a sapphire?

Before checking if a sapphire is authentic, you should know the characteristics of this precious stone. It is a blue gem belonging to the corundum family, one of the sets of most valuable gemstones in the world. Others in this family of gemstones include diamonds, emeralds and rubies.

The sapphire's most notable characteristic is its blue color. Although, as we state in the introduction, there are numerous varieties of sapphire which can vary this color. It is these variations which also determine its value, with the dark ones generally being more expensive than lighter specimens. Additionally, sapphire is known to be the second hardest stone, the only one harder being a diamond.

Finally, you should know that this stone is generally found in mineral deposits of rutile and hematite. The main sapphire mines are found on the African continent, although we can also find deposits in South America, in the Indian region of Kashmir, in Sri Lanka, in Siam or in the Australian territory of Central Queensland.

How to Tell If a Sapphire Is Real or Fake - What is a sapphire?

How to tell if a sapphire is real

As we stated above, the best way to know the authenticity of a sapphire is to speak to a trusted jeweller. You can know they are trustworthy by looking at reviews online or checking their credentials. Some countries have jeweller's associations, such as Jewellers of America in the USA, which have accredited certifications. Don't go to a pawn shop or cash converter to assess the price of a stone.

Here are some of the methods jewellers will employ to determine if a sapphire is real or fake:

Look for impurities

The first check to judge the authenticity of a sapphire is to search for any imperfections, defects or impurities. This is done with the help of a magnifying glass to better inspect the stone. If it is a natural sapphire, you will see small spots and imperfections on its surface which are the natural effects of nature's development. While some are very pure and blemish-free, even if they are real, the existence of these small impurities is often proof that it is a genuine sapphire.

Breath test

Another test that can help verify if a sapphire is real is the breath test. It is very simple. You just have to take the stone and breathe on it to fog it up. Once you get condensation, count how long it takes for the mist to disappear completely. If it is a natural stone, you will see it will have disappeared in just a couple of seconds. On the other hand, if it is a treated or artificial stone it will take a few more seconds to disappear.

Air bubbles

This test is very simple. If you see air bubbles in the stone, the sapphire is not authentic. These bubbles are a consequence of the creation of synthetic sapphires in laboratories using glass. Inspect the stone from all angles to verify that there are no bubbles of any kind to verify its authenticity.

The scratch test

As we have pointed out, sapphire is the second hardest gem after the diamond. so you can verify its authenticity through the scratch test. If you have two sapphires and you know that one is real, you can use it to scratch the second. If the stone you scratch is authentic, you will see that nothing happens. This is because stones of equal hardness do not scratch each other.

If you notice that a scratch appears, you can see that it is not a real sapphire. In the case of a synthetic sapphire, you should be careful when checking, as it could be damaged. Although not true sapphires, they may still be valuable.

Is light reflected off the sapphire?

Another method that will allow you to detect if a sapphire is real or fake is to check how light reflects off its surface. To carry out this test, we recommend that you stay completely in the dark and simply focus on the sapphire with a flashlight. If the stone is genuine, light of the same color as the sapphire will be reflected. If it is a fake sapphire (usually made of glass) you will be able to see that many other colors are reflected. This trick doesn't fail.

Sapphire Certification

Finally, if you go to a jeweler to verify the authenticity of the stone, do not hesitate to ask for the sapphire certification. During the analysis of the gem, they will be able to determine if it is a natural or synthetic stone, if it has been worked or not, as well as its value or other characteristics.

Thanks to the official report, you will get a higher value for the sapphire if you decide to sell it in the future.

How to tell if other gemstones are real

Sapphires are only one of the precious stones which often need to be verified if they are real or fake. Since they are such expensive objects, many people try to play off fakes for real. The same goes for precious metals. You may also have found or inherited some jewellery and want to check its authenticity. If this is the case, then you can look at the following articles to help you:

If you want to read similar articles to How to Tell If a Sapphire Is Real or Fake, we recommend you visit our Fashion & Style category.

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