How To Tell If A Sapphire Is Real?

In the exciting verse of gemstones, sapphires, be they blue sapphires or yellow sapphires, are perhaps the only gemstone type that needs no introduction. Even a novice who has minuscule knowledge of gemstones can seamlessly state vital information about sapphires including the origin of top-notch quality sapphires. However, knowing superficially about sapphires is not sufficient enough when you are planning to rope in one.

Sapphires are one of the most precious, exorbitant, and alluring gemstones with perennial enormous demand in the international market. As a buyer, you should be well-informed and packed with necessary knowledge when you plan to buy an original blue sapphire as the dearth of the right information can make you fall into the trap of scammers.  The prime question that arises here is how do you tell if a sapphire is real? What are different methodologies to find out the authenticity of a yellow sapphire gemstone‘ with pinpoint accuracy? 

In this all-inclusive and engrossing blog post, we have curated all possible methods that will help you out to check if a sapphire is real or not. Some methods are pinpoint accurate, while others come with less accuracy but more credibility. So next time, whenever someone asks  how to tell if a sapphire is real or when you are off to buy an original sapphire stone, you won’t fumble or fall into the plot of scammers.

How To Tell If A Sapphire is Real

After putting gemstone knowledge and research skills to the ultimate test, we have curated different effective methods that quite clearly state if a blue sapphire gemstone is real or not. Let’s understand them one at a time.

Check for Blemishes

There is no natural sapphire gemstone prevails in existence that doesn’t possess natural blemishes or small spots on its surface. They are natural and there is nothing wrong about a sapphire stone having blemishes. You will barely find blemishes and spots on lab-created sapphires because they are created to be flawless and market-ready. 

One efficacious and time-savvy way to check out the originality of a natural blue sapphire stone is by looking for blemishes and spots on the surface of the stone. If you find them, it clearly indicates the sapphire gemstone is authentic. Most artificial or lab-created sapphires enclose poky air bubbles that are trapped during the manufacturing of the gemstones. However, natural sapphires are free from such man-made imperfections.

Worth Reading: – Different Types of Sapphires

Scratch Test

It’s not a hidden fact from anyone that sapphires are the second hardest gemstones in existence with a rating of 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Only diamonds are harder than pink sapphires

Scratch test is one of the most cost-effective and time-savvy ways to find out the originality or authenticity of a sapphire stone. To conduct a scratch test effectively, you need a substance harder than sapphire and a natural pukhraj stone. If you rub a substance harder than a sapphire on its surface, it will definitely leave a scratch mark. If it doesn’t leave a mark then the sapphire stone is not real or is some cheap replica.

However, there is a major to minor chance of damaging the stone when performing a scratch test. Hence, this method is preferred less even though it provides accurate results.

Breath Test

By leaps and bounds the easiest way to tell if a sapphire stone is real or not. By considering the properties of natural sapphires, it is evident that sapphires are excellent conductors of heat. It means if moisture is layered on a sapphire stone surface, it will accelerate the evaporation process.

To perform a breath test, you need to breathe hard on the blue sapphire gemstone so that a sufficient amount of moisture can be added to the surface. Now check how long it takes for moisture to evaporate completely. If the time taken is less than 3 seconds, it probably means the sapphire is real. If the time taken is more than standard timing, a sapphire stone is definitely an imitation.

Light Test

Sapphire gemstones are widely acknowledged for their intense color and uniform distribution of the color as well. Light test is one of the surefire ways to identify if a sapphire stone is real or not. To perform this test, you need an intense light source and a gemstone. Turn off the light in your room and focus the flashlight on the sapphire gemstone. 

If it reflects the color of the stone then the gemstone is real. If the test exhibits uneven color, it is a strong sign of the fakeness of the gemstone. However, the accuracy of this gemstone is not regarded as high.

Check for Air Bubbles

Counterfeit gems can often be identified by small imperfections within the stone. Examine the sapphire stone carefully under bright light, tilting and turning it to catch the light from all angles. Use a jeweler’s magnifying loupe to inspect the interior – if you notice any tiny air pockets or bubbles trapped inside, that’s a telltale sign that the gem is an imitation rather than a natural precious stone.

The presence of these air inclusions indicates that the white sapphire gem was likely created artificially in a lab, rather than forming naturally underground over eons. So inspecting under magnification and light can reveal the manufacturing flaws that expose a fake.

Do Check Out: – How To Check If Blue Sapphire Suits You

Look for Flaws

All gemologists know that Authentic sapphires formed under the lap of nature characteristically contain tiny imperfections within the gemstone itself. These natural ‘birthmarks’ take shape as wispy feathers, dark crystals, or fine needle-like strands embedded inside the sapphire. To identify if a sapphire is real, inspect it under magnification and bright light.

Hold the stone up and gaze through a jeweler’s loupe or 10x magnifying glass, examining at all angles. If you detect flaws suspended inside the sapphire, it’s a good indication you have a natural sapphire gem. The presence of these subtle imperfections reveals the sapphire formed over time deep underground, rather than being artificially created in a lab to look flawless. So the tiny flaws actually confirm the authenticity.

Find Intersecting Lines

Some low-quality sapphires are artificially enhanced through a process called lead glass filling. This involves injecting lead-based glass into fractures and cavities within the gemstone, to improve its appearance and hide flaws. To identify if a sapphire has been lead glass-filled, inspect it carefully under bright illumination. 

Examine the stone from all angles, looking for any crisscrossing lines or web-like patterns visible inside. These intersecting glass-filled channels are telltale signs that lead glass treatment has been used on that sapphire. Now while lead glass filling doesn’t make the gem completely fake, it does indicate very poor natural quality. 

These treated stones are not worth investing in, as they lack the true value of a naturally flawless sapphire. So beware of lead glass-filled gems trying to appear higher quality than they really are.

Gemstone Certification

Last but not the last, the only method with 100% accuracy to identify the originality of a sapphire stone is professional gemstone certification. This method may cost you money but also save you from the noxious labyrinth of scammers as well as your hard-earned money. There are umpteen government-certified gem labs existing in the market like IGIJTL, AGS, GRS, SSEF, and Gublin that offers comprehensive gemstone reports including treatment, cut, carat weight, origin, clarity, and color of the gemstone. You can rope in the services of one of the certified gem laboratories and seamlessly find out if a sapphire is real or not.

Must Read: – How to Tell If A Ruby is Real

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Written By pmkkgems

Muskan Sain is a well-versed gemstone expert with over 8 years of experience in the field. She has received extensive training from a renowned gemological institute, which has equipped her with comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the identification, grading, and valuation of gemstones.


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