When shopping for sapphires, you will come across stones which are either natural or have undergone heat treatment in order to improve the color of the gemstone. This practice dates back many centuries and has been widely accepted in the global market for its affordability and the stability of the method for achieving results.
But are these natural heated sapphires worth your money? Or should you stick to the untreated stones? Let us break it down for you so you can make up your mind about what type of sapphire stone to choose for your jewelry needs.
Before we go further into discussing which type of sapphire you should invest in, let us quickly review what types of gemstones are classified as sapphires and the reason behind their attractive colors.
All sapphires are a variety of the mineral Corundum, which is simply Aluminum Oxide. Other members of the corundum family include ruby, padparadscha, star sapphire, and many other colors of sapphires. So then, what gives sapphires its blue color? Trace elements. The blue color in sapphires is attributed to the type and amount of Titanium and Iron present in the corundum crystal. The right balance of Titanium, Iron, with Aluminum Oxide will result in blue sapphire, and the more saturated this color is, the higher will be its worth as a gemstone.
The practice of heating Sapphire stones
Since time immemorial, Sapphire, also referred to as the blue gemstone, has been known for its color, and the more vibrant shade of blue the stone is, the more valuable it is considered.
During the middle ages, it was discovered that heating sapphire, even those of lower grade, results in the gem developing a deeper and richer hue of blue. Over the years, this method was perfected and today, while most people are unaware of this fact, almost all sapphires undergo natural heat treatment to “enhance” their color and clarity.
How heating affects the value of Sapphire?
Natural heated Sapphire generally carries a higher value compared to before. Even if prior to heating the stone had good color, natural heating gives it more punch and better clarity. It is for this reason only that sapphires have been heated for many centuries.
There are different levels of heat treatments, however, and with the exception of natural heating, as a general rule, the more treatment a piece of sapphire has been exposed to, the lower a price it will fetch on the market. This is why we at Sapphire Rings Co only deal in unheated and natural heated sapphires.
Should you buy natural heated Sapphire?
Owing to the high price of untreated Sapphire, most people cannot afford the rare gemstone. This is where natural heated sapphire comes into play, offering the same level of elegance as natural cuts while still being affordable.
When should you buy untreated Sapphire?
Where heat treatment has made it possible for sapphires to reach store shelves on every corner of the world, unheated sapphires are still highly sought-after for their natural beauty, rarity, and value as they require a perfect balance of nature’s forces.
However, in order to make sure that the Sapphire you have chosen has not been exposed to other enhancements such a beryllium or diffusion, having a GIA or AGL report is essential. Both the GIA & AGL are the few gem laboratories that can detect this treatment.
To sum it up, if you are buying Sapphire gem as a family heirloom that will last generations, untreated pieces are your best option. If budget is a concern but you don’t want to compromise on quality, go for nothing but natural heated Sapphire.
At Sapphire Ring Co, we have an extensive stock of sapphire gems for all your jewelry needs.