Before & After Photos: Treatment Diagrams of Sapphires

In this section we show the shocking "before and after" samples of treated sapphires. This section is provided for those who must "see to believe." These pictures are NOT digitally altered or misrepresented in any way. They have been supplied by scientific and reputable laboratories, individuals and companies that are held in high regard within the trade. None of these photos have been taken by our company. They have all been supplied by third party independent professional scientists and laboratories.

Here at The Natural Sapphire Company integrity is our highest priority, we will never seek to exaggerate, misrepresent or bash any products sold by other companies. Our focus is on disclosure and education. It is important that the dramatic differences be shown so that consumers can make a more informed decision when purchasing sapphires.

We would like to thank John Koivula, top researcher at the GIA and now senior gemologist. As well, Ted Themelis (Themelis Labs) for their excellent research, disclosure, education and photography.

Photos: John Koivula
The sapphire crystal
The sapphire crystal
Before heating
Before heating
After heating
After heating
The dramatic change in color and clarity is of a blue sapphire when heat-treated.
Photos: Ted Themelis
Heated Sapphires Rubies
Once considered completely useless, this corundum (sapphire) is treated in a sophisticated heating process that radically changes the color and clarity so that it becomes a mix of pink sapphires and rubies. These stones are now saleable.
Photos: Ted Themelis
Heated Sandpaper Sapphires Before After Heatedc Sapphire Colors
Here is "sandpaper quality" sapphire that is treated to produce commercially valuable stones. Unlimited quantities of "sandpaper quality" sapphire exist that can be used for treating. these stones are then cut and put into jewelry for sale.
Photos: Ted Themelis
Before After Heated Sapphire Diagram Before After Heated Sapphire Inclusions
This purplish - black sapphire from Burma is transformed into commercially usable pink sapphire after a flux additive is put in the heating process. Traditional heating of sapphires typically takes 2-3 days. Here are preformed cut (roughly shaped) light colored sapphires that have been heated in a diffusion process using Be (Beryllium) gas. They were then faceted and polished into unbelievably uniform colored sapphires. This process proves the unlimited creation of treated sapphires. These stones are not rare.
Photo: Ted Themelis
Before After Heated Sapphire Inclusions
These before and after photos show how massive inclusions can be dissolved with specialized heating techniques to not only create far improved clarity, but also create uniform coloration throughout the material being treated. There are so many different heating processes that it is almost impossible to identify each correctly.
Photos: John Koivula
Untreated Rutile Silk sapphire Inclusions
The study of inclusions in sapphires is a sure way to detect if a sapphire has been treated. Heating sapphires at extreme temperatures change the internal characteristics so much that it is quite easy for a trained gemologist to determine if the sapphire has been heated. This diagram shows natural untreated inclusions in a sapphire (left) and inclusions in a heated sapphire (right).
Here are all natural untreated sapphire inclusions photographed at various magnifications. These specific types of inclusions show that these sapphires have not been treated by heating. Unique types of inclusions in sapphires can also suggest where a specific sapphire was mined in the world. Once a trained individual has studied many types of sapphires and inclusions they can make educated assumptions on the origin of where the sapphire originated. Here is a classic "silk" type inclusion in a natural untreated blue sapphire. This is the most common "stamp of authenticity" to show that a sapphire has not been treated. These fine microscopic rutile needles are most common in sapphires from Sri Lanka, Burma and Madagascar. Often buyers want to see some "silk" effect within a sapphire, just enough to show that the stone is indeed natural, but not too much to where it overpowers the viewing of the stone.