This is our education section, where we explain important details of sapphires and the two main differences between a truly Natural sapphire and a treated one.
Most (if not all) sapphires and sapphire jewelry seen online and in retail stores will be described as "natural" sapphires. These natural sapphires are usually not accompanied with proper disclosure regarding the treatments that they have undergone. The word "natural" is intended to identify a sapphire crystal that has come from the ground (not synthetically created). What is likely to be left out in the description is the fact that the color and clarity, indicated as "natural", is really not just "natural". In almost all cases the color and clarity of the sapphire will come from various treatments that you may very well not be aware of.
Yes, a natural sapphire is a sapphire crystal that has been created in the ground - but the color and clarity (what you are paying for in a sapphire) is created from a heating process that would have never occurred naturally in the stone that is being shown.
Treated sapphires are not rare. In fact, unlimited quantities exist. Consumers looking for true value in their sapphire jewelry should be aware of misleading descriptions of treated sapphires being called "natural". This is just side-stepping open disclosure about the treatment of the stones. Like most things these days, you have to look at the fine print to find out what you’re really looking at and considering purchasing.
The truth is that almost everything you will see in sapphires anywhere is treated, and treating is not a simple process. It is a sophisticated procedure that has taken decades to perfect by experienced enhancement specialists. The stones are not just thrown in an oven and baked like cookies.
Treating and heating a stone is a very involved process that significantly changes the original appearance (and value) of the rough crystal that came out of the ground. Ultra-high temperature gas furnaces heat these stones for a period of 3-10 days, at or above the melting point of the crystal (1800°C). Additives such as glass and coloring agents can be included in the heating process in order to fill in natural cavities and cracks in the sapphires. Coloring agents are then diffused into the heating process in many cases, where the coloring of the sapphire is completely and radically altered. Trying to determine what you are buying is now a scientific research project in most cases.
Obviously, our business is all about the rare and truly natural beauty of "real" sapphires, so of course we can be a bit too direct when it comes to comparing the differences between a treated sapphire and a REAL untreated sapphire. We try to be fair, but we find disclosure and education is heavily undermined by most other companies selling treated stones.
A Natural Untreated sapphire is nothing more and nothing less - it is the stone from the ground as Mother Nature made it. The color and clarity is just how it came from the earth, all we do is facet it!
We offer a third party laboratory report for most of the sapphires that we have for sale. These reports come from the most reputable color stone laboratories in the world (GIA lab primarily). These laboratory analysis reports are costly and take many weeks to obtain for each sapphire. It is not a mass market, smoke-and-mirrors document; these reports are from professional laboratories with no interest in any details other than scientific reporting.
Quality and Value are rare in most things these days. Here at The Natural Sapphire Company we offer something unique and truly valuable. Please browse the many areas of our education section below for further details on sapphires.