Heat treatments are common throughout the jewelry industry because the technique helps to produce a darker gem that consumers may prefer over a lighter stone. However, treating precious gemstones, including sapphires, has consequences for the value of the bracelet, necklace, or ring the stone is placed in. So let’s take a closer look at heat treatments.
Why Choose Heat Treated Sapphires?
When a customer wants to choose between a natural or heat-treated sapphire, jewelers will comment on how it affects the rarity, beauty, and value of the gemstone. Depending on who you talk to, you’ll receive entirely different answers to the same question.
- Sapphires will undergo heat treatments to receive a higher return on investment and give customers a more affordable choice. If an unearthed sapphire is deemed ugly by the company, they will heat it to improve and typically darken the stone.
- Heat-treated sapphires keep their color forever unless they undergo a separate heat treatment. Therefore, you must be sure you wish your stone to be treated.
- Since no two sapphires are alike, heat treatment will affect all stones differently.
- Treated sapphires are still desirable but lack the rarity and natural appeal.
In the end, unheated sapphires are the better investment due to their resale value. In addition, natural sapphires are becoming rarer and will increase in value yearly.
Why Choose a Natural Sapphire?
Say you want to purchase a Ceylon sapphire engagement ring from an online jeweler. Ceylon sapphires are considered to be of the finest quality, where darker stones are worth more than the light blue variety. Some jewelers will turn pink, green, purple, and yellow sapphires into blue sapphires and claim they’re “Ceylon sapphires,” as they come from Sri Lanka (or Ceylon).
An experienced jeweler could easily spot that the Ceylon sapphire isn’t the actual stone, which will lower its resale value significantly. Plus, you won’t have a stone that’s rare and unearthly beautiful.
If you care about the resale value of your ring, always choose natural over treated.
Natural Sapphires Retain Their Beauty
We buy jewelry lined with gems because it’s pleasing to the eye. Heat-treated sapphires can’t compare to an authentic gemstone because they won’t glow, sparkle, or shine like the real deal. However, if you’re more interested in the gem’s appearance, rather than its rarity or value, costume jewelry is not only cost-effective, but true fakes can fool most people.
Natural Sapphires are Rare and Unforgettable
What makes an item rare? Simple: it’s hard to find. Sapphires captivate our imaginations because they are unusual, uncommon, and are often cherished by ancient civilizations. Jewelry is considered a status symbol that’s unique to the wearer. Not all-natural items are recognized as jewelry or even put in the same category as gems, although they contain similar ingredients.
For example, sapphire is made up of corundum, but black corundum is so commonplace that it’s used in sandpaper. Sapphires are unique because of how long it takes for the earth to produce them and for their incredible beauty that’s truly everlasting.
Earning Authenticity Increases Value
Any seller can tell you that a sapphire is authentic, but unless they can produce a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certificate of authenticity, the gem might as well be worthless. To the naked eye, a heated sapphire will look virtually the same as the highest quality natural stone as long as the extracted gem used to be a natural, untreated sapphire.
Sapphires that are treated multiple times may still produce similar gemological results as an untreated gemstone, so you’ll need to ensure the laboratory you’re using is trusted and experienced. The last thing you want is to find out your previously valued stone is worthless.
If you’re buying a sapphire online, it’s better to see it in person if the seller doesn’t have a reputable background or uses a third-party eCommerce website. Gems won’t photograph well and will look drastically different under specific lighting conditions.
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