What are the main differences between man made sapphires and natural ones?

I am looking into getting a loose sapphire gemstone - round cut and about 1 to 1.5 carats. It is more important to me to get the size and COLOR I want than the prestige of it being "natural." I don't have a large budget for the stone (only a couple hundred dollars at most), which is the main reason why I can't just go out and buy a dark blue natural sapphire. My question is what are the major differences between natural and man made sapphires (besides price) - what are the pros and cons of both. I am worried about one being more breakable than the other or less scratch resistant or something. Also, does anyone know if some good websites for sapphires? I have a large list of web sites that sell natural ones, but I haven't found any web sites that sell man made ones (are man made sapphires called something special? - and please don't be a smartass and say "colored crystal" or "cubic zirconium".

Thank you!

Update:

I meant zirconia, sorry - typo durring the spell check

Update 2:

Or would a man made/lab sapphire just be a simple cubic zirconia???

31 Answers

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  • lb2k
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Synthetic sapphires are lab-created either by flame fusion method or flux-melt method or less commonly, by hydrothermal method. They have the same physical, optical and chemical properties as natural sapphires. Some lab-created sapphires may be included, although most are clean. Since they have the same properties as naturals, they will not scratch or chip more easily than a natural stone.

    Prices of synthetic sapphires depend on the method of synthesis used. In general, FF sapphires are mouch more affordable than FM sapphires. (Depending on the quality and color, FF's can cost as little as a few cents a carat and FM's can cost over a hundred a carat.) I found a 3ct sapphire (allegedly hydrothermal) on Ebay for 0.99cts! Here's the link http://cgi.ebay.com/16-HUGE-STUNNING-SYNTHETIC-HYD...

    As a gemstone enthusiast and a gemologist, my advice is to buy natural! There is just NO comparision. Why buy a cold, clinical man-made substitute when you can own a rare stone made by mother earth and enjoy all the romance, mystery and adventure that comes with it?

    Good blue sapphires are a pure saturated blue or violet-blue with a even tone. If clean and well-cut, these will fetch a premium in the market and can cost a bomb! However, lighter blue sapphires can be just as lovely, can be lively and clean, and best of all - will fit into your budget quite nicely.

    BTW, natural sapphires aren't just blue! They come in almost every color of the rainbow. If a good stone in the blue variety is beyond your budget, why not opt for an equally pretty pink, orange, yellow, purple or violet? There is even a rare color-changing variety!

    Source(s): I LOVE gemstones and I'm a gemologist.
  • tobias
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Man Made Sapphire

  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    What are the main differences between man made sapphires and natural ones?

    I am looking into getting a loose sapphire gemstone - round cut and about 1 to 1.5 carats. It is more important to me to get the size and COLOR I want than the prestige of it being "natural." I don't have a large budget for the stone (only a couple hundred dollars at most), which is...

    Source(s): main differences man sapphires natural ones: https://shortly.im/gsUnA
  • 1 decade ago

    I didn't read any of the previous answers before responding to your question. Man made sapphires are called "Lab Created" & they are identical in makeup & structure to a real sapphire. They won't have flaws or inclusions & the color will be more uniform than a "genuine" sapphire. In my opinion ( I know my jewelry! )

    they are nicer because you can get the shade/color you want in lab created stones - you can also get a much larger stone for the money!! which is always nice!! - & nobody has to know it's not "real" but you. I don't know of any specific web sites for lab created stones - they also make rubies & emeralds as well -

    but perhaps you could attend a few gem & mineral shows in yoir area? Some dealers there might have what you're looking for or they could point you towards someone who wholesales stones.

    Good luck - I hope you'll be able to get a larger carat size than you'd planned, since they aren't as expensive as real!!!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Others have already pointed out the difference in the two - lab created has no flaws, natural stones have flaws and variation in color (which makes them more unique)

    in the long run, if this is to be an heirloom piece, the natural stone will retain its value over time. The man-made stone will lose value as more of them are made and they reduce the rarity of their existence.

    Not to knock your desire, but a few hundred dollars is not going to buy you over a carat of sapphire. They are expensive stones. Talk to a trusted jeweler for more information (and not the chain stores in the mall, they aren't as knowledgeable and generally don't have a choice in the products they sell)

  • 1 decade ago

    man made sapphires, just like czs are made of the same material that the natural Sapphire is made of but in a lab. you cannot really tell the difference except that lab created sapphires are exceptionally clear and that they weight slightly less than natural sapphires, which are more compressed because they grew in the earth for thousands of years. I have not yet found a web site that sells just the stones - only jewelery

  • 1 decade ago

    Sapphires are durable. They have a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, just below diamond ('10' and that's the hardest). If you'd like your sapphire to increase in value over time, it would be best to buy a natural stone. Created stones just look cheap because they're just that "man made". Like any gem/polished rock, it will scratch, but not necessarily crack due to its durability. Unless you do something really crazy to damage or destroy the stone, it should be fine.

    Go NATURAL!!

  • 1 decade ago

    Natural sapphires are usually darker than man made sapphires. If you find a bright brillant blue sapphire it is probably man made. The price difference usually isn't as big as you think it would be. It is just a matter of preference on which stone appeals to you more.

    Source(s): Personal shopping experience (my birthstone)
  • 1 decade ago

    I think the fake sapphires are the most ugliest thing.

    I use to work for a jewelry firm in downtown los angeles. . .

    and we had the most beautifullest sapphires in the district.

    We did have some fake ones that were hella sythetic looking..

    If I was a customer I would totally buy jewelry that is real.

    Its a big investment.

    So as far as the difference the hue and carat weight is definaltly a factor in indicating the qualities of a false ugly sapphire to a full radiating sapphire

  • 5 years ago

    The crystal of my Rolex is a man-made sapphire and although I got it in 1989 and have worn it nearly every day since, the crystal remains scratch-free. Even the little magnifying glass section has not a mark.

    I've worn it while spending a summer building rock walls.

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