Difference Between Heated and Unheated Sapphire How It Affects Sapphire Value?

Posted on September 28th, 2023 05:32 PM

Sapphires come from the corundum mineral family and are renowned for their wide spectrum of colors. These colors range from vivid blue to green, yellow, pink, the unusual bi-color sapphire, and more. Each of these gemstones carries a symbolic meaning and holds astrological value. People buy natural sapphire stones for various reasons. A beautiful engagement ring, a powerful astrological gem, a high investment, and more. But do you know that more than ninety percent of these gems available in the market undergo some or the other kind of treatment? Thus, understanding the difference between heated and unheated sapphire is important. 

What is Heated sapphire?

To improve the visual appeal of a gemstone, they are subjected to heating. This process involves treating the rough sapphire at an intense temperature like the one that undergoes within the earth’s surface. The heating process transforms the stone’s internal structure, enhancing its color. Other than this, this process also improves the clarity of the gem. For instance, neelam ratna exhibits inclusions such as rutile needles. These are titanium oxide formed within the crystal during the gemstone formation beneath the earth’s surface. Too many inclusions within the stone make it look dull. Heat treatment process includes melting these inclusions at high temperatures. This results in high clarity and color of the stone. 

What is Unheated Sapphire?

It refers to natural sapphire that has undergone no treatment or enhancement. These gems are cherished for their natural beauty and authenticity. The original gemstones are highly valued for their rarity and are considered a high investment. These stones are formed beneath the earth’s surface under a natural geological process where intense heat and pressure lead to their formation. Mineral corundum is a crystalline form of aluminum oxide, which is colorless in its natural form. The occurrence of trace elements that get trapped inside the crystal formation gives it a beautiful color. Trace elements like iron, titanium, chromium, and vanadium provide color to sapphires. Unheated blue sapphire, for example, showcases an incredible blue color with a tint of purple. This color is due to the presence of iron and titanium. 

Unheated vs Heated Sapphire

The difference between sapphires lies in their origin, treatment, visual attributes, and market value. 

Unheated vs Heated Sapphire

Formation and Origin 

Unheated sapphires have been formed beneath the earth’s surface for millions of years. The atoms and molecules combine under intense heat and pressure to form the crystal. These crystals also form inside the metamorphic and igneous rocks. The best corundum sapphire deposits are found in Ceylon, Burma, and India. 

Heated sapphire is treated in the laboratories under high temperatures, as much as 1800 degrees Celsius, improving the color and clarity of the stone. You can find these treated gemstones anywhere in the market. 

Visual Appeal 

Natural or untreated sapphires have a mesmerizing range of colors from pastel tones to rich colors like blue and the rare hues like those of Padparadscha sapphire and pitambari neelam. The amazing color of these gems is due to the presence of trace elements. They also feature inclusions or imperfections that obstruct their clarity. Gems with vivid color and high clarity are difficult to find. 

Unheated vs Heated Sapphire

Treated corundums have an improved color and clarity due to the enhancement process they undergo. Rough sapphires with pale color and high inclusions are treated to enhance their color and clarity, allowing them to grab space in the gemstone marketplace. 

Astrological Benefits 

No-treatment sapphires are renowned for their astrological properties. For instance, unheated blue sapphire benefits an individual with immense wealth, good health, and overall well-being. Zodiac signs such as  Taurus,  Libra, Capricorn, Gemini, Virgo, and Aquarius should wear Neelam stone . Gemstones play an important role in astrology. They and the cosmic energy radiate around the wearer, blessing with amazing benefits. 

A comparison between a heated and non-heated sapphire comes here. If it is a nonheated stone, its effects are more fast-acting. On the contrary, astrologers do not suggest treating gems. This is because their natural energy is believed to become obsolete during the heating process. 

Price Comparison 

Sapphires are one of the precious gemstones that are known to have good investment value. A non-treated blue sapphire stone is a valuable investment for colored gemstones. You can opt for gemstone jewelry or a loose neel mani ratna. Either way, the investment will give you a good return. An original Neelam price starts from INR 5000 and can go up to INR 1 lakh or more per carat weight. 

Treated sapphires, on the other hand, are priced lower. However, the price also depends upon the type of treatment done. Though the enhancement process is done to enhance the clarity and color of the stone, there are certain parameters on which the price is decided. For instance, if the Neelam is of a good origin, like Ceylon, and the amount of treatment done is insignificant or less significant, the price may not differ much. Thus, a certificate from a recognized gemstone institution is essential while analyzing its price. A certificate is authentic proof that answers your query about how to tell if a sapphire is heat treated. You can also depict it by visually looking at the stone. If it is free from inclusions, there are chances that it is heat treated. 

Unheated vs Heated Sapphire

Value and Market Trends 

Heat-treated sapphire value is less but can always be a budget-friendly option. Nonheated neelam, for instance, is highly prized for its natural beauty and rarity. Since finding an original blue sapphire with high clarity, color, and carat weight is difficult, these gems command higher prices. Both heated and unheated sapphires hold value when discussing market trends as they depend upon the buyer's preferences. 

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