How to differentiate between synthetic & natural yellow sapphire?

Secrets of Yellow Sapphire: Spot the fake
Posted on March 2nd, 2024 06:00 PM

Gemstones hold great significance in Indian astrology. With birth charts created when a child is born to the belief that gemstones can transform destiny, Indian astrology has many uncovered aspects. One such gemstone that provides wisdom and prosperity is yellow sapphire or pukhraj. The bright yellow color of this gem combined with the astrological benefits makes it a popular stone amongst humans. With the growing popularity and benefits this gemstone owes, it is always important to buy a natural yellow sapphire stone

Since original gemstones come with a price not fit for every pocket, there are many alternatives available for the same. These are regarded as lab-created, synthetic, or fake gemstones. 

You can always go for an affordable jewelry piece from these gemstones but what about their use in astrology? Imagine you are looking for an original pukhraj stone to enhance mental peace, courage, and happiness. What if you get a synthetic yellow sapphire compared to the original one? It can fulfill an aesthetic look for jewelry but it might not benefit you astrologically. 

Thus, knowing the difference is important to get a clear picture of what is fake, synthetic, or natural. 

What is a synthetic gemstone?

Synthetic gemstones are sometimes also known as man-made gems as they are cultured in a laboratory. These are different from fake stones as the latter can be glass, plastic, or ceramic or in other words a low-quality imitation of the natural gem. 

What is a natural gemstone?

A natural gem is obtained directly below the earth's surface. These are mined from the earth and are popular for their rarity and amazing colors. However, natural and synthetic stones might show the same color but the quality can differ. 

Can you spot the difference between a synthetic or original pukhraj stone? 

Let us check out how to pick real beauty with benefits over fake beauty. 

What is the difference between synthetic and natural yellow sapphire?

Origin and Formation: Key Difference 

original yellow sapphire key difference=

Yellow sapphires belong to the corundum mineral family and are formed deep within the Earth’s crust. The excessive heat and pressure inside the metamorphic and igneous rocks lead to a crystalline form of aluminum oxide. These crystals with time get deposited in riverbeds which are accessible to the miners. Many changes take place during the formation of gemstones, color is one of them. The trace elements such as iron interacting within the mineral give a yellow color to the sapphires. The higher the intensity of these trace elements in the mineral, the more vivid the color of the stone. 

Read More here: Who Should Wear Pukhraj

Like natural sapphires need the right environmental conditions to grow, synthetic yellow sapphires also require such conditions though not natural. This is a major difference when sapphires are produced synthetically in a laboratory under chemical and physical conditions. Synthetically pukhraj stones are formed by two methods namely the melt process and the solution process. 

The melting process implies melting aluminum oxide (the crystalline form of corundum mineral in natural sapphires) into a sapphire droplet. Solution process as the name suggests, the sapphire crystals are grown in a solution. 

The choice may be yours: Choose a natural or synthetic yellow sapphire. If you are looking for a heirloom gem an original pukhraj stone works great. 

Color and inclusions: Key difference 

yellow sapphire inclusion=

Yellow sapphire gemstones feature pale to vivid or golden yellow tones. One can find these gemstones with overtones of green or orange as well. The purest quality is Ceylon sapphires with a medium yellow tone, high saturation, and without any green overtones.  

Real yellow sapphires in their rough form showcase a crystal clear hexagonal shape. They show bright colors and inclusions. These natural imperfections or inclusions tell us if it is a natural yellow sapphire or not. Feathers and mineral inclusions called needles are common in these gemstones. The ones with few or no inclusions and flawless appearance are rare to find. 

On the contrary, synthetic sapphires show the same yellow color, but you can always identify between the real and the fake. Let us see how. 

Synthetic or lab-treated yellow sapphires come with inclusions such as air bubbles or scratches. They are more shiny as compared to the original ones. 

So, you can interpret “all that shines is not gold”. 

Looking at the stone’s sparkle you can check pukhraj originality at home. How? If you see your gem sparkle in several colors beside its shade then it might be a fake gem or glass. 

However, visiting a gemologist is the best way you can always check on the originality of the gemstones. 

Pricing and Rarity: Key Difference

yellow sapphire pricing and quality=

You would always want to invest in an original gemstone that benefits you extensively. The real yellow sapphire price in India starts from INR 3,000 and may extend up to INR 60,000 or more. The cost of the gem depends upon the 4 C’s, origin, and treatment. Pukhraj stone treatments are priced lower than natural ones. 

You can learn more about Yellow Sapphire Price Guide

The original sapphires obtained directly beneath the earth's surface are treated to enhance their color and clarity. Heat-treated sapphires before the process shows a dark color filled with inclusions. After the process, it gives a dramatic change in color and clarity. Astrologers do not recommend treated sapphires, however, they can be used in jewelry. 

Similarly, synthetic yellow sapphires owing to their durability and color are a perfect stone for jewelry pieces. They are affordable in comparison to the natural ones. 

Physical Properties: Key Difference 

physical properties of yellow sapphire=

The physical properties of gemstones refer to their hardness, transparency, density, color stability, refractive index, cleavage, luster, and crystal structure. Sapphires are amongst the hardest minerals ranking nine on the Mohs scale of hardness. A high rank on the hardness scale means that the stone is scratch-resistant and durable. It has a higher density of 3.98 g/cm3 which makes them denser. So if you want a gemstone that weighs well on your jewelry design, probably a 1 carat natural yellow sapphire can always be a better choice. 

The refractive index of sapphires is higher (1.76-1.77) which gives a good sparkle and brilliance to the stone. Original pukhraj stones have a smooth glass-like luster. Since both synthetic and original gemstone looks smooth from the outside it's difficult to spot the difference. 

One way to check real or fake pukhraj is the fade test. Real pukhraj stone doesn't fade on exposure to light thus passing in the test. Fake stones fade when exposed to heating or light. Thus, the original gemstones have a more stable color and can be treasured for a long period. 

Astrological Significance: Key Difference 

An original pukhraj is an auspicious stone that comes with many benefits. Pukhraj stone benefits for female includes a happy marital life, childbearing, fertility, or those facing delays in wedlocks. It blesses the wearer with prosperity, wealth, greater spiritual awareness, positivity, wisdom, and knowledge. 

Explore more here: Exploring the Astonishing Yellow Sapphire Benefits 

Synthetic sapphires, on the contrary, are not suitable for astrological purposes. It is believed that unlike original gemstones these man-made gems do not possess the vibrational energy that radiates around an individual. So, if you are looking for a yellow sapphire with benefits choose natural ones. 

Ultimate Hack to Identify a Real Pukhraj Stone 

Buy a natural yellow sapphire with certificates from GIA, or AGS that assure you get what you are paying for. Look for the pure yellow color for sapphires. There are substitutes for the same available in the market. For instance, citrine is marketed as pukhraj due to the similarity in color. But you can always look for the difference in hues. Citrine showcases a slight green tint, while yellow topaz is an orange color, and yellow tourmaline comes with a lemon-like hue.

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