If you want to know if a pink sapphire is authentic, you must first decide what you mean by that word. If you want to know if the stone is a piece of glass disguised as a sapphire, you can find out by examining the stone yourself. If you want to differentiate between a synthetic or laboratory-created sapphire and a natural sapphire mined from the earth, it is best to take it to a professional.
Method 1 of 2: Examine the stone
Step 1. Evaluate the quality of the sapphire
The easiest way to tell the difference between a natural and a synthetic sapphire might be to look at the overall quality of the gemstone. A synthetic sapphire will be almost perfect.
- Natural sapphires are often flawed because they are exposed to the elements during their growth. Since synthetic or lab-made sapphires are created in a controlled environment, they are more likely to be perfect or near perfect.
- A near-perfect natural sapphire would be priced significantly regardless of size. Synthetic sapphires are typically cheaper and better quality gemstones.
Step 2. Evaluate the size and cut
Natural pink sapphires are rare and cut differently from other gemstones. Generally, jewelers cut stones to calibrated sizes (one carat, two carats, etc.), but pink sapphires larger than half a carat are cut to make the stone stand out rather than to have a specific weight.
- Generally, stones larger than one carat are more likely to be synthetic, especially if they cost less than what a natural stone of that size would cost.
- Most natural sapphires are cut mixed, rather than in specific shapes like other natural stones.
Step 3. Look at the gemstone report
If the pink sapphire is real, you will have a gemstone report detailing its origin and any treatment that has been done to it. Check the watermarks to verify the authenticity of the report.
- Pink sapphires can be heat treated to bring out their natural color. Some people do not consider treated gemstones to be "natural", and if the gemstone has been treated in any way, this should be stated in the report.
- The report must have an identification or reference number. Call the company that issued the report and provide them with the reference number to confirm its validity.
Step 4. Consider external factors
The way a pink sapphire reaches you can provide clues to its authenticity. Think about how trustworthy the person who introduced you the sapphire is, as well as their background and experience.
- If you find a pink sapphire in an established jewelry store, you can be pretty sure it is authentic. However, beware of less reputable dealers.
- Pawn shops might incorrectly label a synthetic sapphire as natural sapphire, as it can be difficult to tell them apart. Pawn shops also generally sell gemstones "as is" and make no guarantees as to their authenticity.
Method 2 of 2: Test with a Professional
Step 1. Take it to an independent gemstone lab
Get a new gemstone report certificate for the pink sapphire, especially if you're going to be spending a lot of money. The lab will examine the sapphire to determine if it is natural.
- An independent gemstone certification typically costs a few hundred dollars.
- If your new gemstone report conflicts with any other you have, it is best to get a third or even fourth opinion, especially if the stone represents a significant investment.
Step 2. Request a spectroscope test
The spectroscope uses fiber optic illumination to reveal details about the stone's color that can indicate whether the pink sapphire is synthetic or natural.
- The interaction between natural stone and other minerals in the earth, such as iron, causes certain color defects or distinctions.
- Synthetic sapphires generally have coloring agents that appear luminous and brilliant under fiber optic lighting compared to natural sapphires.
Step 3. Check the stone's fluorescence
Some gemstone laboratories use a complex system that detects the X-ray fluorescence emission from the stone. This advanced testing method can be used to differentiate synthetic from natural gemstones.
This system can also identify small amounts of minerals and other elements in a natural stone, which could help identify where it was mined
Step 4. Have the stone tested under UV light
A test under UV light can help identify the geographic origin of a natural pink sapphire and can also help detect whether it is synthetic.