How can I determine the location and value of sapphires with the microscope?
Sapphires occurring in many different colors. The best known are blue sapphires, the color determines about 70% of its value. The color of this gemstone also depends on where its place of orgin was. The uniquely beautiful blue of the cashmere sapphire makes it a real rarity.
But be careful, not every sapphire is naturally intensely bright blue and has the coveted origin in the Himalayan mountains. And this is where the stereo microscope comes in. Because it can expose changed colors.
The simplest method is the so-called burning. This can intensify the color of the sapphire and at the same time improve the purity. In order to track down such “treatment”, one needs highly specialized equipment. Examination with a stereomicroscope can reveal a “modified” sapphire.
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Sapphire inclusions reveal authenticity and place of origin
A number of other factors can also influence the visible color of a sapphire, such as certain inclusions or tiny needles made from rutile silk can actually improve the sapphire color. However, crystallized rutile needles inside reveal primarily the authenticity of the sapphires. These fine silk webs are magmatic relics from their orgin and the hour of their birth. With a microscopic look inside, this special inclusion image can be observed as an individual recognition feature. Here’s an example:
Sapphires, observed with dark-field microscopy plus side illumination exhibits long rutile needles intersecting at 120°. They reveal their place of orgin and come from the island nation south of India, they come from Sri Lanka.
Anyone who would like to receive more information about the extremely wide range of microscope examinations and are looking for many technically well-founded examination examples for gemstone microscopes can simply order our whitepaper “Gemstone Microscopes”. This specialist publication was produced in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Jochen Schlueter wrote. He is a qualified mineralogist and is responsible for the permanent collection of the Mineralogical Museum in Hamburg.
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