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Synthetic Corundum: Synthetic Sapphire

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Facts

SPECIES/GROUP : Synthetic corundum

CLASSIFICATION : Synthetic stone

Name

The name is derived from the Greek word ‘sappheiros,’ which is considered to have referred to another blue stone, lapis lazuli.

Origin

Synthetic sapphire has the same properties and chemical structure as naturally occurring sapphire, and strong magnification is usually required to distinguish between the two. In 1902, the French chemist Auguste Verneuil developed a process for producing synthetic sapphire crystals. Many methods of creating synthetic sapphire today are variations of the Czochralski process, which was invented in 1916 by Polish chemist Jan Czochralski.

APPEARANCE

Corundum is found in virtually all colors. The blue variety is called synthetic sapphire, the red variety is called ruby, and the rest are fancy sapphires named sapphire with a color prefix. Pandora jewelry uses a blue and a rose pink variety of synthetic sapphire.

PROCESSING

Cutting and polishing only.

Care

Avoid rough handling. When not in use, store separately to avoid scratches. Clean with warm, soapy water and gentle brushing. Ultrasonic cleaners should be used with caution.

Durability

With a hardness of 9, synthetic sapphire is harder than any other stone except diamond and, combined with excellent toughness, makes it very durable and ideal for all types and styles of jewelry

MYTHOLOGY & ASSOCIATION

Synthetic sapphires are almost indistinguishable from natural sapphires which have long been a favorite of priests, kings and queens, who considered it a symbol of wisdom and purity. In ancient Greece and Rome, blue sapphire was said to protect wearers from envy and harm. The ancient Persians believed that the Earth rested on a giant sapphire and its reflection made the sky blue. Sapphires are also associated with the values of faith, truth, sincerity, wisdom and commitment. A sapphire gift is said to be a pledge of trust, honesty, purity and loyalty.

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Other Synthetic Stones

Learn more about other stone assortments