Believe or not, but lab-created sapphires are real. When I first discovered that sapphires can be created by man in a lab, I immediately wanted to find out what the differences are between natural and lab-created sapphires. Another term for lab created Sapphires is “synthetic”.
Essentially both are made using indistinguishable supplies and have identical molecular makeup. Synthetic Sapphires are common and made in a highly controlled environment. They have identical physical properties, visual characteristics and hardness level as the natural gemstones. Natural sapphires are rare in that they are created by the earth and then extracted.
Sapphires are made of corundum, also recognised as aluminium oxide. The heat used to create the stone comes from the earth and they are mined from the ground. Natural gemstones are valued for their rarity and the fact that no two are similar, emphasising how unique they are. Natural sapphires have natural inclusions – tiny splint fibers / needles – and exhibit a unique colour dependent on the region they were discovered from. Most people choose a natural Sapphire simply because of the mystery and romance associated with owning a natural stone.
Lab-created sapphires are created using corundum, just as the natural gemstone is. Yet these are created in a laboratory and grown under cautiously controlled environments, simulating the high pressure and heat of the earth to reproduce a natural Sapphire. The heat used to make such gems originate from a machine and produced by either flame fusion or a flux-melt method. Synthetic Sapphires do not scratch or break more easily than the natural stones, and are valued for their AAA pure quality rating.