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Old BlueViolet
 
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Test for White Sapphires?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 09-21-10 , 08:37 AM


Hi there,

I have been eyeing up lots of beautiful diamond platinum dangly earrings recently, however on my budget I can only afford quite small ones (alas!).

So I was thinking about getting some lovely silver white sapphire earrings, nice size and a fraction of the price, but...the jewellers say they *think* the stones are white sapphires.

How easy is it to test for white sapphires? Should they be able to know for sure whether the stones are white sapphires or not? I find this a little confusing as if they were paste/other diamond substitute I would not pay the price they are asking for them.

Thanks in advance!!

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Re: Test for White Sapphires?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 09-21-10 , 10:44 AM


Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueViolet
Hi there,

I have been eyeing up lots of beautiful diamond platinum dangly earrings recently, however on my budget I can only afford quite small ones (alas!).

So I was thinking about getting some lovely silver white sapphire earrings, nice size and a fraction of the price, but...the jewellers say they *think* the stones are white sapphires.

How easy is it to test for white sapphires? Should they be able to know for sure whether the stones are white sapphires or not? I find this a little confusing as if they were paste/other diamond substitute I would not pay the price they are asking for them.

Thanks in advance!!


If the jeweler has a refractometer it should be fairly easy. They can get the RI of the stone in question. Sapphires have a distinct RI (refractive index) and once they get that, magnification distinguishes between Synthetic and natural.


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Last edited by Brit : 09-21-10 at 10:47 AM.
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Re: Test for White Sapphires?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 09-21-10 , 10:51 AM


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brit
If the jeweler has a refractometer it should be fairly easy. They can get the RI of the stone in question. Sapphires have a distinct RI (refractive index) and once they get that, magnification distinguishes between Synthetic and natural.

I was really puzzled at the jeweller saying the stones were maybe white sapphires and wondered how hard it would be to check! (It IS a reputable jewellers...puzzling.)

I will go back and ask them to make sure.

Although I was just rootling around in my great-grandmother's jewellery and found a really lovely pair of sparkly diamante dangly earrings, so am wondering if I should get the screwback converted to butterly piercings, wear those, and just wait until I can more afford a nice pair of diamond platinum earrings.

Thanks for your help!

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Re: Test for White Sapphires?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 09-21-10 , 11:00 AM


Well if it is their product they are selling they should know what it is and disclose it to you. If they do not know they need to find out.


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Re: Test for White Sapphires?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 09-21-10 , 12:37 PM


Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueViolet
So I was thinking about getting some lovely silver white sapphire earrings, nice size and a fraction of the price, but...the jewellers say they *think* the stones are white sapphires.


If the stones are small and in silver the jeweler is probably buying them in bulk and really doesn't have any idea what they are. Testing small stones that are set can be a problem. If they have a microscope it is fairly easy to tell the difference between CZ and sapphire, (it's almost impossible to tell the difference between synthetic and natural white sapphire with a microscope, unless the stones have inclusions and even then it can be a challenge). If the price is low enough, the jeweler probably is not concerned and is selling the stuff based on how pretty it is, not what it's made of.


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Re: Test for White Sapphires?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 09-21-10 , 06:41 PM


Oh, it's an antique (art deco) pair of earrings at about $500, so quite unique, and I would obviously like to know if they are white sapphire or just paste!

I will have to ask them to check for sure; even though it's very low compared to other jewellery sales I would have thought they would check at that price. The stones are set, but not too teeny a size.

Thanks for your help

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Antique store or jewelry store?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 09-21-10 , 07:48 PM


If it is at a jewelry store that has a diamond tester (not sure of the name of the unit), there may be some indication given by that. Typically the associate will take the tester to a stone looking for it to light up as diamond or not. If you look at the unit though, it (probably/possibly) has a meter on it that reads how the electricity is passing through the stone, and on that there are "graphs" as to what the reading corrolates to. There is some overlap of different stones, so it may not be helpful, but you could try it if they have one like this. I have worked in jewelry retail in the past, and we always had a tester like this. It should look like a pen attached by wire to base that houses the meter. When you touch the "pen" to the stone the needle on the graph reads the measurement to the electricity passing through the stone and the "graph" shows the known readings for different types of stones. As long as "paste" doesn't read the same as something you would be happy to purchase, it could narrow it down enough for you to decide.

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