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Untreated Sapphire

What is an untreated Sapphire?

An untreated sapphire is one that has not undergone any enhancing process other than the skilled cutting and polishing into the gorgeous gemstones we know and love.

Sapphires are a form of the mineral, corundum, just like the ruby, the only difference is that rubies are red and sapphires are every other color.

It is estimated that at least 90% of all sapphires on sale today have received some sort of treatment to boost their appearance. The most common form of treatment is heat which can dramatically improve the color and clarity of a sapphire. Heat treatment has been a traditional process for at least a 1000 years and is totally accepted in the gemstone market.

There are other types of treatment used to improve the appearance of sapphires including beryllium diffusion, surface diffusion and fissure filling.

Are untreated sapphires expensive?

Untreated sapphires are exceptionally rare and highly sought after so they are generally more expensive than treated sapphires. Of course, they are still subject to the usual price factors such as color, size, clarity and so on.

An untreated vivid blue sapphire with a slight violet undertone and a velvety look would be a very valuable item indeed with a price tag sure to exceed $10,000 per carat. Untreated sapphires are also available in other colors and while not as expensive as top grade blue examples, do tend to be more expensive than heated stones.

Untreated Sapphire Colors

Just like treated sapphires, untreated sapphires can be found in a variety of colors and the general rule is that if all other factors such as cut, clarity and size are equal then the untreated sapphire will demand a much higher price.

With untreated sapphires, any color other than blue or colorless is known as a 'fancy sapphire'. The exception to this rule is red, in which case it is a Ruby.

What are the spiritual benefits of Untreated Sapphires?

Many people believe that completely natural and untreated gemstones possess stronger spiritual powers than treated stones. Sapphires have always been revered for their influence on our emotional and physical well-being and their virtues include:

  • Stone of Wisdom
  • Royalty and Nobility
  • Abundance and Prosperity
  • Mental Stability

See our detailed article on Sapphire meaning and uses

Untreated Sapphires and the Chakras

The philosophy of Chakra healing was first developed in India some 2500 years ago. The Chakras are energy centers located around the body which can keep us spiritually, physically and mentally balanced.

Followers of this philosophy firmly believe in the powers of gemstones to influence not only our wealth and fortune but our emotional health, too, through the chakras. The sapphire is considered one of the most powerful healing stones in Vedic culture and untreated sapphires are thought to retain all their energy whereas heated stones can lose power.

The colors of the untreated sapphire can indicate which Chakra it will most influence:

  • Untreated Blue Sapphire - Throat Chakra
  • Untreated Black Sapphire - Root Chakra
  • Untreated Yellow Sapphire - Solar Plexus Chakra
  • Untreated Green Sapphire - Heart Chakra
  • Untreated Violet Sapphire - Third Eye Chakra
  • Untreated White Sapphire - Crown Chakra

Find more details on Chakra gemstones here

How can you tell if a Sapphire is untreated?

Without sophisticated laboratory equipment it is very difficult to determine whether or not a sapphire has been treated. If you are going to spend the amount of money needed to buy an untreated sapphire then we would highly recommend getting a full gemstone certification to ensure that no treatment has taken place.

Certain sizes, shapes and colors of untreated sapphires are to be found at very affordable prices which may not warrant the money spent on certification. In this case we would suggest making sure you buy the gemstone from a reputable seller.

Why choose an untreated sapphire?

The decision to choose an untreated sapphire over a treated one is a personal preference. If you are a purist with an appreciation of Mother Nature in its most unaffected state you may feel drawn towards an untreated stone.

Or if you are looking at a gemstone as an investment that will increase in value, then the exceedingly rare untreated option brings a potentially higher ROI opportunity.

Some feel that the spiritual influence of a gemstone is much greater with a totally natural untreated gemstone.

There is no doubt that untreated sapphires are one of the world's rarest treasures - add to this their incredible beauty and you have something very special.

What size are Untreated Sapphire Gemstones?

Any sapphire which weighs more than a carat or two is very rare and very expensive. Finding an untreated sapphire of a significant size is even more difficult so expect to pay quite a premium and as they increase in size the price per carat jumps dramatically.

What kind of jewelry is Untreated Sapphire suitable for?

Untreated sapphires are rated at a very impressive 9 on Mohs hardness scale which is second only to diamonds. This means it can be used in all types of jewelry items including daily wear pieces.

If you are investing in such a rare and beautiful gemstone it would make sense to have it placed in an exquisite custom designed setting such as a ring or pendant.

The stunning 12 carat blue sapphire engagement ring worn by both Princess Diana and Catherine has made it a very popular choice for engaged couples.

Large untreated sapphires are particularly hard to come by but smaller gemstones are slightly more readily available so multi-stone designs are an option such as bracelets, necklaces and brooches or used as side stones and accent stones.

Where are Untreated Sapphires found?

Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand have been traditional sources of untreated sapphires for centuries and Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar in Africa have developed into a major supplier in more recent times. Montana in the USA and Inverell in Eastern Australia are also famous for their untreated sapphires but are difficult to find.

Birthstones and Anniversaries

Untreated Sapphires are birthstones for September and the traditional gemstone gift for the 5th and 45th wedding anniversary, giving you two opportunities to buy one for the love of your life.

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