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Songea Red sapphire

Anita38

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2022
Messages
35
Good morning everyone.
There is a shopping channel here in the UK called Gemporia which is selling Songea Red Sapphire jewellery. I thought all red sapphires were beryllium treated and couldn't be called rubies because their colour came from beryllium rather than chromium. However, Gemporia says that the only treatment to which these stones have been subjected is heat treatment. Do you have any explanation for this?
 

VividRed

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
755
A name is a name is a name.

Have you seen them? I suspect they have a fair amount of orange in them, else they would simply be called rubies
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
5,596
However, Gemporia says that the only treatment to which these stones have been subjected is heat treatment. Do you have any explanation for this?

have no proof, but if I were to guess -

they are choosing to have their glossary term ‘heat treated’ to include any additives.
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
995
Red Songea Sapphire has been around much longer than BE treated Sapphires. It is true the best Sapphires suited for BE treatment did come from Songea, Tanzania, but that deposit has been virtually mined out that produced the Sapphire that reacted to BE treatment the best.

True Songea red Sapphires are heat treated only (some no heat) & have a purple modifier. They are not vivid as so many BE treated Sappires are and in most cases darker. Some call them Rubies. Multicolour sold many, many of these under Ruby, long before BE treatment.

This is a typical Songea Ruby or red Sapphire, whichever you prefer.

 

pokerface

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
892
have no proof, but if I were to guess -

they are choosing to have their glossary term ‘heat treated’ to include any additives.

This is going to be the correct answer. I looked at the website and the red sapphire gems are pretty obviously beryllium-treated. OP is correct in noting that this is why they are not called rubies. The website does not specify heat ONLY. Heat is of course a necessary component of beryllium diffusion. It is *not possible* for a vendor to be selling multiple, identical multi-gem rings without the gems being heavily treated or synthetic. The price point and 9 ct gold are also giveaways that this is fashion or costume jewelry.
 

Starstruck8

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
657
The website does not specify heat ONLY. Heat is of course a necessary component of beryllium diffusion.
But it does. This is the worry.

The Songea red sapphires are given code H, explicitly glossed as Heat Only, "Enhancement via heat only".

There are separate codes HL (= Heat and Light Elements, "Enhancement by adding a chemical element during the heating of a gemstone") and U (= Diffusion, "Enhancement by the diffusion of foreign elements into the crystal lattice of a gemstone. Example: Beryllium-diffusion.")

https://www.gemporia.com/en-gb/treatments/h/

To use H for Be diffused stones when codes HL and U are available seems like it would be the wrong side of dodgy, i.e. illegal. So I'm puzzled.
 

pokerface

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
892
But it does. This is the worry.

The Songea red sapphires are given code H, explicitly glossed as Heat Only, "Enhancement via heat only".

There are separate codes HL (= Heat and Light Elements, "Enhancement by adding a chemical element during the heating of a gemstone") and U (= Diffusion, "Enhancement by the diffusion of foreign elements into the crystal lattice of a gemstone. Example: Beryllium-diffusion.")

https://www.gemporia.com/en-gb/treatments/h/

To use H for Be diffused stones when codes HL and U are available seems like it would be the wrong side of dodgy, i.e. illegal. So I'm puzzled.

I see. I didn't see this page. I don't think there's a lot to be confused about. Either Gemporia has made a mistake in labeling or they are outright lying. The stones are immediately identifiable as BE-treated. Real heat-only sapphires don't look like this, wouldn't be set in 9k, and cost more than $200. While $200 is a relatively small amount to pay for a gemstone ring, it is still not a deal in any sense as these BE rings are worth about as much as the scrap metal.
 

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
3,639
So, if the choice was a BE sapphire or a lab sapphire, which do you all think would be the better choice?
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
5,596
Depends on the all over look. I could very well see myself being smitten with a BE sapphire- at the right color. And of course the right price.

In my imaginary scenario -
It won’t look like a ‘too perfect’ lab sapphire. So that’s where I’m coming from.
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
995
So, if the choice was a BE sapphire or a lab sapphire, which do you all think would be the better choice?

Well, of course there is an extra element added to BE treated corundum, it is beryllium that is the coloring agent and not found in natural corundum except a few very rare specimens. But otherwise it is a natural earth mined stone, though they do heat it to the point of melting its crystal lattice and reforming as it cools. So, it really is not the same sapphire that was mined out of the ground if that makes sense or difference to you.

Czochralski (melt) process lab created sapphire is more expensive than Verneuil process which is flame fusion discovered in the 1880's, spinel can be grown this way too. But you will not be able to tell with your eyes the difference & both have identical chemical properties to natural sapphire.

It also depends whom your buying the stone (ring) from. If you buy from a jeweler you can pay $200 to $400 a carat for lab grown corundum. You can go on e bay and find flame fusion corundum for a few dollars a carat. I've seen Czochralski (melt) process lab created sapphire more expensive than BE treated. Again it depends on the dealer.

In the end the choice is yours. BE treatment is permanent process, no worries about fading, etc. All three look a like. I'd go with the cheapest.
 
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