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White sapphire as diamond alternative

Ionysis

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2015
Messages
670
In case anyone was assessing whether to go with a white sapphire as an alternative to a diamond, I thought this might be kind of cool.


D9EFA01A-2830-4489-B5D3-39FE8BD2D4E2.jpeg 18B55744-0D57-4BC8-B5D5-15D681AF75AF.jpeg 278E5645-194A-41D0-81A6-9CD565AA52DC.jpeg 206ECF59-555E-405F-BC98-6523800A3AB7.jpeg

I’ve just taken possession of a little treasure from Premier Gemstones. And it happens to be a similar size to a white sapphire which I’ve got in my collection.

I took some photos side by side to compare. It was very interesting. You can see the cut of the diamond (GIA triple ex) is very different - although the sapphire is extremely well cut in itself. The difference in refractive index is also really clear.

The sapphire is colourless whilst the diamond is O-P very light brown (med blue flo). But even leaving aside the colour difference the character of diamond vs corundum is so evident when side by side.

I love my sapphire but it needs to be kept spotlessly clean of any dirt or oils to sparkle, whereas the diamond performs even when fingerprinted.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
12,828
Very helpful! I am always very wary when someone wants to use white sapphire as a diamond alternative. It simply wont sparkle the same way due to lower RI, etc. I would definitely suggest a natural zircon rather than sapphire to get the fiery effect (or a lab diamond, moissanite, etc.)

Too often I think people assume that white sapphire is going to be more similar to a diamond than it actually is.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
29,974
Great thread idea.

You didn't state which is which, but I do see more color in the lower one.
Am I therefore correct assuming the lower one is the diamond?

If so I do notice much more contrast in the diamond (perhaps that's the result of cutting angles not IR) but perhaps someone like @KarlK could answer a question or two ...

If a diamond and a sapphire were of identical diameter, weight, clarity, dimensions and cut pattern would they look identical side by side in a still photo?

I would guess no because of the two materials' different indexes of refraction.
IIRC, IR determines the amount of change of direction a light ray experiences when it enters, exits or, when traveling IN the stone and bounces off a facet inside the material ... so cutting them identically would result in a different look in a still picture.

Therefore, let me ask another question ...
If the two stones were cut to the angles that took into account their different IR with the goal of identical face up appearance would they then look identical face up in a still pic?
If not, how would you describe the appearance difference?
 
Last edited:

Ionysis

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2015
Messages
670
Yes the lower one is the diamond. A classic MRB cut.

The sapphire actually has more facets - it is native cut but more along the lines of a Portuguese - the additional facets designed to confer additional scintillation, which works - as long as it’s 100% clean.

I imagine if the sapphire was cut as a classic MRB it would look pretty flat.
 

Vogue

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
144
My sister-in-law has a cushion-cut white sapphire engagement ring. As sapphires tend to, the stone has a lovely glow, as opposed to the brilliance of a diamond. It also takes on a bluish tint in a certain lighting that gives it a lot of character. But it doesn't look like a diamond, and it must be cleaned constantly for it to sparkle. If you want the appearance of a diamond, I would not recommend white sapphire. It should be bought for its own merits.

Here's a photo of her ring:

white-sapphire.jpg
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
11,142
I dont know anyone who has been really happy when getting white sapphire as a diamond simulant.
They are just to different.
I know several people that love white sapphire for being white sapphier and what that means for looks.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
10,633
I have one fun silver ring with white saphire side stones
They throw a lot of blue, not the rainbows of a diamond
I had a bit of fun one day in the sun with my loup compairing them to a diamond

They look disgusting when dirty and they get dirty quick

I know someone who got one as an ER and she was way too grubby for it
 

Ionysis

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2015
Messages
670
That is gorgeous! The halo really suits it.

I am debating how to set mine. I’ve got two little blue rounds on the way as sides but not sure if to keep it simple or add halos.

9DCFBB0D-F5B3-42E0-8293-2BDD296EA484.jpeg B438D088-37BE-4331-8E75-340E64DA586A.jpeg
 
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