CR sapphires are often referred to with their abbreviation, “CR” rather than their actual name because the abbreviation indicates that the stone was created in a lab. While this does not necessarily make a sapphire less beautiful, it does affect the value. If you are considering buying a CR sapphire, you need to know exactly what you are buying so that you can adjust your price accordingly.
For many years, gemstone jewelry was a luxury that only the very wealthy could afford because rare stones are simply hard to come by. However, as technology has progressed over the years, scientists and gemologists have developed a number of ways to treat flawed stones and even grow completely new stones in labs. These advances have made jewelry far more accessible, but they have also opened the door to a great deal of confusion about just what you are getting when you make a precious gemstone purchase. Sapphires in particular are ideal for these types of treatments because they come in so many colors.
CR sapphires, which is an abbreviation for “created” sapphires, enable everyone to enjoy jewelry set with any color and nearly any size of sapphire that they desire. The sapphire is a particularly popular stone due to its brilliance and variety of hues, but they are fairly hard to come by. CR sapphires are considered to be real sapphires.
CR sapphires have the same physical properties and chemical composition of real sapphires. For example, blue CR sapphires get their deep-blue color from iron oxide and titanium oxide, just like real sapphires. The only difference is that they are “grown” in a lab using a multi-step heating process that creates the stones from raw materials, rather than coming from a mine in their whole form from Sri Lanka or Burma. CR sapphires are also always flawless, or nearly so. As a result, many CR sapphires are more brilliant than natural ones.
You can identify a CR sapphire using a combination of techniques. If a stone is flawless but unusually inexpensive, then it is likely a CR sapphire. Also, if you encounter an extremely rare type of sapphire, such as a brilliant orange padparashda sapphire in a store, then it is almost certainly created–very few of these rare gems are mined in usable condition.
Whenever you purchase a piece of jewelry, make sure that you have it independently appraised by a trusted jeweler. Many jewelers will not tell you that a sapphire is in fact a CR sapphire even when asked directly in order to get a higher price for the item. You must ascertain before you buy exactly what you are buying and how much it is worth, particularly if you are buying the jewelry as an investment.