Can a Sapphire Get Scratched?


You can read much more about sapphires in another post we published discussing coloration and formation of gems themselves. If a sapphire gemstone is a natural gem, you will see slight imperfections on its surface, which are due to natural progression. If you own a real sapphire, it only suffers scratches from being rubbed on by other sapphires or diamonds.

Sapphires can get scratched. However, sapphire has a hardness of 9.0 on the Moh scale, so only a diamond can scratch a sapphire. Rubies are unable to scratch sapphires because they are both corundum. Emeralds are scratched by all three because they are beryls. Sapphires should not be stored alongside diamonds.

This basic mineral is extremely hard, and although a sapphire may get scuffed up by a diamond, there is actually little else that will harm it. What the hardness means is that sapphires can be scratched by just the diamond, and occasionally other sapphires, depending on each crystal’s hardness variance. For instance, a diamond may scratch sapphires (which are measured at 9 on the Mohs scale), but a sapphire cannot scratch a diamond. This means the only thing capable of scratching sapphires would need to be harder than or equal to the hardness of the sapphire, which is 9 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Sapphires Resist Most Scratching Materials

Both diamonds and sapphires resist scratches caused by everyday hazards, such as fingernails, coins from a bag or pocket, countertops, or even home dust (which has a hardness of 7). Hardness and durability concerns should not affect your choice of a white diamond or sapphire. No matter what, a well-cut diamond will exhibit greater luster, dispersion, and scintillation compared to well-cut white sapphires.

This means a diamond will look brighter (brilliance), show flashes of color (dispersion, or fire), and have light glint (scintillation) than sapphire. That is if you are trying to find a white sapphire to mimic or mimic diamonds, those differences between the stones are far more apparent at larger sizes. Small inner variations may be what makes your gem unique, so do not let this deter you from choosing a white sapphire.

White sapphires, if used as a substitute for a diamond, may make you feel like you are having a very imperfect, sad-looking diamond. If you just love how a white sapphire looks, and you do not mind it being a non-diamond, then you may want to opt for a larger stone for your ring. For the same bite of your engagement ring budget, you can get a white sapphire much larger than the diamond. If this white sapphire is taking the place of a diamond that you cannot afford, it is not going to be much of a replacement.

Diamonds Are More Brittle than Sapphires

Diamonds are actually more prone to chipping than sapphires due to their crystal structures. Although diamonds are four times more durable than sapphires, they are not necessarily more chip-resistant.

As it turns out, most gems are brittle, including both diamonds and sapphires, and chips and breaks can occur with almost any gem. In my own experience, having worked on so many wedding rings for years, I have observed that diamonds chip, sapphires, and rubies are much more susceptible to damage. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of circumstances in which scratches on a sapphire crystal cover can be repaired without having the crystal replaced.

There are things that you should know if you discover scratches on a sapphire crystal and some things that can be done to repair it. We covered how to repair any scratches that really happen, how to tell the difference between real sapphires, and what is different between a synthetic sapphire and a natural one. For those stubborn scratches that just cannot be polished out on your own on Plexiglas, or sapphire crystal covers that need replacing, come to CJ Charles for watch repairs that are as simple as they are inexpensive.

Sapphire Watch Scratches Cannot Be Buffed

While it has been made abundantly clear throughout this post that you cannot buff a scratch off of sapphire watches, you should not be afraid of taking a chance with sapphire crystals, since they are incredibly difficult to scratch, to begin with.

Unfortunately, the main difference between sapphire crystal vs. crystal with Plexiglas is that whereas scratches in Plexiglas can be buffed out, scratches on sapphire cannot. If you think that you might want to sacrifice a small amount of legibility for the durability against scratches, opt for a watch that has a coating called AR that is applied inside of the crystal.

If you look at a piece of jewelry and spot scratches, you do not need to get scared, as scratches can be removed. When your hands hit a table, chair, or another object, all of this abrasion causes scratches to appear on the surfaces of gemstones set in rings. After you polish, the scratches will go away, and the gemstones will appear polished and sparkling once more. Let me repeat that, after a proper polish, it is only possible to tell whether a gemstone is dull or has scratches, thorough examination using a microscope.

Keep Sapphires Away from Diamonds

Unless your crystal has been stored in an area where it might have contact with diamonds or other sapphires, your stone is not going to get scratched. Sapphire crystals are extremely good at resisting scratches, and they will scratch with just certain rare materials, mostly diamonds, and particularly harder types of rocks. Typically, watches made of sapphire crystal are advertised as being scratch-resistant deeply, because of the resilience of the crystallized glass.

Sapphire crystal is made at extremely high temperatures, being constructed from crystallized aluminum oxide. If you see small air bubbles trapped inside of your sapphire, it is highly likely to be glass or synthetic sapphire. When you hit your watch on anything, scratches that show up are not on sapphire.

Spinel is pretty tough given the fact that it is a channel-set ring, and that the metal above the channel is relatively unharmed, I had my doubts about whether or not the sapphire is actually sapphire. I cannot imagine how the sapphire would be scratched that much by you, given how little wear there is on the channel. If the scratches are so deep you need to use lapidary tools, and do not want to reduce the size of the gemstone, then sealing off scratches may be your best bet.

Gene Botkin

Hello, I'm Gene. My family belonged to the aristocracy of Old Russia, and I created this site to re-establish a familial connection with them. My aims are to generate interest in aristocratic virtues, such as beauty, honor, and loyalty, and to spread Russian culture.

Recent Posts