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Sapphire inclusions

Hi All,

I am still very much a novice but I took some photos of inclusions from one of my pink sapphires and was wondering if anyone knew what they were and if they are natural inclusions. Many of these photos are taken at 90x. I apologize if the pictures are a bit out of focus, I’m still learning how to manually focus the microscope.

I just noticed the circular pattern in the background… I think this is from the pavilion and it’s the lighting either from the side or bottom… or are those curved growth rings? They may also be artifacting from downscaling the image from 18mb to 81kb. I’m not sure what the maximum file size for this post is as I kept on getting error messages saying my images were too large to post.

I think they are natural inclusions because I could not find curved growth lines/striae.

Thanks for the help.

Best regards,


In a few of the photos where it shows bubbles, the bubbles are in a finger-print pattern similar to that seen in stones that were heat treated.

thanks :slight_smile:

gas bubbles usually indicate synthetic

Great images Daniel. I am glad you posted, this helps contrast and compare our findings. I am also learning. I am a professional photographer / microscopy. (my opinion below) I am not a gemologist.(yet)

1-4 look like surface debris, oil, dirt.

5-6 definitely look like gas bubbles in a rising circular pattern (not a fingerprint pattern) Not natural.
from wikihow dot com "If you see any bubbles inside of a sapphire then it is not real (natural)
Bubbles are round, pretty obvious. crystal inclusions have sharp edges.

18-24 show a lot of surface chips / marks.

25-37 circular rings like a tree with wavy edges. I can’t tell from the images if these are physical properties.

(withclarity dot com has a few nice natural inclusion mages, gulfgemology dot com, has some nice images of synthetics)

I’m also a photographer and that’s why I bought a trinocular microscope with a c-mount built into it with a…

Anyhow, I’m still learning. What i need to figure out is how to get the stones completely clean of surface debris. Right now I’m brushing the gemstones with a mild detergent (baby shampoo with a soft toothbrush), but it’s not cleaning the stone completely.

I’m guessing the stone ends up clean when I finish but ends up collecting more debris when I dry it with paper towels or microfiber towels etc… I’m going to go to my final try which is to dunk the gemstone into acetone and let the acetone dry the gem. This was the process we used to clean and dry the glassware when I was taking chemistry class at the University of Illinois way back in the day (early 90s)…

Also I’ve realized that i should also number the photos to make it easier for people to comment.

Thanks for the feedback. I always learn something from feedback i get.

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I wouldn’t use any soaps or paper. Makes it worse. I use pure alcohol in a spray bottle over a bowl… nowhere near a drain (LOL) to clear / clean it up, then I rinse by dumping filtered water over it, like Dasani or whatever, then a fine cloth that has no detergent and no residues or fuzz then take the stone in cloth and wipe hard, use a gem grabber tool, lightly blow or use a hand blower to remove any remaining fuzz. At least that’s what seems to work. Important then to not touch it with anything other than tool or tweezers, or manipulating rod. Especially if you want photos. = )

I would love to see what scope you have. Mine is okay for what I paid. The 36mp cam would be fantastic. That must be really nice to work with.

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The Camera is made for gemology. It has a negative filter and a black and white filter. It also has an option for showing lines on the monito so you can fully see if lines are straight or curved.

I’ve found these very helpful in finding growth lines in synthetic stones when they are submerged in a high refractive index liquid. I use cedarwood oil as it really helps make the facets disappear and brings out the growth lines.

I load the images into Lightroom for resizing etc.

Very interesting, helps beginners like me. Thanks

Generally it is difficult to get a sharp focus at 90x. Anyway my impression from the photos is a lot of bread crumbs in man made corundum.