Spotting a Genuine Yellow Sapphire

Is that a sapphire on your yellow engagement ring? Here are some tell-tale signs of an authentic yellow sapphire.

Although I try not to get overly paranoid about these things I do sometimes worry that F and I will get duped into purchasing a stone that is not all that it is declared to be. Thankfully, that is one of the benefits I have found from working with our favourite bespoke engagement ring designers: I trust them inherently.

Needless to say I feel the need to sometimes be aware of what to look out for in an imposter gemstone. Bridget, who practically ran background checks on every jeweller she spoke with, did an extensive amount of research on this topic!

One gemstone that has caught my curiosity is the yellow sapphire that I have seen featured on yellow engagement rings. Because this is not the most commonly used colour of sapphire it made me wonder how I would ever know if it truly was one. However, apparently there are some tell-tale markers to keep an eye out for if in doubt.

Unbenannt by Christina Rutz, Used under a Creative Commons License (

A beautiful example of a genuine yellow sapphire

Could it be Glass?

Most fake sapphires are made of glass. Our designers suggested that a simple test to determine a genuine one is to hold a real yellow sapphire up against a piece of glass and do a side-by-side comparison. This will prove that sometimes ‘it is too good to be true’ as a piece of glass will come across as too big and colourful to be the real thing.

Beware Bubbles

Most sapphires, even good ones, will have several tiny – tiny- inclusions internally but these will not be visible to the naked eye. Fakes will have bubbles cropping up all over the place and you won’t even necessarily need a microscope to see them.

Foil Backed Stones

Foil backing reflects more light, making your yellow sapphire look more vibrant than it actually is. Foil backing can be hard to spot but – again, under magnification – you should be able to catch it red, or yellow handed.

Location, Location, Location

Setting is a subtle but important trick to master. I was advised to buy a yellow sapphire loose so you can see the bottom of it. If you can’t do this then there are better settings to go for if you want to be certain that the stone is genuine. Claw, tension and channel settings are usually trustworthy, whereas closed settings such as bezel could be a sign that a dodgy dealer is trying to disguise a flaw in your seemingly perfect yellow engagement ring. To learn more about your engagement setting options, click here.


Pure yellow sapphire is, not surprisingly, pure yellow. You shouldn’t be able to mistake it. But it happens frequently. Less precious imitations will have a paler hue.

Canary Yellow Sapphire Briolette Earrings on Solid 18K Gold ~ Starlite Jewelry Designs ~ Handmade Designs by Naomi King, used under a Creative Commons License (

In order to identify a genuine yellow sapphire, keep your eyes on the colour

Ask the Experts

When it comes to detecting a fake sapphire on a yellow engagement ring it is best not to try to be the detective but, instead, find a trusted designer and have faith in them. Science has taken the quality of fakes and simulants to such a high level that even certified gemmologists rely on specialised testing and machines rather than just the naked eye to detect the genuine from the not-so genuine.

Hopefully, when viewing these dazzlingly gorgeous yellow engagement rings their authenticity will not be your primary concern.

If in doubt, most designers and jewellers can offer certificates to verify a yellow sapphires grade and origin which will hopefully be enough to alleviate your fears.



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