Artificial ruby. Jewel, forgery or modern technology?
Rubin are represented by a kind of corundum (or aluminum oxide), as well as sapphire. On hardness takes the second place after diamond. Coloring of a stone is connected with impurity in a chrome oxide crystal. The usual ruby contains about 2% of an oxide of chrome, and is dark - red - to 4%. The corundum crystal with shades of blue color is called sapphire. Blue color of a crystal is caused by availability of impurity of iron and the titan.
A ruby - one of the most expensive jeweler stones. The prices of the most qualitative Burmese rubies reach from 20 dollars for carat to 5000 and above. The price is defined, proceeding from a saturation and beauty of color, degree of purity and lack of defects. The qualitative cut ruby is sometimes even more expensive than diamond of the same size. How to explain a set of rather inexpensive rings with rubies in jewelry stores? Very simply - from the middle of the last century production of artificial rubies is put on a stream.
Still diamonds receive in terrible chambers where huge temperatures are combined with huge pressure, and it - generally diamonds technical. At the same time it is worth making “perhaps jeweler“ diamonds more, than to buy the real crystals of diamond at the exchange.
Still “artificial“ emeralds received by Zhilson`s method from solution in fusion cost not much cheaper, than dug out by gold prospectors from - under lands...
And the rubies crystallized from fusion from alumina powder - aluminum oxide - on fire kislorodno - hydrogen torches, with addition of chrome for obtaining red color, cost only several dollars for carat. And their production already so in large quantities, and therefore is cheap that handicraft attempt to repeat process leads to results much more expensive. Claim that the carat of an artificial ruby at firm costs cheaper, than there are an oxygen and hydrogen necessary for production of the same carat.
Fortunately for jewelers, there are reliable ways allowing to distinguish an artificial ruby from “present“. And after long and difficult check in laboratory the scientist - the gemologist can tell: “This small kristallik - the real ruby there is also it..., and this magnificent five-karat ruby - artificial, and therefore there is it..., and be it present, would cost a fortune“.
Many experimenters tried to receive rubies, melting aluminum oxide powder with some additives. In Geneva in 19 - the m a century of some success achieved a number of experts, they even presented to public results of the work - several crystals of a ruby. However, the way of receiving “the Geneva rubies“ remained a secret of authors. Only hydrogen torches could give temperature, necessary for process, (shalyumo).
When the first successful experiments on alumina powder melting in ruby crystals were conducted, the strongest sensation rose, and, without having reliable information, journalists of that time managed to invent very beautiful story...
Like, one Berlin jeweler received the offer from a certain firm to buy not cut large crystals of a ruby at very moderate price. The jeweler obtained a written guarantee from firm that crystals original. It laid out money for a barrel. However after short time learned about the begun production of artificial rubies and, having been frightened that fell a victim of deception, brought the bought stones not to the colleague any more - to the jeweler, and the scientist - the expert. That after careful inspection made the diagnosis - the jeweler fell the victim of swindlers. They supposedly took very small and, respectively, very cheap kristallik, and then alloyed them in uniform big - and, respectively, expensive crystal. The jeweler addressed to firm that sold him rubies, and received the answer that crystals - original, and nobody mentioned their sizes.
Whether it was unknown, however, it is just improvisation of the journalist, or the author of “the real way of production of artificial rubies“ wanted in such exotic way to bring down the competitors, to force them to waste time and money while it embodied “in iron“ the technology which is thought up by it.
Here approximately since then in the market there are “real“ rubies, and there are “artificial“. The “made“ rubies absolutely in everything same as presents - both the fortress, and density, and a svetoprelomleniye, and dispersion of light... It is possible to distinguish them only under a microscope. At artificial microbubbles in places meet - nevertheless in a flame of a gas torch did them.
Now in Monte near Lake Geneva in Switzerland where there is a lot of a cheap electric energy, there is the most powerful factory on production of artificial crystals of corundum. In 1946 1400 furnaces were installed there, and production of crystals is estimated in tens of tons per year. The cheap electric power makes water hydrolysis, decomposing it to oxygen and hydrogen. Then in hydrogen torches both of these gases give at combustion the huge temperature (to 2500 degrees when burning hydrogen in oxygen and till 2000 when burning hydrogen on air) allowing to melt alumina powder.
In huge halls behind transparent superheatpersistent windows tens of masters look behind the birth and production of crystals. In a burning zone through special tubules alumina powder supply begins. The alumina microdroplets (the former grains of sand of powder) melted on fire of a hydrogen torch join semi-fluid future crystal. Further skill of the master solves everything.