Padparadscha Sapphire is a variety of sapphire not known by many, but highly sought after by collectors. Padparadschas above 2 cts are very rare, it is also the most expensive fancy coloured Sapphire, which means Sapphires that are not blue. Padparadscha’s name comes from a Sanskrit word ‘Padma Ranga’ which translates to lotus colour, a colour based on the lotus flower. Part of the Sapphire family, Padparadschas is also the birthstone of September.
History & Lore
The largest faceted Padparadscha is a 100.18 Cts Oval cut piece that is on display at New York’s American Museum of Natural History. In 2018, when Princess Eugenie of Britain became engaged to Jack Brooksbank, he presented her with a beautiful no heat 5 cts Padparadscha ring. The ring is valued to be at least 100,000 Pounds, that is because no heat Padparadschas of such sizes are extremely rare.
Padparadschas comes in an orangy-pink to pinkish-orange colour, with predominantly pink stones known as ‘sunrise’ colour and predominantly orange stones as ‘sunset’ colour. Each colour has its own merits, with different consumers appreciating different colours of Padparadscha. Asian countries generally prefer more pink stones, while Europe and USA prefer stones that are more orange. Strongly saturated Padparadscha has always been a controversy, a Padparadscha may have gotten its status in the GRS scale but GIA might have graded it as a Pink Sapphire instead. Padparadschas mostly shows colour zoning and are often in pastel colours.
Padparadschas are less included than Rubies, we recommend getting ones that are eye clean because the pastel colours of Padparadschas makes inclusions more visible. Eye visible inclusions will decrease the value of the stone, though some inclusions showing definitive proof of Sri Lanka origin is appreciated. Padparadschas, just like any other corundum are more widely available in oval shapes due to their rough crystal structure. Due to scarcity of these gemstones, it is not uncommon for Padparadschas to be faceted in asymmetrical cuts.
Padparadscha mainly comes from Sri Lanka, though also produced in other countries. Many experts feel that only Sri Lankan Padparadscha should be given the title Padparadscha. Padparadschas from Sri Lanka are also priced at a premium to other origins, even if the colour and quality is similar.
Many Padparadschas are heated to improve its colour. Unheated Padparadschas are hard to get hold of and often comes with hefty price tags, sometimes even rivalling prices of high-quality Rubies or Emeralds. It is also not uncommon for Padparadschas to go through beryllium diffusion, such diffusions are permanent, and will be disclosed if purchased from a trusted dealer. Beryllium diffused Padparadschas trade at a significant lower price than non-diffused Padparadschas.
Being such an expensive, rare and beautiful gemstone, it is not a surprise that people have come up with synthetic stones for Padparadscha. We recommend either getting Padparadschas from trusted dealer or request a certificate from a reputable laboratory.
Being part of the corundum group of gemstones, Padparadschas have a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, that is only second to Diamonds. It is also excellent in toughness and does not break easily when struck. These factors make Padparadschas a great choice and any form of jewellery and mountings for daily wear. Padparadschas can be cleaned by using warm soapy water and a soft brush