Padparadscha Sapphires – a gemstone that effortlessly blends the warmth of a sunrise with the allure of a sunset, are one of the rarest of Sapphires and these extremely rare stones are still relatively unknown to most people. Padparadscha sapphires are strikingly beautiful and almost no other coloured gemstone compares to their unique mix of pink and orange.
In 2018, a Padparadscha Sapphire made headlines with Princess Eugenie of York’s engagement ring.
Padparadscha Sapphires, defined by their delicate blend of pink and orange hues, create a captivating peachy-pink to salmon-coloured gemstone. To be classified as a Padparadscha, the stone must exhibit a specific combination of colours – a harmonious fusion of pink with a hint of orange, reminiscent of a tropical sunset. It is this unique balance that distinguishes Padparadschas from fancy pink or orange Sapphires, making them an extraordinary and sought-after gem in the world of fine jewellery.
The name "Padparadscha" is derived from the Sinhalese word for 'lotus blossom,' a flower symbolising purity and enlightenment. Originating from the island of Sri Lanka, where the majority of Padparadschas are still mined today, these incredible gemstones have a rich historical significance. Prized by ancient royalty for their rare and mesmerising colour, Padparadschas were believed to bring good fortune and spiritual enlightenment to those who possessed them.
Sri Lanka's gem-rich soil is the primary source of Padparadscha Sapphires, and each gem is carefully mined, cut, and polished to showcase its natural beauty.
Padparadscha Sapphires are exceptionally rare, with their scarcity contributing to their desirability among collectors and connoisseurs. While Sri Lanka remains the primary source, deposits have also been discovered in Madagascar and Tanzania. The limited availability of these gems enhances their exclusivity, making them a unique and prestigious choice for fine jewellery enthusiasts.
At Valentina Fine Jewellery we only source certified natural high quality Padparadscha Sapphires and the only treatment we accept is heating.
Most Sapphires (blue and fancy) are usually heated above 1200°C and this changes the value of certain colour-effective trace elements therefore typically changing or enhancing the colour. No heat sapphires, including Padparadscha Sapphires are very rare and command a high premium.
A recent phenomenon has revealed that certain sapphires may appear as Padparadscha at first, but fade over time into a pastel pink coloured Sapphire. The difference between a Padparadscha Sapphire and a fancy pink or orange Sapphire can be very small, and the price difference significant, therefore it is important to test colour stability to ensure the gem will remain the same colour.
Laboratories perform a “colour stability test” that exposes the Sapphire under high temperature or strong light over a span of time to determine whether the colour remains the same or changes. Emphasis here is that a true Padparadscha sapphire will not fade under any lighting or heating circumstances. Read more on the unstable colour testing here at GIA.
As we only procure certified Padparadscha Sapphires, this test would have been conducted to ensure the colour of the stone is stable and will not fade over the time.
Use of Padparadscha in Modern Jewellery and Engagement Rings
In contemporary fine jewellery, Padparadscha sapphires have gained popularity for their versatility and romantic aesthetic. Whilst relatively unknown still, they are growing in popularity and price. Their warm tones complement various precious metals, from classic platinum to the warmth of rose gold.
Engagement rings featuring Padparadscha Sapphires are becoming more popular due to sapphire's Mohs hardness scale of 9, placing Sapphires just below diamonds for durability.
The blend of pink and orange hues symbolises the unity of love and passion, making Padparadscha engagement rings a distinctive choice for couples seeking a meaningful, unique and visually striking symbol of their commitment.