Padparadscha Sapphire and its Properties.
Padparadscha is a very rare variety of Sapphire with a delicate pinkish-orange colour. This is caused by tiny amounts of chromium, iron and vanadium being present. The word comes from the Sinhalese word meaning “lotus -blossom colour“, the name of the colour used to describe the Sri Lankan lotus flower.
It is one of the world’s most expensive gems with prices similar to those fetched by fine Ruby or Emerald. The most pricey stones display uniformity and purity of colour.
These gems are among the rarest gems on the planet. They are strikingly beautiful and no other gemstone compares to this unique mix of pink and orange.
Unlike most other Sapphires, the finest colour of this gem is not a function of intensity. The most valuable display a delicate mixture of pink and orange.
Today many stones are enhanced by heat-treatment.
Oval and Cushion cuts are the most common for this gem.
People argue that Sri Lanka is the only legitimate source of this gemstone. However pinkish-orange Sapphires have been found in Vietnam, north east Tanzania and in Madagascar. The Tanzanian gems are more brownish orange and are sometimes named “African Padparadscha” to distinguish the difference between them and the Ceylon gems.
The use of the Padparadscha name when describing an orange Sapphire is a hot topic in the gem industry. Some say that it should only be used for Sapphires that are NOT heat treated. Others say that it should only be used for pinkish-orange Sapphires actually mined in Sri Lanka, (Ceylon Padparadscha).
Natural Padparadscha needs occasionally to see sunlight for its full beauty to be appreciated. Similar to human beings in that respect. Just 15 minutes in direct sun light will revitalise your gem for another 2 years.
Padparadscha is an excellent stone to put into jewellery as it is second only to diamond in its hardness.
The big question is “What really does qualify to be called a Padparadscha gem”?
There are many views within the trade. However, if you trace the history of the gem’s name and if you study some of the first stones originating from Ceylon, then to be a true Padparadascha, a stone should have a degree of both the orange and the pink present under the same lighting conditions.
Because this gemstone is among the rarest in the world, and because its price is on the increase all the time, now is surely the time to add some to your collection.
It may disappear in the next decade or two or become so difficult to locate that it increases in value tremendously.
More: Gemstones Articles