Padparadscha is the Sinhalese word meaning "lotus blossom".
Padparadscha is Corundum 55# in the pastel shades of delicate Orange-Yellow-Pink. Padparadscha can run from a more predominant Pink with nice Yellow-Orange mixed in, to the intense pastel tones of predominantly Hot Pink with Yellow-Orange mixed in, this means the Pink would be the more predominant color in the stone but the others are present and visible. At the other end of the color spectrum Padparadscha can run from a more predominant pastel Orange with nice Pink-Yellow mixed in, to the darker tones of Orange with Pink-Yellow mixed in. One color can be more predominant than the others, but never without the others. The 4 photos above reflect the variance in color.
The AGTA Lab recently took a variety of stones that dealers suggested met the criteria of Padparadscha and scientifically defined the color range using an imaging spectrophotometer. Unfortunately, the results of that attempt almost entirely excluded the stones produced from Tanzania’s Umba Valley. Most dealers and gemologists feel that the Umba stones do not qualify because of their overly dark tones and strong brown (’garnet like’) component. The spectacular “aurora” red-orange stones from Vietnam and Madagascar, even though there are no brown components in those stones, are also excluded by the AGTA definition because of their oranges of high saturation and/or dark tones, this is mainly because Sri Lanka has traditionally never produced such colors. In other words, when it comes to getting a gem report on Padparadscha, if it isn't from Sri Lanka and in a pastel shade, it probably isn't a true Padparadscha.
Most Padparadscha tends to have slight inclusions, especially in the rich intense tones, so if you see one that is a well cut and eye clean (or better) stone, with rich pastel blended color having all three colors evenly balanced and saturated throughout the stone, you are looking at one of the most expensive and sought after top quality Padparadscha gems available from the mines in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). We only carry the finest natural Ceylon Padparadscha Sapphire which carries a premium price nearing and oftentimes surpasses the price for fine Ceylon (kashmir and royal) Blue Sapphire. Padparadscha Sapphire is rarer than fine Ruby with a great investment potential!
Buyers Beware: There is a new bulk diffusion treatment process being performed in Thailand that changes a lower quality pinkish Sapphire into the beautiful "Padparadscha" Sapphire. AGTA and GIA gem labs, after examination of this 'bulk diffused' heat treatment process reveals that the color does not go all the way through the gem, but is only in the outer layer, so if the stone is ever scratched or recut the Padparadscha color layer would be removed and the original color would then be visible underneath the outer layer of the gemstone. Since Asian gem suppliers (and there are many online now) are not subject to the same disclosure laws as we are here in the US, these enhancement processes are rarely disclosed to the buyer, so Buyers please Beware. For example, you may see a premium Ceylon Padparadscha Sapphire advertised on one of those websites for what appears to be pennies on the dollar, but be assured that the stone was most likely 'bulk diffused" by one of these Asian factories. Some of these gem suppliers even go to great lengths to try to convince the public that there is no difference in the value of their artificially colored and/or treated gem, and the value of a natural Padparadscha gem, but any experienced jeweler will verify that a statement like that is totally untrue.
FU RONG GEMS blogger >