end-week post: 5.36ct Oval-cut Ceylon Natural Padparadscha Sapphire Ring

DAVID BIRNBAUM / RARE 1 
SPOTLIGHT:  Focus Jewel of the Week

Centerstone:  Natural Unheated Gem Padparadscha Sapphire
Carat/Cut:  5.36ct Oval-cut
Origin:  Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Lab:  Gubelin Lab-certified
MOHS Hardness: 9
Price: below $300,000

The word “padparadscha” is derived from the Sinhalese word for “lotus blossom,” and the gems have a unique and brilliant salmon color.  The color is best described as being pinkish-orange or as we like to call, a “sunrise-sunset” color.  “Pads”, as they are sometimes called, are the most rare and least commonly known genre of sapphire.  They sell at a premium and as much or sometimes even more than a fine blue sapphire.

For the unusual delicate color of the padparadscha to really shine through, the stone must be of very high clarity.  The light coloring of the stone can also display inclusions more clearly, thus, a high clarity is extremely important.  It is near impossible to secure a pad that is larger than 2-3 carats, high-clarity, and is vibrantly colored; often times, consumers must sacrifice one quality for the other.

Padparascha sapphires are largely found in Sri Lanka (Ceylon),  Madagascar and Tanzania.  Some experts insist that true padparadschas can come only from Sri Lanka, which, for centuries, was the only source of this highly coveted stone.  The finest stones still do originate from Sri Lanka, but Madagascar is now producing a major percentage of the stones available on the market.  The stones from Madagascar are usually slightly more pink than orange, and although they are classified as padparadscha, they are normally sold at a price that is roughly 20 percent less than the Sri Lanka padparadschas.

Padparadscha sapphire’s enchanting color is just one reason for this gemstone’s popularity and as with all sapphire, it’s also extremely durable, having a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale.  This stunning natural pad is more than 5cts and the perfect pop of color in any woman’s collection.

mid-week post: 4.21ct Cushion-cut Natural “Mahenge” Red Spinel Ring

DAVID BIRNBAUM / RARE 1
SPOTLIGHT:  Focus Jewel of the Week

Centerstone:  Natural Untreated “Mahenge” Red Spinel
Carat/Cut:  4.21ct Cushion-cut
Origin:  Mahenge, Tanzania
Lab:  AGL Lab-certified
MOHS Hardness:  8
Price: below $80,000-

The history of spinels is a fascinatingly storied one.  Ancient mines in central and Southeast Asia yielded large spinel crystals that were referred to as “Balas Rubies.”  Mistaken for rubies, these stones were provided to royal courts and set into the crowns of kings and emperors.  Most infamous is the “Black Prince’s Ruby”, set in England’s Imperial State Crown and displayed in the Tower of London.

Spinels come in a wide variety of colors but the most sought-after hue is this vivid pinkish-orangish-red, a distinct trait unique to “Mahenge” Red Spinels, discovered in the last decade in the Mahenge region of Tanzania.  The Mahenge Spinel has really redefined Spinels as jewelers and consumers know it, due to its intense hot pink/red color that doesn’t present any secondary hues like one would find in spinels of other regions.  The red color is the result of the presence of chromium in the crystal and natural, gem-quality Mahenge spinels of this level of vibrancy are near impossible to find in carat weights larger than 2-3cts.

This rare genre of gems has been skyrocketing in price since being widely introduced to the global market in 2007.  The unique “Mahenge” red spinels continue to be in high demand every year not only because of its remarkable color and neon-like glow, but because of the rareity and durability of the stone.  The spinel is hard enough to wear as a ring and is the perfect choice for both an everyday piece or as a statement piece.

This particular stone, carefully selected and procured by our executive team, was set in a micro-pave diamond halo and band to accentuate the natural beauty of the color and maximize the brilliant sparkle of the jewel.