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.