These uniquely coloured Sapphires have been around for centuries but it is in recent years, due to the Queen’s granddaughter, Princess Eugenie choosing one as an engagement ring, that they have made a real splash and been brought back to the attention of the world. With this attention it has had an effect on growing trends and demands on these beauties.
Their rarity, uniqueness as well as durability lend them selves so perfectly for an engagement ring that makes a statement but still screams elegance and style.
Like when choosing any gem stone for a special piece of jewellery, there are factors to be considered when choosing one. Below I will discuss some of these unique and exotic traits that make these stones so highly valued.
Padparadscha (pronounced pad-pah-raj-ah) are an extremely rare gem stone and it is their rare blend of pink and orange colouring that makes them like no other stone.
It is their striking beauty and exotic colour for which they are named after that their name derives itself from. The old Sanskrit/Singhalese word Padmaraga meaning Lotus blossom (Padma = lotus. Raga = colour).
It is these ancient cultures that saw these Sapphires as symbols of purity, beauty and enlightenment. Originally only thought to have come from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) these beautiful stones are today being found in Madagascar as well as a few from Tanzania.
Our Padparadscha Sapphire collection is from Sri Lanka and Madagascar.
The unique colouring only found in Padparadschas is what makes them so special. The colour ranges from pink through to orange and both colours should be visible to some degree to make them truly a Padparadscha.
Usually a strong saturation of colour is what is sort after in a Sapphire but in the case of Padparadscha stones medium in saturation is usually sort as most people think of that lovely pastel hue when choosing a stone.
Whether it’s a delicate pink-orange tone or orange with subtle pink hues its that lovely salmon-sunset colour that makes them so exotic. The stones coming out of Sri Lanka tend to be more peachy coloured and more sort after. It is the Madagascan material that tends to have more pink than orange hues.
Clarity and cut
Like any stone, clarity and cut is an important element. Usually more so with paler coloured stones as inclusions can be easily revealed.
With the case of Padparadschas though the general rules usually go out the window as their scarcity changes the rules. They usually get cut in shapes of oval, cushion, pear and sometimes emerald cut as this uses the raw material to its best advantage. They also have a tendency to have some depth as it gives better colour through the stone.
All of these techniques showcase these sapphires in their best possible light.
Padaparadsha Sapphire rough
(finished stone in the video)
There are ways to improve the look of stones which are akin to what nature does naturally and are widely accepted, but then there are treatments to stones that are a little more like interfering with nature.
Heat treatment is common, very acceptable and just evens out the look of the stone with improvements more to clarity than colour.
Where as using a beryllium heat treatment or irradiating a stone will have a stronger affect on colour and also reduces the value of these stones because of this treatment.
Untreated stones will always fetch a higher price but a normal low heat treatment to a coloured stone can sometimes increase its value too.
Laboratory certificate is an important document when purchasing your Sapphire or piece of jewellery, as it is an independant document and a piece of mind that what you are purchasing is as stated and not an opinion.
All of our Padparadscha Sapphires are Laboratory certified, some with origin (stating where the stone came from), we do not sell beryllium treated or irradiated stones.
Like all Sapphires these stones fall into the family of gems known as Corundum. The differences to their usual aluminum oxide base, they owe their colour variation to the added elements of chromium (giving the red-pink colours) and iron (more yellow colour) with sometimes a small amount of vanadium (seen in the purplish colours).
On Moh’s scale of hardness these stones are a 9. Which is where they are perfect for engagement rings as their hardness and scratch resistance nature will handle everyday wear.
Choosing a Stone
David’s 30+ years in the industry has led to relationships with gem dealers in Australia and overseas sourcing directly some of the best Padparadschas available.
With all of our Sri Lankan Padparadscha Sapphires, they come with independent certification, verifying their origin and giving you confidence and reassurances any treatments the stones may or may not have had along with weight, measurements and any identifying characteristics.
Our collection of ethically sourced natural stones range from soft pink/oranges to stronger hued stones in a selection of cuts, unset ready to be designed into a special piece or already hand-crafted into one of our original designs ready to be purchased. Many of which can be seen on our website.
Their natural warmth in colour lends itself to being made in yellow or rose gold but look just as fabulous in a contrasting white. So whatever design you eventually settle on, you can be reassured these magical stones will look fabulous and will draw much attention.
And If You Want More……..
Sapphires are also known to symbolise nobility and faithfulness making it a perfect choice for an engagement ring.
Due to its colour it has been associated with joy, positive energy and good fortune. It has been said to bestow on the wearer a sense of clarity and intuition. Also believed to create a sense of tranquility necessary for attacking major conflicts and changes.
This blog was written by Louise, our seniour design consultant.
If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you. You can also book your design session with Louise or David.