Padparadscha Sapphire is the only sapphire that is given its own name. The word is derived from the Sanskrit/Sinhalese word “padmaraga” that denotes the color of the lotus flower. Often described as a mix between a lotus flower and a sunset; Padparadscha sapphires range in hue from pinkish orange to orangey pink and the name Padparadscha is only given when those two colors are a relatively balanced mix.
The finest of Padparadscha sapphires historically have come from Sri Lanka, and many purists believe that Sri Lanka is the only source of true Padparadscha sapphires. Though the historical source of Padparadschas is in Sri Lanka; sapphires that fit the description of orangey pink and pinkish orange have been discovered in both Madagascar and the Umba River Valley of Tanzania.
The stones from Madagascar tend to have a stronger pink component, and the stones from Tanzania tend to have a stronger orange component, often with brownish overtones. This has led to much debate within the industry as to what qualifies as a Padparadscha sapphire as the name is given to sapphires by gemologists and gemological laboratories based on the sapphire’s color alone, regardless of their known or unknown origins.
Just as the name Padparadscha is given to sapphires based on the opinion of a trained gemologist; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For someone desiring a Padparadscha sapphire, they have many choices from pinkish orange to orangey pink, and in various levels of tone and saturation. Padparadscha sapphires from Sri Lanka will always command a premium, especially when they are unheated.
Here at the Natural Sapphire Company, we have both unheated and heated Padparadschas from Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Tanzania. The Padparadschas from Tanzania are often darker in tone than Padparadschas from other sources, and for this reason, other than not being from Sri Lanka; their prices tend to be lower than Padparadchas from Sri Lanka and Madagascar.
Whichever of the colors you prefer, know that your preference is the right answer for you. Just as every lotus flower and every sunset is different, so is every Padparadscha sapphire. As said before, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and here at The Natural Sapphire Company the possibilities of true beauty are endless.