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Among all the colors of sapphires, the most expensive and alluring colour is the Padparadscha colour. The word Padparadscha has been derived from the Sanskrit word Padmaraga (Also called Pathmaraga, Pathparaga, or Padparaga) which means lotus. The colour of Padparadscha is also defined as being of the serene sunset in Srilanka.

Is Padparadscha Ruby Or Sapphire?

Orangish Pink PadparadschaIdeally a Ruby is red colored and any other colored corundum is called a Sapphire. Although some ancient references (Garuda Purana of Hindus) put padparadscha as a variety of ruby, the topic is highly debatable. A more logical thing to say would be Padparadscha is a sapphire, but in our opinion it should be just given the name Padparadscha and nothing else. Just like Ruby and Sapphire.

What colour is the Padparadscha actually?

The Ideal Padparadscha ColorThe colour of a padparadscha is a very delicate blend of pink and yellow giving it an orangish-pink shade. The definition of the colour is still an ongoing debate and depends on the gem laboratory where the testing is done. Since the main market of padparadscha sapphire is Japan, reputed labs of Japan are considered most acceptable when it comes to the definition of a padparadscha. However, there may be differences between different labs in Japan itself. Members of the Laboratory Manual Harmonization Committee (LMHC) have standardized the nomenclature that they use to describe a 'padparadscha sapphire'. According to their definition, Padparadscha sapphire is a variety of corundum from any geographical origin whose colour is a subtle mixture of pinkish orange to orangey pink with pastel tones and low to medium saturations.

So where is Padparadscha Found?

Ideally a Padparadscha is only found in Ceylon, and only such stones are certified as real padparadscha. However even some Vietnam stones resemble very closely to padparadscha.

Are Orange Sapphires Padparadscha?

No, with the Beryllium treatment of sapphires being discovered, much orange sapphire has been produced and been sold as padparadscha, which has brought confusion in the gemstone industry. Orange sapphires produced by Be-treatment tend to be of a darker tone than the actual Padparadscha.

So what qualifies as a Padparadscha?

To see what can be certified as Padparadscha we need to look at what is NOT a padparadscha. Under the following situations, a gemstone WILL NOT be termed as a Padparadscha:

  • If the stone has any colour modifier other than pink or orange, the stone is not considered padparadscha. Some stones from Vietnam have a Purple overcast coloration, others may have a brown overcast, such stones will not be certified as a padparadscha.
  • If the stone has major uneven colour distribution like zoning, colour concentration viewed by the unaided eye from the table or +/- 30°
  • If there is presence of orange or yellow epigenetic material in the fissures which affects the overall coloration of the stone. The material may be residue of heat treatment, or colored oil or even glass.
  • If the stone has been treated by lattice diffusion. Lattice diffusion is when a layer of colour is diffused into the sapphire body by chemicals. Polishing and recutting may remove such layer and the original colour may appear. (Please note that Beryllium treatment is currently classified as BULK DIFFUSION and not LATTICE DIFFUSION)
  • If the stone has been treated by irradiation.
  • If the stone has been dyed, coated, sputtered, painted or varnished

It is also to be noted that both heated and non heated sapphire are termed as Padparadscha. So a Padparadscha is not necessarily non-heated.


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