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Padparadscha Sapphire

Last updated 2 years ago

“The rarest and most valuable fancy color sapphires are pinkish-orange or orangy-pink. These sapphires are named “Padparadscha” which is derived from the Sinhalese word for lotus blossom.” The original use of the term was different. Sanskrit/Sinhalese words padma raga (padma=lotus; raga=color). Through the years there has been a debate on the description of the gemstone color which has also been described as a fire concept or sunset; an aurora (sunrise) red-orange. The color would compare to a lotus flower married to a Sinhalese sunset.

“Here is an early definition from the Indian subcontinent, dating from about 1200-1300 AD: Varieties of Ruby – That which spreads its ray like the sun, is glossy, soft to the touch, resembling the fire, like molten gold and not worn off is paumaraya (padmaraga).”

Stone size can be comparable to the size of rubies.  The largest known fine stone is the 100.18 carats oval which is located in the New York American Museum of Natural History.

Padparadscha is one of the most expensive gems in the world; the prices per carat can compare to the finest rubies and emeralds.

“The extreme scarcity of padparadscha rough means that cut stones will be shaped to conserve as much material as possible.”  Gemstones that are shaped round generally lose the most amount of rough and for this reason will generally have higher prices per carat.  “This also means padparadscha sapphires may have unusual and asymmetrical cuts.” 

The very rare pinkish orange padparadscha sapphire is found mainly in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and at Vietnam's Quy Chau mines. While similar gems are sometimes found at Tanzania's Umba mines, most from this locality tend towards the brownish orange. Padparadscha from Sri Lanka sometimes fetch prices that rival even ruby.  Padparadscha Sapphires are also found in Madagascar, Burma, Kenya and India.  To read more about the padparadscha sapphire, visit You can also browse through various other resources used in this piece including:,, and   

For rare, hard-to-find gemstones please visit Morgan & Company Jewellers at 1131 Glendon Ave. Los Angeles CA 90024. Specializing in quality estate, vintage, and antique jewelry, we have been in business since 1965. We are also an authorized dealer of Patek Philippe watches and specialize in custom made jewelry.


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