rarest and most valuable collector fancy sapphire is the
padparadscha, which is Sinhalese for “lotus flower”. A true
padparadscha must display a combination of both orange and pink
colors. These colors should blend so that it is difficult to see
where the pink stops and the orange begins. Dealers disagree on
the exact ideal color of a padparadscha. Tone and origin are
crucial factors in determining what truly constitutes this gem.
We believe the term should be limited to the light to medium
tones of Sri Lankan (Ceylon) sapphires with a color that is
similar to salmon. In our opinion, the Umba Valley, Tanzania
gems and the new Madagascar material do not have the same
attractive color in the classic sense. Some unscrupulous dealers
have been selling African fancy sapphires as padparadscha.
However, these stones have too much orange-brown to be properly
labeled “pads”. Sri Lankan padparadscha sapphires sell at a
premium, nearing the price of a Kashmir sapphire. An unheated
gem padparadscha will range between $5000-$16,000 per carat.
Large gems can exceed these prices. Padparadschas are hot
collector items and are bought up as quickly as they are found..