What is Padparadscha?
Padparadscha is an extremely rare variety of sapphire. In fact, it's the most rare, and most prized form of sapphire. It is also one of the most expensive gems in the world, with prices similar to those of emeralds and rubies. Padparadscha is also one of the hardest gems in the world, second only to diamond. As hardness is a factor that determines how long a gemstone will last, this trait makes padparadscha an excellent gem for jewelry. The name padparadscha (sometimes spelled padparadsha) derives from the Sinhalese word padma radschen, meaning lotus blossom, as the stone is of a similar color to the lotus blossom. Most padparadscha gems are small, less than two carats in weight. However, a stone from Sri Lanka is on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York that weights an incredible one hundred carats.
Padparadscha is a beautiful pinkish-orange color, however retailers sell rich orange colored sapphires as padparadscha. This is misleading, as true padparadscha displays a delicate mixture of orange and pink. Quality stones will have a uniform, pure pink/ orange color and will be a lot more expensive. Padparadscha is the only variety of corundum other than ruby that is given its own name. Usually, different varieties of corundum are referred to as a particular color of sapphire.
Today, many padparadscha stones are heat treated, to enhance their color. Most are cut into oval or cushion cuts. Padparadscha is brittle, with an adamantine to vitreous luster. It is an extremely hard stone, rating a 9 on the hardness scale. Many knowledgeable sources argue that the only real padparadscha can be found in Sri Lanka. However, pinkish orange sapphires have also been found in Madagascar, at the Quy Chau mines in Vietnam, and in the Tunduru district of the Umba Valley in northeast Tanzania. The padparadscha from Tanzania tends to be browner, and is sometimes called African pad.
It has been said by some that: “Padparadscha is a gentle stone with enormous energy that is said to have many positive attributes. It is a stone that represents joy, vital energy and foresight. It can help the wearer make enormous changes, helping him come close to achieving his life goals. It removes the many resistances to change the wearer may have, replacing this resistance with clarity. With this newfound clarity, the wearer can achieve a much-needed calm. This calm helps him understand the root of his problems, allowing for a much needed change. With this calmness, it is also easier for the wearer to trust himself, which is freeing.”
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Diamond Jim is a master jeweler, diamond dealer and precious metals broker. Pineforest Jewelry has been a proud member of the Independent Jewelers Organization and the Retail Jewelers Organization for many years. See more at: www.pineforestjewelry.com.
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