Gem Guide

Legends & Lore of Gemstones

Pink Sapphire Gemstone Lore & History

Pink and Padparadscha Sapphire are sometimes classified in the more general category of Fancy Sapphire.  Fancy sapphire is a term used to describe any sapphire that is not blue.

Sapphire in its purest form is colorless, pink sapphires for example get their color from trace amounts of chromium in the stone. Pink sapphires appear in a wide range of hues from the bold bubblegum pinks from Africa, to the crisp pastels from Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

One of the rarest colors in the pink sapphire family is the legendary Padparadscha sapphire. There is quite a bit of debate of what qualifies as a padparadscha sapphire. The prices for a fine padparadscha can rival the price of a ruby.  Personally, I believe though that the true definition is the classic blend of pink & orange in almost equal delicate proportions.  Most come from Sri Lanka, although I have seen quite a few from Tanzania as well. In Sri Lanka though padparadscha traditionally applies to sapphires that are far more pink than orange. More like a color of a tropical sky with sunset reds, with yellow, pink, and mildly conspicuous embers of orange.

Padparadscha takes its name from the Sanskrit padmaraga, a color very much like the lotus flower. Of  course you’ll find many that try and include other colors in the category for sales purposes. So, is there a right or a wrong? Unlike diamonds which are much more common and available, and easy to grade, sapphire and colored gems in general have far more nuances. Sapphire is more about letting the user define what is the ideal.

A well layed out write up on Padparadscha sapphire and its history can be found here

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