Padparadschas R Us – Rare Gems Are Our Specialty

May 1st, 2013 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG
Padparadscha in Custom Rose & White Gold Engagement Ring

Padparadscha in Custom Rose & White Gold Engagement Ring

We’ve always loved the ultra rare variety of fancy sapphire known as the Padparadscha. Early in my career, working in the gem indentification labs of GIA, I had the opportunity to see a few good examples of the natural Padparadscha Sapphire and to learn the subtle distinctions that make this gem so desirable. Our informational blogs about this exotic beauty have become so well received that clients seek us out as experts to help them find the perfect “Pad”– and we love doing it!

Last week, we completed a three month Pad Quest that started with the Tucson Gem Show. Our client’s fiancé had decided on Padparadscha sapphire for her engagement ring. Her research had led to our blogs, so she asked him to contact us to find her stone. They didn’t make it easy. The stone had to be natural, unheated with documentation, about 2 -3 cts. Not only that, she particularly wanted a cushion shape- most Pads are oval!

To give you an idea of how rare the Padparadscha really is, in the process of our search at Tucson for a 2 -3 ct unheated Pad of quality, we passed by literally thousands of blue sapphires and hundreds of fine rubies to find one gem that would fit our call- we are particular!

So we had the one stone from Tucson and two others from our network of gem traders, all worthy choices within our client’s price range. The excited fiancé flew in from Dallas, Texas. We were gratified that they chose the best of the three- center stone below. In our photo, you can get an idea of the spectrum of color for Padparadscha which ranges from orangish pink to pinkish orange.  In our opinion, this particular stone exhibits the perfect color for Padparadscha, a blend of pink and orange, and is among the best we have seen.

Most of the Pads we see don’t have this intensity and balance of color. Much like what we see in some Pigeon’s Blood Red Rubies from Burma, the stone has a component of chrome which adds a vivid touch of fluorescent orange red to the color. Just yesterday, a gem trader offered us two unheated Pads, one of which didn’t hold it’s pinkish component in daylight, the other with a slightly brownish overtone that killed the color saturation. Because we see so few good unheated Padparadschas, we hated to decline the stones. Good but not great, they were just not quite right to our eye, so we said no thanks.

Our non-traditional bride-to-be wanted a simple solitaire, but we decided to do something out of the ordinary to enhance this gemmy stone. She was torn between white and yellow gold- we thought a two-tone approach might be best to show off her magnificent stone. When we showed her this image of her stone with rose and peach gold, she chose the rose gold- our choice as well.

Working from images of styles she emailed us, our CAD wizard Jenny developed this beautiful design which we call “The Lotus”– in perfect keeping with the name of Padaparadscha, which is derived from the Sanskrit phrase meaning “color of the lotus”

We were justifiably proud of this wonderful custom ring and our client was delighted– you can read his feedback at the top of our testimonials page– and most importantly, she loved it!

If you are interested in acquiring a rare gem, give us the opportunity to find your dream gemstone. Whether you’re a couple looking for an unique engagement ring or a serious collector looking for that uber special piece to highlight your collection, we’ll find the best gem for your requirements- as you can see, we go the extra mile and we network with some of the best gem traders in the business.

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