Padparadscha sapphire is the rarest and most valuable fancy color sapphires are the exquisite orange – pink or pinkish-orange gems referred to as “Padparadscha” after the Sinhalese word for lotus blossom.
The exact color has always been a matter of debate: different dealers and different laboratories around the world disagree on the exact color described by this term. Perhaps this is partial because the lotus blossom itself can have a range of color shades. Natural Padparadscha sapphire (sometimes called pads) sell at a premium, nearing the price for a fine blue sapphire. Prices of several thousand dollars per carat are not unusual.Although the exact color description is debated, the beauty of these rare gemstones with their delicate blended pink and orange shades is universally esteemed.Found originally in Sri Lanka, pads have become collectors’ items which are bought up as quickly as they are found. The prices and value of padparadscha sapphire vary depending on the size and quality of the gemstone.Unheated specimens are especially valuable.Simple heat treatment is accepted, but sapphires which have achieved a padparadscha like color by means of diffusion treatment with beryllium are not regarded as genuine Padparadscha. Most padparadscha has a pastel color, and there is some debate whether the more vivid orange-pink colors should be termed padparadscha. There is general agreement that a padparadscha sapphire should display a color which is a mix of orange and pink, rather than exhibit color zoning with orange and pink regions.