Padparadscha Sapphire Bonanza at Intercolor at AGTA GemFair Tucson 2015

Afshin Hackman can’t remember a time in his firm’s 35-year history when he’s had more than a few Padparadscha sapphires at a time. But his luck changed this fall when he encountered a dealer in Asia with more than 100 stones, and Hackman, a partner in Intercolor USA in New York City (booth no. 516–518), bought them all.

Why are Padparadschas so special? They’re rare and odd.

“Padparadschas are freaks of nature—a combination of pink and orange,” explains Hackman. “For every 10,000 pinks, there is one Pad.”

And even though he concedes that the color doesn’t move as fast as other colored sapphires, the find was so unusual that he couldn’t pass it up. “If the price is good, then you have to buy it when you see it,” he says. “When a pocket opens, you get a flow of merchandise that disappears within months.”

All the stones have been re-cut and certified as having a Madagascar origin.

Thus far at the show, Hackman has sold eight stones to other dealers. Keystone prices for the inventory range from $1,600 to $8,000 a carat.