GemNotes

BUYER'S GUIDE: PADPARADSCHA SAPPHIRE This is the seventh in a series by Senior Editor Robert Weldon designed to help jewelers buy different types of gems. What to look for: Only a very precious few sapphires may claim the lofty title of padparadscha. The name is often used inappropriately – sometimes to describe flaming orange sapphires from Africa. But padparadscha sapphires, members of the corundum family, must contain pink as well as orange. The two colors must mix delicately and proportionately and preferably should favor pink. The resulting mélange should yield the color of an Oriental lotus flower. That brings us to the origin of this somewhat mysterious, awkward name. Padparadscha is adapted from padmaragaya, a word stemming from Sanskrit, Bengali and later Sinhalese references to the color of a lotus flower. Given that lotus flowers have some variation in color, there is
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