News of the engagement of the Queen's granddaughter, Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank has seized the world by storm. Princess Eugenie's choice of ring, a coronet cluster design with diamonds encircling an orangey pink sapphire - specifically known as a ‘padparadscha', has thrown a little known, rare and highly treasured gemstone into the limelight.
Padparadscha sapphires, prized for their beguiling orangey pink colour, are one of the most desirable and rare of all coloured gemstones. They are so scarce that in fact you may never have heard of their existence! Their name is derived from the Singhalese word for ‘lotus flower'- a blossom of exquisite colour which in turn echoes the gemstone's exotic origins as the tropical island of Sri Lanka is historically their main source.
These sapphires are part of the corundum family of gemstones which is made up of rubies, sapphires, and fancy colour sapphires which make up the remainder of the spectrum. Padparadschas and rubies are in fact the only varieties within the corundum group which have their own name. These coveted and highly sought after padparadschas have a very specific colour ranging between a pinkish orange and an orangey pink, sometimes thought of as the colour of sunset. The unique colour is created by a delicate balance of chromium, iron and titanium and the colour is in fact so exact that it can only be classified as a padparadscha if the gemstone is accompanied by a reputable gemmological laboratory report.
Natural, untreated padparadscha sapphires are rarely available due to their scarcity and were historically worn only by maharajas. Even at Berganza with our extensive stock of one-of-a-kind jewellery, we have but a very few of these extraordinary gemstones.