Padparadscha Sapphire Buying and the Four Cs

The IGS sapphire value listing has price guidelines for sapphires.  Padparadscha sapphires can rival fine blue sapphires in price.

At 9 on the Mohs scale, sapphire is hard enough to resist scratches. In addition, this tough stone is unlikely to break when knocked, making it an excellent choice for any jewelry setting.


By far the most important factor in padparadscha sapphire quality is its color, but assessing padparadscha color isn’t straightforward. The lotus flower for which it’s named, Nelumbo nucifera, has deep pink petals with a yellow pistil. Unlike most gem colors, the definition of padparadscha proves elusive. Gemological laboratories use different grading criteria to determine whether a stone qualifies.

Most Western standards agree that a padparadscha sapphire should be light to medium in tone (30-65%) with a mix of pink and orange hues. Brown hues are undesirable. Yellow or purple tertiary hues may be acceptable to some, but for others the presence of any tertiary hue would disqualify the stone from the padparadscha label. In addition, color should be evenly distributed, with no face-up zoning. However, many faceted padparadscha sapphires have a yellow or yellow-orange hue around…