Last updateTue, 22 May 2018 10pm

The Story Behind the Stone: Hunting for Padparadscha


Ever wonder what gemstone dealers chat about in private? We caught up with Niveet Nagpal, president of OMI Privé recently who scours the globe in search of the best in precious gemstones. We focused on a luscious pinkish-orange sapphire from exotic locales like Sri Lanka and Madagascar and whose name, Padparadscha means lotus blossom in Sinhalese. Listen in.

Jarrett - Serious collectors love fine sapphire; but do you find they are often unknowledgeable when it comes to the Padparadscha variety?

Nagpal - Yes, many collectors have heard about Padparadscha sapphires, although most don’t know the meaning of it or the specific color. What makes this stone so intriguing is that even those within the jewelry trade disagree about the range of colors that should be considered a Padparadscha.

Jarrett - How do you explain the rarity quotient of this particular stone to collectors?

Nagpal - Padparadscha is the rarest of all sapphires. It’s a perfect blend of pink and orange, which rarely occurs in nature. The majority of sapphires are heat treated for color enhancement, but many Padparadschas are unheated and those are the rarest of all. To own or even view a truly fine gem Padparadscha is a treat that most people will never see in their lifetime.

Jarrett - How difficult is it to locate fine Padparadschas, larger than 3 carats for instance? In a year’s time, how many meet your standard of excellence?

Nagpal - Since Padparadschas are one of my favorite gemstones, I’m always on the hunt for them, although possibly less than five top 3 carat-plus gems are introduced into our inventory each year. If we acquire more than five, it’s an exceptional year!

Jarrett - People have a tendency to change colors with their wardrobe and jewelry as the seasons change. Do you feel Padparadschas are trans-seasonal in its appeal as a jewelry color?

Nagpal - Yes, I believe it transcends time and is not limited to any season. It evokes visions of a beautiful sunset, or the color of a lotus flower, which is its namesake.


Award winning trade journalist and gemologist Diana Jarrett is a Registered Master Valuer Appraiser and a member of the Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers (AIJV). She’s a popular speaker at conferences and trade shows. Jarrett writes for trade and consumer publications, online outlets, her blog: Color-n-Ice, and www.jewelrywebsitedesigners.com. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit her website at www.dianajarrett.com, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (Loupey).