This oval-cut pinkish orange sapphire, weighing 20.84 carats, is a truly rare gem. Called a Padparadscha, it is the only variety of corundum, other than ruby, that is given its own name, rather than being referred to as a sapphire of a particular color. Mined in the island of Sri Lanka, the name derives from a Sinhalese word meaning lotus blossom. Although lotus blossoms are slightly more pink than orange, the name highlights the delicate and peaceful qualities of the color.
Padparadscha sapphires are formed metamorphically by the earth's tectonic plates colliding with each other, the same movement that causes mountain ranges to form and earthquakes to occur. Within the earth's natural movement, crystals and minerals deep underground are heated and merged and form into new crystals. These hexagonal-shaped crystals are of the corundum family and only a slight presence of chemical material can determine whether they will end up as a padparadscha, ruby, sapphire or colored sapphire. While sapphires are naturally colored with iron and rubies with chromium, padparadschas are colored by the presence of both. The delicate balance of pink and orange hues make this gem one of nature's rarest.