Padparadscha is a mineral with a hardness of 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness [?]. These Trigonally structured gems are made of aluminum oxide, their full chemical compound being Al2O3.
Padparadschah is the name given to the orange-yellow sapphire, a gem variety of Corundum. It is also differentiated from the yellow sapphire, and is one of the rarest varieties of corundum.
The main sapphire-bearing rocks are marble, basalt, or pegmatite. It is mined mainly from alluvial deposits or deposits formed by weathering, rarely from the primary rock.
It usually occurs in placer deposits, in Australia, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand.
Inamori padparadschah is a fancy term for synthetic orange sapphire made by Kyocera company, Kyoto, Japan.
Padmaragaya, a Singhalese or Sri Lanka word meaning lotus flower, is applied to the yellowish, pinkish-orange to reddish-orange variety of sapphire from Sri Lanka, or a synthetic corundum of yellow to orange color.
Prominent samples for public viewing are:
Ceylon Padparadschah Sapphire an oval-faceted, golden-yellow sapphire of 100.18 carats, from Sri Lanka. Now on display at American Museum of Natural History, New York City (USA).
Unnamed Padparadschah Sapphire - a quasi-square faceted, orange or padparadschah sapphire of 28.61 carats, of unknown source and date. Now on display at Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada.
Unnamed Padparadschah Sapphire - a rough, pinkish-orange (padparadschah) sapphire of 1,126 carats, from Sri Lanka. Date unknown. Later was cut into several gemstones, the biggest of which was 47 carats.
Unnamed Padparadschah Sapphire - an oval-faceted, pinkish-orange (padparadschah) sapphire of 30 carats. Probably from Sri Lanka of unknown date.
Padparadschah derives its name from the Sri Lankan language Sinhalese word "padmaragaya," used to describe the beautiful color of the lotus flower.
Production methods for the more well-known varieties of sapphire are very simple. The underground gem-bearing layer is worked from hand-dug holes and trenches. The yield is separated from clay, sand, and pebbles by panning. Washing out the gems is facilitated by their higher specific gravity. Final selection is made by hand.
But because it is a rare variety, padparadschah that is mined naturally can rival the cost of high quality rubies and sapphires.