The Padparadscha Sapphire & the Princess

A Royal Halo

The newest member of the Royal family to get engaged is Princess Eugenie to her longtime boyfriend Jack Brooksbank. The announcement was released on January 22nd by her father Prince Phillip, the Duke of York. The most important question? The type of ring naturally! The stunner features a pink padparadscha sapphire, surrounded by a halo of diamonds set on a yellow gold band with two further tapered diamonds at the shoulders of the yellow gold shank. The style is very similar to the one, Prince Andrew, gave to Sarah Ferguson when he proposed in 1986. There is a definite trend in Royal engagement rings to have a coloured stone in the centre surrounded by a halo of smaller diamonds. The only couple breaking the trend in recent memory are Prince Harry and Megan Markle.



ceylon-pink-sapphire-silver-ring-Rocks & Co.

The central stone of Eugenie’s ring is a natural oval cut Padparadscha sapphire, which was predominantly found in Sri Lanka and later in Africa. The term “Padparadscha” is derived from the Sinhalese word for aquatic lotus blossom, characterizing an unusual pink/orange colour which is one of rarest colours you can get in sapphires.

Padparadscha Sapphire- controversial star

According to GIA, for over 100 years, reference has been made to a unique sapphire, the colour of a lotus blossom, the padparadscha. Yet the precise hue represented by this rare stone has been a subject of discussion, and often controversy, ever since the term was first introduced.

My pink is your red

I found an informative article written by gem authority and journalist Richard Hughes of Lotus Gemology – an artisanal gemologist organisation. He states that the term pink sapphire did not appear until the beginning of the twentieth century. Before this, all corundums of a red colour were referred to as rubies.  Then someone decided that pink was not red. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the term pink sapphire made its first appearance. What is in a name? A lot when it comes to the jewel known as padparadscha. The debate over the name use pits those who believe that romantic terms are vital to sales versus those afraid that buyers will be taken advantage of if the padparadscha brush stroke is too liberal.

padparadscha-sapphire-silver-ring-Cavill-Rocks & Co.

The case of the pink sapphire, or as Richard aptly puts it, the ‘corundum conundrum’ has resulted from a quirk of language. In the Queen’s English, “red” is dissected into two separate words. To the layperson, “pink” is synonymous with “rose” and refers to pale or light reds, while “red” encompasses deeper tones and intensities only. Since ruby is defined as being red, someone decided that pink must be a sapphire and problems began. However, to the colour scientist, pink is a subvariety of red. Logically, they should fall under the same heading…

Hopefully, I have helped shed a little light on the matter but  perhaps confused you further. Basically, it harkens to the by classic Cole Porter song, ‘Let’s call the whole thing off’.  But should we call the whole thing off?  Whatever the name there is a stunning corundum waiting for your love.

As I have said before. What is good enough for a Princess is good enough for me!