© Written by Rachael Taylor for Rapaport
While all eyes were on Meghan. Markle as she completed her ascent into the British aristocracy last month, there has been another member of the royal family whose engagement ring has caused ripples in the jewelry world. Princess Eugenie’s padparadscha sapphire ring not only affirmed the acceptance of colored gemstones in bridal jewels, it also introduced this incredibly rare hue of sapphire to the wider public.
“Princess Eugenie’s engagement has definitely had an effect on the growing padparadscha trend,” agrees Niveet Nagpal, head designer and president at Omi Privé and Omi Gems, which have long championed this stone. “Named after the lotus flower blossom of Sri Lanka, the orangey-pink padparadscha sapphire is a favorite of ours and is highly coveted amongst colored-gemstone connoisseurs. These special sapphires are rare in their optimal color and typically demand a hefty premium over fancy pink or orange sapphires.”
The optimal balance of orange and pink remains up for debate in gem circles, as does the relevance of a stone’s origin. “Historically, padparadscha sapphires are found in Sri Lanka, and many connoisseurs still insist that only a padparadscha from Sri Lanka is a true padparadscha,” says Nagpal, although Omi Gems also works with padparadschas from Madagascar and Mozambique. “Supply of padparadscha is always a challenge — now more than ever, since people are familiar with the stone.”…