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Corundum (variety: Sapphire)

Even though sapphires are traditionally thought of as blue in color, they occur in a wide variety of colors: yellow, orange, green, purple, pink, and colorless. If a sapphire is not blue then it is termed "fancy color." The majority of fancy-colored sapphires seen in the jewelry trade are from Sri Lanka. Yellow and pink are the most common fancy sapphires used in jewelry, but the rarest and most valuable is the pinkish-orange variety known as padparadscha, named for the lotus flower whose color it resembles. This padparadscha sapphire from Madagascar has exceptional color and is the largest and finest in the National Gem Collection. It was generously gifted in 2002 by Pasha and Laney Thornton.

Image Number: Ken Larsen
Catalog Number: G10235
Weight: 5.51 carats
Gift of Pasha and Laney Thornton , 2002


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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits