These beautiful sapphires are the rarest and most desirable of all sapphires, and the original (and some say the only true variety) were from Sri Lanka. The color is similar to the lotus flower so the name in the Sinhalese language are padma (lotus) and raga (color), or padmaraga, modified over time to padparadscha. Some have also likened it to the color of the sunset or saffron. The combination of ruby and yellow sapphire produces a lovely orangey-pink to pinkish-orange color that is the critical defining characteristic, with no historical mention of tone or saturation. For unknown reasons an influential gemologist in the 1980’s decreed that they must have a pastel tone and low saturation, and this notion has stuck with Western gem labs and consumers. Fortunately the rest of the world still includes all sapphires in the color range as padparadschas, regardless of tone or saturation. I’ve been purchasing padparadschas in Sri Lanka for years, and I much prefer the rare and richly saturated medium toned stones.