Precious & Rare


Someone asked what makes a jewel . .  a jewel?  While different people may give their personal viewpoint, in general, members of the gemstone trade agree that the shortest list includes this trifecta; desirability, rarity, and durability. Some materials have one or two of these attributes, but the totality of these 3 traits makes for an enviable treasure.

A wonderful place to scour the best of the best with precious gemstones is at the auction house. Many times these treasures which have not been on public display for eons come out for inspection and purchase. More people can inspect than purchase these caches, of course.


One such prize is the Du Pont Padparadscha Ring. Having been in the posession of an illustrious family for over 80 years, the extraordianry jewel comes to market at Christie's auction house. Padparadscha sapphires are rare within their coveted species. Sapphires are considered one of the most collected of precious stones. But a Padparadscha? This delectable peachy-orangy-pink variety is ultra-rare. All sapphires other than blue ones are called fancy color sapphires.

When you include an unheard of carat size that this particular gem weighs in at 24.58 carats, you've really got something.

The jaw-dropping ring was originally purchased in 1937 by the current owner's great-great-grandmother while on holiday in Ceylon. This island nation has been renamed Sri Lanka today. Formerly a British colony, Ceylon gained independence in 1948 some years after the owner's vist and purchase there. 

Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was the world’s first and sole source of this gem variety for centuries. But owing to their rarity, they didn't come into the mainstream until the last few years. Jewelry fans swooned over the padparadscha sapphire engagement ring that Britain's princess Eugenie received in 2018. And it was the first time a lot of collectors even heard of such a natural jewel.

But these stones have been circulating in the world of elite collectors for centuries. Few, far between, but they existed. Fortunately for gem aficionados, similarly naturally colored sapphires have been turing up in places outside Sri Lanka, in places like Madagascar, Tanzania and Vietnam. 

American Gemological Laboratories reports, "the duPont Padparascha’s size, 24.58 carats, places it in a class with very few gem quality padparadschas from any source."


This treat for the senses will gain a new owner soon, and continue creating its legacy for generations to come. Desirability, rarity, and durability--this stone has it in spades.

Update! This stunner found a buyer at Christie's Magnificent Jewels auction on December 8, 2020. The piece sold for $930,000 US. Congratulations to that collector!


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