A Royal Engagement
There will be two special weddings this year in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The spotlight will certainly be on Prince Harry and Meghan Merkle on May 19th but also of interest to royal watchers will be the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on Friday October 12th.
The announcement of their engagement, in January, created a lot of interest among the gem trade and collectors of rare stones alike. Unlike other royal engagement rings which have traditionally included diamonds, sapphires and rubies, theirs was of an extremely rare variety of sapphire known as padparadscha.
The name comes from the Sinhalese word for lotus flower and is pronounced pad-par-ad-shah
The colour is a gorgeous cocktail of pink and orange like the flower itself. Every stone is unique. The Sinhalese people are the largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka, where most Padparadscha sapphires are found. Stones have also been discovered in East Africa and Madagascar.
It is certainly the rarest variety of sapphire and when good gems reach the market they are quickly snapped up by those in the know.
The beauty of the gem is also in the particular way its colour varies from different angles. It was this that Jack Brooksbank felt it was appropriate foe Eugenie. Their special moment was at sunset on the side of a volcano in Nicaragua when the sky must have also been full of pink and orange.
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