Welcome to AGTA GTC's Laboratory Update for July 12, 2005

In this message

  1. Padparadscha Fetches Pretty Price
  2. Meet our Staff: Judy Chia
  3. The AGTA GTC Portable Testing Facility in Las Vegas
  4. AGTA GTC at the JA New York Summer Show

Current turnaround time at the AGTA GTC
5–7 Business Days

Padparadscha fetches pretty price

Om mani padme hum –
Hail the jewel in the heart of the lotus

—Buddhist mantra

At Christie’s New York’s June 7th sale, a magnificent 20.84-carat padparadscha sapphire fetched a pretty price, a stunning $374,400 ($18,000 per carat). Mounted in a ring by Henry Dunay, this sale is further evidence of the increasing demand for high-quality untreated gemstones.

Figure 1. Simply magnificent
This 20.84-carat padparadscha sapphire recently fetched $18,000/ct. at auction. Photo © 2005 Christie’s Images Ltd; used with permission

Figure 2. A marriage made in heaven
The ideal color of a padparadscha has been described by some as the marriage between a lotus flower and a sunset, each shown above. Photos © Richard W. Hughes/RWH Publishing & Books

Padparadscha sapphire is a special variety of gem corundum, featuring a color that is a mixture of pink and orange - a marriage between ruby and yellow sapphire. The term is derived from the Sanskrit/Singhalese padmaraga, a color akin to the lotus flower. Some define the gem's color as a blend of lotus and sunset. It is among the most beautiful and valuable of the corundum gems. Prices for padparadschas vary greatly according to size and quality. At the top end, they may reach as much as US$30,000 per carat.
     The original locality for padparadscha was Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Fine stones have also been found in Vietnam's Quy Chau district, Tanzania's Tunduru district, and Madagascar. Stones from these latter three areas are sometimes heat-treated.

The LMHC and Padparadscha
From June 16-18, 2005, members of the Laboratory Manual Harmonization Committee (LMHC) met in Milan, Italy to consider a standardized definition of padparadscha. The LMHC consists of seven of the world's major laboratories. They include the AGTA Gemological Testing Center, CISGEM (Milan), GAAJ (Japan), GIA (USA), Gemological Institute of Thailand, Gübelin Gem Lab (Switzerland) and SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute (Switzerland). For several years now, representatives of these laboratories have met to discuss the harmonization of identification procedures and wording on gemstone reports (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Members of the LMHC discussing the padparadscha issue
From left to right: Christopher P. Smith (GIA New York), Franck Notari (GIA Geneva), Pornsawat Wathanakul (GIT), Jean-Pierre Chalain (SSEF), Daniel Nyfeler (Gübelin Gemlab), Dr. Lore Kiefert (AGTA GTC), Ahmadjan Ai Abduriyim (GAAJ), Dr. Margherita Superchi (CISGEM), Dr. Elena Gambini (CISGEM). Photo courtesy of Dr. Antonello Donini (CISGEM).

Figure 4. Connecting the plots
Daniel Nyfeler of the Gübelin Gemlab comparing various master stones against the Franck Notari Padparadscha Color Chart. Photo courtesy of Dr. Antonello Donini (CISGEM).


Meet our Staff: Judy Chia – Senior Administrator
Judy Chia was born and raised in Myanmar (Burma) and came to the US in 1991. From 1995–1998 Judy worked in the customer relations department of Aries Diamond. Her friendly manner in dealing with customers brought her to the attention of an astute AGTA member, who suggested she join the staff of the AGTA GTC.
    Judy has been with AGTA GTC administrative team since August 1999 and now holds the title of Senior Administrator. She is experienced in all facets of our Control Room procedures, including shipping and receiving, tracking status and follow-up on in-house accounts. She is detail oriented and efficient, which allows her to keep on top of production, providing the team with the latest output figures.
    Judy’s many years of experience allow her to provide our clients with the best of service. Exceptional service is the key to our success and she always delivers that with a smile. Judy exemplifies everything we strive for.

The AGTA GTC Portable Testing Facility in Las Vegas
At the recent JCK Show in Las Vegas, the AGTA GTC Portable Testing Facility was in full operation. A wide range of services was offered and most gems were tested in 24 hours or less. The AGTA GTC Portable Testing will also be available at the 2006 AGTA GemFair Tucson.

The AGTA GTC’s Shwewar Yee taking in gems at the 2005 Las Vegas JCK Show.

Richard Hughes checking a gem at the AGTA GTC’s mobile testing facility at the 2005 JCK show.

AGTA GTC at the JA New York Summer Show
During the upcoming JA New York Summer Show (July 31st to August 3rd), members of the AGTA GTC will be present at the AGTA booth (#1182). The AGTA GTC staff will visit clients at their booths to discuss their needs and expectations. From July 31st to August 3rd, the AGTA GTC will have extended office hours for intake and pick-up of gemstones in our laboratory, so you can submit and receive your gemstones within 24 hours.
     But even better than submitting gemstones during the JA New York Summer Show, is to submit them to the AGTA GTC in advance. By doing so, you'll have the gemstones in your showcase, ready for sale with reports. Gemstones submitted by Tuesday, July 26th, will be returned to you prior to opening day (July 31st).

The AGTA Gemological Testing Center provides the industry and the public with a complete range of lab services, including gemstone identification, origin determination and pearl identification. Located in New York City, the laboratory is equipped with the latest, technologically advanced, investigative equipment.The AGTA GTC is committed to providing excellent service, superior value and outstanding quality. A complete list of services and detailed pricing information is available on our website, www.agta-gtc.org. Please contact us with any questions.


American Gem Trade Assocation Gemological Testing Center
18 East 48th St., Suite 502
New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: 212-752-1717; Fax: 212-750-0930
E-Mail: info@agta-gtc.org; Web: www.agta-gtc.org
© 1999–2005 American Gem Trade Assocation Gemological Testing Center. All rights reserved. Users may download this information for their own private, non-commercial use. Any other reproduction of this document (text or graphics) without the express written consent of the AGTA GTC is strictly prohibited.
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