In addition to heat treated stones, there are as well stones treated with beryllium diffusion. Poor quality sapphires are heated to extremely high temperatures near their melting point in the presence of beryllium, thus allowing the beryllium to penetrate the sapphire and trapping it within, giving the poor quality sapphire magnificent colors and mimicing a high quality padparadscha sapphire. Such treatments are called beryllium diffusion. Beryllium diffused padparadscha extremely hard to detect. However, they are normally low priced so that an unsuspecting buyer would find the price attractive, and mistake the fraud for a bargain. These frauds were discovered in the 1990s, when the sapphire market suddenly had an influx of padparadscha sapphires. The treatment was discovered, but many buyers were left cheated and frustrated.
Genuine padparadscha sapphires are found in Ceylon (Sri-Lanka). Some argue that the sapphires found in Madagascar are as well padparadscha sapphires, but they are more pink than orange. Regardless, they are beautiful as well and could be considered as an alternative to ceylon padparadscha sapphires because they are generally cheaper, despite being listed as genuine. In addition to sapphires found in Madagascar, Tanzania produces sapphires which some claim are padparadscha sapphires. On the other hand, most traders do not feel that they are genuine because their color is much darker than the genuine Ceylon padparadscha, the genuine Ceylon padparadscha being pinkish- orange rather than the brownish colors of the sapphires found in Tanzania. Like the padparadscha from Madagascar, the Tanzanian padparadscha is cheaper than a genuine ceylon padparadscha sapphire.
Another more affordable alternative to a natural padparadscha sapphire is a lab grown, cultured one. These are padparadscha sapphires which were grown in a lab and exhibit all of the characteristics of a ceylon padparadscha, but are lower priced because they are of artificial origin, similarly to farmed pearls.