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Cobalt Blue Spinel

mellowyellowgirl

Ideal_Rock
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May 17, 2014
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6,330
We share a brain! Once I chatted with Yvonne and she told me I'd never find a similar vibrancy to the melee in an over 2.5ct. stone (unless it's maybe a $$$ museum piece), I felt better. So now I can stop comparing them... and they're not that far off anyway. Yvonne said she walks the gem shows in Asia and never sees vivid cobalts in anything over smaller stones that are highly included and misshapen. In fact, her exact words about the crazy neon shades were, "that color doesn't even exist."

I saw this one below while browsing... my stone is larger, about the same clarity, and judging by the listing videos, equal or better color (no purple or color shifting). And I paid less. The cut on my stone leaves something to be desired though. Still, I think it's a really nice gem. Breathtaking? No. But he deserves some love.


Thank you for the advice!!

Lordy that is a lot of money for something that looks like an average sapphire. I mean it’s decent….. but it’s tiny and not particularly vivid. No one would look at it twice on the street. If they can even see it at all!
 
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Lordy that is a lot of money for something that looks like an average sapphire. I mean it’s decent….. but it’s tiny and not particularly vivid. No one would look at it twice on the street. If they can even see it at all!

One has to reeeeeeeally value the rarity of VN cobalt spinel to pay that ransom. :dance:
 
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Maybe it wasn't fair to photograph him on a rainy day at dusk. Sun was out today on my lunch break, and he was a lot more lively. He's growing on me. No lighting is going to improve the wonk, however. lol He looks like he's smirking at me. :twisted2:

thumbnail_Resized_20240705_173358_1720473334241 (1).jpg
 

Dreamer_D

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
26,338
I like the wonk! And one can only imagine it is cut that way for a reason. To use as much gem as possible in the cut. Which is a forgivable sin IMO when talking about such a luscious material.
 

cloud_less

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2022
Messages
322
Maybe it wasn't fair to photograph him on a rainy day at dusk. Sun was out today on my lunch break, and he was a lot more lively. He's growing on me. No lighting is going to improve the wonk, however. lol He looks like he's smirking at me. :twisted2:

thumbnail_Resized_20240705_173358_1720473334241 (1).jpg

I think the appeal of blue spinel (vs sapphire) is its crispy fire and brilliance as shown here!
 

Treflo

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 9, 2024
Messages
29
Maybe it wasn't fair to photograph him on a rainy day at dusk. Sun was out today on my lunch break, and he was a lot more lively. He's growing on me. No lighting is going to improve the wonk, however. lol He looks like he's smirking at me. :twisted2:

thumbnail_Resized_20240705_173358_1720473334241 (1).jpg

Such a beautiful stone! I hope this doesn't come off the wrong way -- it's intended as a compliment! -- but I could see "the wonk" right away and it made me think of a Picasso painting. Something in a cubist or slightly surrealist vein. Great art can be "wonky" :)
 

Avondale

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
Messages
1,141
No lighting is going to improve the wonk, however.

It was here on PS that I read the advice that one should not pass on beautiful colour for such minor things as off-centre culets or slightly wonky cuts. In this particular case, I agree. You have beautiful, vibrant colour without windows, without extinction. It's allowed for the wonky cut to be an afterthought.
 

budmanbudman10

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
82
I also love the wonk! It may help to know that spinels cut from the classic octahedron shape often have an off-center cutlet to save as much material as possible. Which means this gorgeous faceted stone was most likely once a gorgeous crystalline blue spinel octahedron and the cutter worked with the natural crystal habit to lose as little as possible :) If only all cutters took before photos ;-)
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Oct 19, 2013
Messages
5,601
No lighting is going to improve the wonk, however.

I hope I haven’t accentuated a small quirk into a bigger one
with my cut issue questions from your comments, and asking further about the girdle.

Your stone is cut with both beauty and material preservation in mind.

There’s been a few setting projects here over the years for stones with uneven girdles and off kilter table facet that once set, keeping the stone look straight meant the setting (prongs) looking wonky, or keeping the setting looking straight, meant the stone itself looked unsecure/askew. That’s where my brain went first. So my apologies on sounding negative picky uppity that wasn’t my intent at all.

And multi shaped diamond halo, you say?!?!? :love:
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
12,831
Maybe it wasn't fair to photograph him on a rainy day at dusk. Sun was out today on my lunch break, and he was a lot more lively. He's growing on me. No lighting is going to improve the wonk, however. lol He looks like he's smirking at me. :twisted2:

thumbnail_Resized_20240705_173358_1720473334241 (1).jpg

Hey, any stone that smirks is well worth keeping! Plus his color and wonky cutting actually make him look fancy...he has reason to smirk!
 
Joined
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Messages
4,740
Such a beautiful stone! I hope this doesn't come off the wrong way -- it's intended as a compliment! -- but I could see "the wonk" right away and it made me think of a Picasso painting. Something in a cubist or slightly surrealist vein. Great art can be "wonky" :)

I love this... he IS a Picasso!! :lol:
 
Joined
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Messages
4,740
I like the wonk! And one can only imagine it is cut that way for a reason. To use as much gem as possible in the cut. Which is a forgivable sin IMO when talking about such a luscious material.

I agree... I've tried to stop looking at these types of native cuts as failures and instead thinking that this may have been the best a local lap could do with the crystal he/she was given. I'm sure orienting the inclusions was difficult in and of itself!

I think the appeal of blue spinel (vs sapphire) is its crispy fire and brilliance as shown here!

That's a fun way to look at it! Thank you!!
 
Joined
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Messages
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It was here on PS that I read the advice that one should not pass on beautiful colour for such minor things as off-centre culets or slightly wonky cuts. In this particular case, I agree. You have beautiful, vibrant colour without windows, without extinction. It's allowed for the wonky cut to be an afterthought.

Somehow the stone manages to not have a window or terrible extinction, which I find incredible. Literally everything about the cut is off. I love your positive and realistic approach to evaluating it, so thank you for that! Today was my last day to return it, so he'd better keep growing on me. lol
 
Joined
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Messages
4,740
I also love the wonk! It may help to know that spinels cut from the classic octahedron shape often have an off-center cutlet to save as much material as possible. Which means this gorgeous faceted stone was most likely once a gorgeous crystalline blue spinel octahedron and the cutter worked with the natural crystal habit to lose as little as possible :) If only all cutters took before photos ;-)

I so appreciate this insight! It makes a lot of sense too. There's a vendor called "The Rare Gemstone Company." They are based in Kenya (as they specialize in African garnet), but I believe the owner is Greek, if I'm not mistaken. Anyway, they provide photos of the raw crystal for nearly all of their stones. Isn't that cool?!
 
Joined
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Messages
4,740
I hope I haven’t accentuated a small quirk into a bigger one
with my cut issue questions from your comments, and asking further about the girdle.

Your stone is cut with both beauty and material preservation in mind.

There’s been a few setting projects here over the years for stones with uneven girdles and off kilter table facet that once set, keeping the stone look straight meant the setting (prongs) looking wonky, or keeping the setting looking straight, meant the stone itself looked unsecure/askew. That’s where my brain went first. So my apologies on sounding negative picky uppity that wasn’t my intent at all.

And multi shaped diamond halo, you say?!?!? :love:

No, no! I didn't take it that way at all!! I was so appreciative of the fact that you took the time to be so thoughtful in your response and very apt questions. It gave me a lot of food for thought. And listen, the cut is... what it is. No sense in me wanting anyone tap dance around it. In truth, I wanted to make sure I loved the color so I could tolerate the cut. lol Thank you for all of your very helpful input... and that goes for everyone else too!!
 
Joined
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Hey, any stone that smirks is well worth keeping! Plus his color and wonky cutting actually make him look fancy...he has reason to smirk!

lol Thank you for that! So then maybe I'll just look at it like his crooked smile is simply part of his charm.
nerd.gif


Inken did give me some reassurance too today, which definitely helps (because I really trust her eye). She gave a firm "you won't do any better in that size for that price." In other words, I might be able to improve the cut, but I would in turn likely have a less saturated or darker gem. Or I might be able to improve the color, but I'll have a stone half the size. And since I maxed out my budget for this guy... that's going to have to be good enough for me. lol
 

CBianco

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2021
Messages
628
The cut doesn't look too bad from your pictures! It doesn't have a window, which I've found bothers me personally the most regarding cut. My 2ct pink spinel in my new ring also has an off centered culet, thick girdle with even a few naturals on there (not visible face up), and overly deep. But the color swoons and that is the most important. I actually appreciate these flaws a little as they remind me it's a natural gem that is cut from rare material and not a "perfect" lab stone which can be limitlessly produced. But as long as it doesn't have a big window that is:lol-2:
 

Dreamer_D

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
26,338
I understand how we want a perfect cut, symmetric and all that. But the cut on this one looks great to me! Color is fantastic (so the cutter judged the depth well) great edge to edge brightness and no window (so the faceting is well placed), pleasing pattern. I dunno. Seems a waste to be too critical!

I know you are an old hand but this conversation is making me think about my own growth in how I think about cut in antique diamonds. And color and inclusions too. I am far more forgiving of all those things than I used to be. There are some unforgivables. I am not very tolerate of shallow stones or ones with nail head or fish eye. But beyond that I am accepting of so much now. I just think about how dang rare they are! And only getting more rare. I think some similar considerations apply to the types of gems you collect. Rare and getting rarer, cutters making choices to preserve material. I love these little treasures.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
5,172
We share a brain! Once I chatted with Yvonne and she told me I'd never find a similar vibrancy to the melee in an over 2.5ct. stone (unless it's maybe a $$$ museum piece), I felt better. So now I can stop comparing them... and they're not that far off anyway. Yvonne said she walks the gem shows in Asia and never sees vivid cobalts in anything over smaller stones that are highly included and misshapen. In fact, her exact words about the crazy neon shades were, "that color doesn't even exist."

I saw this one below while browsing... my stone is larger, about the same clarity, and judging by the listing videos, equal or better color (no purple or color shifting). And I paid less. The cut on my stone leaves something to be desired though. Still, I think it's a really nice gem. Breathtaking? No. But he deserves some love.


Thank you for the advice!!

Glad you are coming around to love the stone. It is beautiful even if not neon. Is this destined for a ring project, a necklace project, or a bracelet? I don't find it that wonky in perfunctory glances at the pictures, but if a gem felt wonky to be irl, I'd be more inclined to set it into a ring because it's less scrutinized.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
4,740
The cut doesn't look too bad from your pictures! It doesn't have a window, which I've found bothers me personally the most regarding cut. My 2ct pink spinel in my new ring also has an off centered culet, thick girdle with even a few naturals on there (not visible face up), and overly deep. But the color swoons and that is the most important. I actually appreciate these flaws a little as they remind me it's a natural gem that is cut from rare material and not a "perfect" lab stone which can be limitlessly produced. But as long as it doesn't have a big window that is:lol-2:

Same! I can put up with other cutting defects if there's no window (or significant extinction). :cool2:
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
4,740
I understand how we want a perfect cut, symmetric and all that. But the cut on this one looks great to me! Color is fantastic (so the cutter judged the depth well) great edge to edge brightness and no window (so the faceting is well placed), pleasing pattern. I dunno. Seems a waste to be too critical!

I know you are an old hand but this conversation is making me think about my own growth in how I think about cut in antique diamonds. And color and inclusions too. I am far more forgiving of all those things than I used to be. There are some unforgivables. I am not very tolerate of shallow stones or ones with nail head or fish eye. But beyond that I am accepting of so much now. I just think about how dang rare they are! And only getting more rare. I think some similar considerations apply to the types of gems you collect. Rare and getting rarer, cutters making choices to preserve material. I love these little treasures.

I feel like this post should be pinned! We see so many exceptional gems here, that I think we have a pretty high standard. And that's a good thing, but it's also refreshing to step back and remember we're all doing the best we can within our budgets. Translation: Most stones will be flawed to some degree, but that doesn't mean we can't appreciate their enduring and rare beauty. :) Like people! hee hee
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
4,740
Glad you are coming around to love the stone. It is beautiful even if not neon. Is this destined for a ring project, a necklace project, or a bracelet? I don't find it that wonky in perfunctory glances at the pictures, but if a gem felt wonky to be irl, I'd be more inclined to set it into a ring because it's less scrutinized.

Yes, he'll be going into a ring! I already have the design worked out. I'm thinking a paraiba halo surrounded by a chunkier diamond cluster. He needs a little zhuzhing.
thum12.gif
 

Mrsz1ppy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
1,331
Just a thought, but a moonstone halo might work really well with this stone. Love your journey and think you did well on the stone.
 
Joined
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Messages
4,740
Just a thought, but a moonstone halo might work really well with this stone. Love your journey and think you did well on the stone.

Ooooo like blue flash material? That sounds lovely. I wonder if Yvonne carries them. :think: Thank you for the lovely suggestion!!
 
Joined
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Messages
4,740
Moonstone cab with that cobalt melee
:love:

I sort of like the idea of having 2 rings that are the inverse of one another. lol I thought briefly about using the cobalt melee with the red spinel and then red spinel melee with the cobalt.
kissy1.gif
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
4,740
What I did with mine from Yvonne.

IMG_8660.jpeg

I forgot we both bought cobalt melee from Yvonne! Were yours the Vietnamese or Tanzanian material? They're lovely... and you did both the spinel and moonstone justice with this unique design. It almost reminds me of a ribbon, which I love!!
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
5,172
Yes, he'll be going into a ring! I already have the design worked out. I'm thinking a paraiba halo surrounded by a chunkier diamond cluster. He needs a little zhuzhing.
thum12.gif

:o That would be divine! I'm mentally drooling thinking about it.
 
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