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For those who know something about spinels, need help

iolitedreamer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
63
OK, I found a blue spinel online which I really like. I would post the site, but I am not sure if that is allowed here so I will just ask the general questions. It appears to have bubble like inclusions which seem like they would be visible to the naked eye. The stone is one and a half carats and is about 250 bucks. I am not sure if that is a good price or not. I also don't know if bubbles are characteristic usually in natural spinel. Of course, if I do intend on getting the stone I would like it to be real. Thank you in advance.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
23,251
iolitedreamer|1304186693|2908621 said:
OK, I found a blue spinel online which I really like. I would post the site, but I am not sure if that is allowed here so I will just ask the general questions. It appears to have bubble like inclusions which seem like they would be visible to the naked eye. The stone is one and a half carats and is about 250 bucks. I am not sure if that is a good price or not. I also don't know if bubbles are characteristic usually in natural spinel. Of course, if I do intend on getting the stone I would like it to be real. Thank you in advance.
The bubbles are actually small inclusions characteristic of spinels, so I always look for them when buying spinels, as there are a ton of undisclosed synthetic spinels out there on the market.

The price depends on the strength of the blue color, the tone, and the lack of grey, and the appearance of the color shift.

The lowest priced spinels tend to be more grey and/or very dark tones, which also inhibits saturation. If it has a pleasing color shift, that should be notable as well. You don't want it to look great in one light source, and lose significant saturation in another, which spinels are prone to do.

Many dealers try to sell blue spinels with the marketing phrase "cobalt blue." I wish I had a dime for how many dark grey spinels were deemed "cobalt blue" by unscrupulous sellers.
 

iolitedreamer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
63
Thank you TL. The stone itself is being sold by a lapidary site that sells natural gemstones and faceting equipment by a GIA gemologist.
If I do get it, it would be on a payment plan. So, I have contacted the seller and will ask questions based on the info you have provided one they get back with me. I appreciate the help. I know $250 is not a lot to some people but if we are going to spend even that much I want to make sure we are getting something nice. My hubby likes the stone and we want to get him a ring made too. Have a great weekend.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
TL|1304190271|2908640 said:
iolitedreamer|1304186693|2908621 said:
OK, I found a blue spinel online which I really like. I would post the site, but I am not sure if that is allowed here so I will just ask the general questions. It appears to have bubble like inclusions which seem like they would be visible to the naked eye. The stone is one and a half carats and is about 250 bucks. I am not sure if that is a good price or not. I also don't know if bubbles are characteristic usually in natural spinel. Of course, if I do intend on getting the stone I would like it to be real. Thank you in advance.
The bubbles are actually small inclusions characteristic of spinels, so I always look for them when buying spinels, as there are a ton of undisclosed synthetic spinels out there on the market.

The price depends on the strength of the blue color, the tone, and the lack of grey, and the appearance of the color shift.

The lowest priced spinels tend to be more grey and/or very dark tones, which also inhibits saturation. If it has a pleasing color shift, that should be notable as well. You don't want it to look great in one light source, and lose significant saturation in another, which spinels are prone to do.

Many dealers try to sell blue spinels with the marketing phrase "cobalt blue." I wish I had a dime for how many dark grey spinels were deemed "cobalt blue" by unscrupulous sellers.
They may well be telling the truth - it's pretty easy to tell if a stone contains cobalt as it has a very distinctive spectrum. Not all cobalt spinels look like THE cobalt spinels and most of the amazing blue spinels I've seen recently are coloured by iron and have no cobalt at all. So, whilst it may be a marketing phrase it doesn't necessarly mean that the vendor is being dishonest...
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
23,251
Pandora|1304363577|2910248 said:
They may well be telling the truth - it's pretty easy to tell if a stone contains cobalt as it has a very distinctive spectrum. Not all cobalt spinels look like THE cobalt spinels and most of the amazing blue spinels I've seen recently are coloured by iron and have no cobalt at all. So, whilst it may be a marketing phrase it doesn't necessarly mean that the vendor is being dishonest...
Actually, if the marketing term is "cobalt blue," it doesn't have to contain cobalt, and then it is a marketing term. Countless blue spinels with heavy grey masks are called "cobalt blue spinels" in order to deceive. Of course, not all dealers do this, but I have seen many dark, grey "cobalt blue" spinels, which is a bit disconcerting.

If the description is "cobalt spinel," then it has to contain cobalt, or the vendor is giving false information. Some cobalt spinels are not attractive at all, and like you said, some don't contain any cobalt, and are beautiful. Therefore, one should never buy a spinel just because it contains cobalt, but they should evaluate the color on it's own merits, regardless of the coloring agent (cobalt, iron, etc. . . )

I know one vendor who showed me some true cobalt spinels, and they were so dark and grey, that I was rather shocked.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I've seen far, far more horrible ones than nice. Even amongst cobalt containing spinels the true blues are rare.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
23,251
Pandora|1304375224|2910455 said:
I've seen far, far more horrible ones than nice. Even amongst cobalt containing spinels the true blues are rare.
A good blue spinel is hard to find, I agree.
 
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