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Lavender spinel

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Jan 20, 2012
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4,750
Hello all,

Maybe about 5 years ago, I attempted, in earnest, to source a lavender spinel. It didn't seem to matter how much I spent or from whom I purchased the material, the stone would look great in photos, videos, and indoors. But as soon as we ventured into natural light, she'd become a corpse. I just could not find a stone that did not gray out and become "steely" in daylight. So I started thinking that was just the nature of the beast and gave up. I ultimately went with a "periwinkle" sapphire instead, and called it a day.

Flash forward to the past week, and a dealer friend found a stone from Vietnam that she felt was noteworthy. It's around 2.5ct., eye clean, and supposedly has no gray in daylight. I also wanted a pear shape (for a specific design I was planning), so that's an added bonus. It comes with a Lotus cert. But the price! I'm not one to show sticker shock, but I am without a doubt feeling it here. Would I be a lunatic to pay $8,500 for this gem? Are people really paying these prices for a light purple spinel under 3ct.?
oh%20thwap.gif


Autumn

P.S. This is not the dealer's pricing. It's a non-negotiable price she was quoted from her Bangkok connection, plus her usual finder's fee. So she has no control over it.

icm_fullxfull.646718793_ns4n321xba8kwskk44wc.jpg
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
998
Hello all,

Maybe about 5 years ago, I attempted, in earnest, to source a lavender spinel. It didn't seem to matter how much I spent or from whom I purchased the material, the stone would look great in photos, videos, and indoors. But as soon as we ventured into natural light, she'd become a corpse. I just could not find a stone that did not gray out and become "steely" in daylight. So I started thinking that was just the nature of the beast and gave up. I ultimately went with a "periwinkle" sapphire instead, and called it a day.

Flash forward to the past week, and a dealer friend found a stone from Vietnam that she felt was noteworthy. It's around 2.5ct., eye clean, and supposedly has no gray in daylight. I also wanted a pear shape (for a specific design I was planning), so that's an added bonus. It comes with a Lotus cert. But the price! I'm not one to show sticker shock, but I am without a doubt feeling it here. Would I be a lunatic to pay $8,500 for this gem? Are people really paying these prices for a light purple spinel under 3ct.?
oh%20thwap.gif


Autumn

P.S. This is not the dealer's pricing. It's a non-negotiable price she was quoted from her Bangkok connection, plus her usual finder's fee. So she has no control over it.

icm_fullxfull.646718793_ns4n321xba8kwskk44wc.jpg

I know we've had our differences in the past, but please, no way pay $8500.00 for that Spinel.

A good western dealer should have one of similiar to more intense color (depends on what you like) and carat weight for $1000.00 to $2000.00. But pears are not the most common cut for Spinel.

Again, please do not pay that amount. That amounts to full Brick and Mortar high end retail.
 
Joined
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Messages
4,750
I know we've had our differences in the past, but please, no way pay $8500.00 for that Spinel.

A good western dealer should have one of similiar to more intense color (depends on what you like) for $1000.00 to $2000.00. But pears are not the most common cut for Spinel.

Again, please do not pay that amount. That amounts to full Brick and Mortar high end retail.

I agree, Fred. But it's been over 5 years (more than that if we count casual browsing), and I just can't find one.
sinks.gif
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Messages
998
I agree, Fred. But it's been over 5 years (more than that if we count casual browsing), and I just can't find one.
sinks.gif

You may have to go with a different cut. One bad thing about Vietnam Spinel is many are poorly cut, but there are good cut ones too. You may not have perfect proportions, but the sparkle factor would be there. A nice, elongated cushion maybe or even an oval?
 
Joined
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Messages
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You may have to go with a different cut. One bad thing about Vietnam Spinel is many are poorly cut, but there are good cut ones too. You may not have perfect proportions, but the sparkle factor would be there. A nice, elongated cushion maybe or even an oval?

I should clarify that I never requested a specific shape. This one just ended up being a pear, which is (unfortunately) increasing my temptation. Yes, lots of poor cutting, terrible clarity, and many seem to be under 2ct.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
25,225
Wow!! Im In sticker shock too!! I know Vietnam has a premium, since so many vibrant spinels come from there, but I’ve seen spinels like that from Tanzania and Sri Lanka.

Also, it’s nearing 3 carats, and spinels tend to go up in value quite a bit near the three carat mark.

I don’t know what to tell you to do, but if you do get it, make sure it has a solid refund policy. I also hope you can purchase with a credit card for added protection .
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Messages
998
Wow!! Im In sticker shock too!! I know Vietnam has a premium, since so many vibrant spinels come from there, but I’ve seen spinels like that from Tanzania and Sri Lanka.

Also, it’s nearing 3 carats, and spinels tend to go up in value quite a bit near the three carat mark.

I don’t know what to tell you to do, but if you do get it, make sure it has a solid refund policy. I also hope you can purchase with a credit card for added protection .

But TL, there are almost 4 carat Spinels that color for under $4000.00.

Prices vary, but they are out there if one looks. Also, some might have been in stock a couple of years and are at old prices too as in the last year or so stones, especially Spinel and Tourmaline, have skyrocketed in price. It pays to look and not just at the same vendors all the time. Not saying you do but many do.

Please shop around.

One more thing, this Spinel seems to be a more periwinkle blue than lavender, but these stones almost always shift from a bluer under natural sunlight to a periwinkle blue to almost lavender under LED.

The stone above does have gray in it as gray is the major factor to a pastel color. Not putting down pastel colors as I love them, but they all have a gray component as the stone is desaturated in color.
 
Joined
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Messages
4,750
Wow!! Im In sticker shock too!! I know Vietnam has a premium, since so many vibrant spinels come from there, but I’ve seen spinels like that from Tanzania and Sri Lanka.

Also, it’s nearing 3 carats, and spinels tend to go up in value quite a bit near the three carat mark.

I don’t know what to tell you to do, but if you do get it, make sure it has a solid refund policy. I also hope you can purchase with a credit card for added protection .

Oh yes, the dealer I'd be buying it through is a beloved one here on PS. So I have a return/full refund assurance. But when I tell you this stone would have to knock my knee-highs off for me to be satisfied at this price... and I'm just not confident it would. I have a 10ct. amethyst for which I paid $99. It's the perfect saturated, medium lavender color that flashes blue and pink in daylight. It's sad that amethyst doesn't get much love nowadays. I adore all of its shades from the delicate rose de france tones all the way to those super deep Uruguayan stones.
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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I’d like to know where?

I could show you, but I really don't like to promote vendors as I try to be neutral whether I know them or not.

So, if you want to know then ask again.

I am in no way endorsing any vendor.

Just to make that clear.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
23,624
Oh yes, the dealer I'd be buying it through is a beloved one here on PS. So I have a return/full refund assurance. But when I tell you this stone would have to knock my knee-highs off for me to be satisfied at this price... and I'm just not confident it would. I have a 10ct. amethyst for which I paid $99. It's the perfect saturated, medium lavender color that flashes blue and pink in daylight. It's sad that amethyst doesn't get much love nowadays. I adore all of its shades from the delicate rose de france tones all the way to those super deep Uruguayan stones.

wow that's a lot of money Autumn
you could use some of that and set that amethyst, i would love to see a modern amethyst set into a beautiful setting
 

mellowyellowgirl

Ideal_Rock
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It looks too periwinkle to me Autumn.

If you compare it to lavender jadeite I feel it is not true lavender.

I would keep looking for a truer lavender unless you want to add a periwinkle to the collection.

OK I’ve just read you have a periwinkle sapphire.
 

ItsMainelyYou

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 27, 2014
Messages
4,993
Whoo, a bit too high, I've seen them around the 5-6k mark in the last year, which is still a pretty penny. They're charging top-top margin for that crystal.
There seems to be a renewed push as the Du Jour color lately.
Honestly, I don't know if people are, but I kind of doubt it.
Spinel is my favorite, though most people would just go buy a bigger sapphire for that scratch.
 

LilAlex

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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@Autumn in New England, you know a lot more than I do and have better taste than I do! That said, it seems like you are chasing a near-impossible hue in spinel that you could fairly readily get in sapphire. I love spinel but I love corundum more.

If you asked what I thought of that sapphire in the photo, I'd think it's pretty and fairly well saturated for the light tone and pulls a little violet-blue and has just a touch of gray. If an IG vendor posted that as a sapphire I would look twice but probably not check the price.

It may be lavender but on my monitor it looks mostly pale blue. (Maybe I struggle with what lavender means but we have some growing in our yard and it looks pinker/purpler.) I did not go down the RGB/HEX code rabbit hole but you can poke around with an eyedropper tool and see if it meets your definition.

I can't speak to price -- that may be a fair price for a rare bird. But this is a little bit why I struggle with the "use case" for blue spinel and red beryl (and others) when there are gemmier gems with better color.

Similar story: I searched quite a bit for a light gray spinel (to make a truly "monochromatic" ring in platinum) and could only find quite dark. Then I stumbled across a colorless pale gray sapphire and that was even better (although not in the step-cut I was looking for).
 

Dreamer_D

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
26,398
Everyone keeps saying prices are skyrocketing!
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
4,750
I could show you, but I really don't like to promote vendors as I try to be neutral whether I know them or not.

So, if you want to know then ask again.

I am in no way endorsing any vendor.

Just to make that clear.

Promote, promote!
wobble2.gif
I need some competition for this exorbitant little morsel.
 
Joined
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Messages
4,750
wow that's a lot of money Autumn
you could use some of that and set that amethyst, i would love to see a modern amethyst set into a beautiful setting

You guys are really helping abate my temptation! Just what I was hoping for!! I was expecting something around the $5k mark for this size, even in the finest lavender Luc Yen material. I thought the price was kind of crazy, so I'm glad everyone is in agreement. I feel like I might just set my humble $99 amethyst and be done with it. They're not rare like fine spinel, to be sure, have lower refraction, and maybe they're a little less hard. But the color is so beautiful and never, ever goes gray. She sparkles like crazy for quartz.

*That texture you're seeing is the faux leather reflecting from underneath. It's loupe clean and perfectly polished. The weight is 9ct., by the way, not 10ct. as I originally said.

Capture (1).jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
4,750
Whoo, a bit too high, I've seen them around the 5-6k mark in the last year, which is still a pretty penny. They're charging top-top margin for that crystal.
There seems to be a renewed push as the Du Jour color lately.
Honestly, I don't know if people are, but I kind of doubt it.
Spinel is my favorite, though most people would just go buy a bigger sapphire for that scratch.

I'm glad you said it! The reason jedi and cobalt spinel pulls $$$ is because the color is unique. I'm just not sure this color is special enough to warrant the price tag, regardless of how rare it may be.
 
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Messages
4,750
It looks too periwinkle to me Autumn.

If you compare it to lavender jadeite I feel it is not true lavender.

I would keep looking for a truer lavender unless you want to add a periwinkle to the collection.

OK I’ve just read you have a periwinkle sapphire.

Periwinkle is a favorite color for sure, but I'd really like a true lavender here, as you said. I have daylight vids where it looks much less blue, but I don't want to post them just yet, because they have the dealer's name attached. Honestly though, if the asking price were $5k, I would grab it without hesitation. And yes, I feel like fine jadeite has the very best lavender shade around!!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
4,750
@Autumn in New England, you know a lot more than I do and have better taste than I do! That said, it seems like you are chasing a near-impossible hue in spinel that you could fairly readily get in sapphire. I love spinel but I love corundum more.

If you asked what I thought of that sapphire in the photo, I'd think it's pretty and fairly well saturated for the light tone and pulls a little violet-blue and has just a touch of gray. If an IG vendor posted that as a sapphire I would look twice but probably not check the price.

It may be lavender but on my monitor it looks mostly pale blue. (Maybe I struggle with what lavender means but we have some growing in our yard and it looks pinker/purpler.) I did not go down the RGB/HEX code rabbit hole but you can poke around with an eyedropper tool and see if it meets your definition.

I can't speak to price -- that may be a fair price for a rare bird. But this is a little bit why I struggle with the "use case" for blue spinel and red beryl (and others) when there are gemmier gems with better color.

Similar story: I searched quite a bit for a light gray spinel (to make a truly "monochromatic" ring in platinum) and could only find quite dark. Then I stumbled across a colorless pale gray sapphire and that was even better (although not in the step-cut I was looking for).

This, this, this... I couldn't agree more!! And you have fabulous taste, stop.
paddle.gif
 
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Messages
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OK, so just looking at the photo, I was thinking "Now that's a lavender spinel I'd break the bank for!"

Should I just give this guy some love, and save my money for much needed landscaping (the yard is apocalyptic, but that's a story for another day)? I was going to do a sort of "snowflake" halo with him in rose gold (maybe).
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
998
Promote, promote!
wobble2.gif
I need some competition for this exorbitant little morsel.

Ok, you asked. I'm not endorsing this dealer one way or another but it looks like a very nice Spinel. It is a periwinkle blue in LED and goes more blue in sunlight, per vendor.

I do like to browse to keep up on things. One only has to look.

There are also several other nice violet, lavender Spinels here too if you look.

 

LilAlex

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
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Should I just give this guy some love, and save my money for much needed landscaping (the yard is apocalyptic, but that's a story for another day)? I was going to do a sort of "snowflake" halo with him in rose gold (maybe).

Such a good question! I struggle with amethyst, too. It was fit for royalty and now we are all spoiled since it's everywhere. Most that I see have a "watery" look and I'm not sure if that's because all the color is at the apex of the crystal and they are cut so this is the culet -- or if it's a RI thing? if it looks like your photo, then it deserves to be seen! Not sure I'd invest to give it the full-on Oscar Heyman hexagonal (or octagonal, as it's known here :cool2:) baguette picture-frame but it deserves some love!

I chased a few violet sapphires many years ago -- from eBay sellers including, I think, Peter Suchy. I confess that I spent some time trying to elicit from the seller whether or not they could be mistaken for an amethyst. I was looking for some reassurance that it was either redder or bluer, etc. So, yeah, bit of a snob. I know more now but there is a hint of (too strong a word but here goes) stigma.

While I was shopping that oxblood coral over on the other thread, the now-retired vendor also showed me a big ol' amethyst pendant with an octagonal cut, deep purple stone that must have been > 20 cts in a super-delicate YG basket and long inverted-wishbone bale. I think it had been priced at a few thousand and he would take a few hundred now. But, off-axis, the color would kinda slip away like a lot of amethyst. Hmmm...maybe I need to go back?
 
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Messages
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Ok, you asked. I'm not endorsing this dealer one way or another but it looks like a very nice Spinel. It is a periwinkle blue in LED and goes more blue in sunlight, per vendor.

I do like to browse to keep up on things. One only has to look.

There are also several other nice violet, lavender Spinels here too if you look.


This is a perfectly lovely stone, to be sure. But to me it's not really comparable material to the first. It's much more blue and less "crisp" than the other. My eyes see a lot of anticipatory gray (did I just coin that phrase?). Jim also says it's greenish with only a 2 saturation in certain lighting. I'm not knocking the stone... it's just not approaching Luc Yen lavender, IMO. But I do thank you for the suggestion. It was good to see some competition! And I still agree with you that the price of the first stone is exorbitant.

P.S. Ok, I know this is exactly what you wanted to avoid, but now I think you're Jim. lol
 
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Not sure I'd invest to give it the full-on Oscar Heyman hexagonal (or octagonal, as it's known here :cool2:) baguette picture-frame but it deserves some love!

This cracked me up!
topsy.gif


I struggle with amethyst, too. It was fit for royalty and now we are all spoiled since it's everywhere.

And not only is it so plentiful, but I also think all of the "created" citrine and prasiolite from low quality amethyst has hurt the market perception and value. My friend who is a technician at the GIA told me that most amethyst (in its purple form) is actually untreated. Some of the very dark material is sometimes heated to lighten it. But much of the light/medium Brazilian and deeper Uruguayan material is untreated. Labs won't certify either way, however.

While I was shopping that oxblood coral over on the other thread, the now-retired vendor also showed me a big ol' amethyst pendant with an octagonal cut, deep purple stone that must have been > 20 cts in a super-delicate YG basket and long inverted-wishbone bale. I think it had been priced at a few thousand and he would take a few hundred now. But, off-axis, the color would kinda slip away like a lot of amethyst. Hmmm...maybe I need to go back?

Did you ever end up grabbing that coral ring? And I feel like we also need to see that pendant now.
nod.gif
Yeah, I know what you mean about the color centers. The crystals are often cut very cleverly to disguise the zoning, so the color appears uniform through the table. Then the color desaturates as the stone is turned.
 

Dreamer_D

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
26,398
You have been looking for five years and prices are going up and we are all sitting here Pooh Poohing the price! This is silly. If you like the color and shape then that is the perfect price! It is what it costs to get what you love. Because there are no comparable - you’ve literally never found one — so like, this is just the price! It isn’t “too high” except against some fantasy gem that does not exist.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
23,624
This cracked me up!
topsy.gif




And not only is it so plentiful, but I also think all of the "created" citrine and prasiolite from low quality amethyst has hurt the market perception and value. My friend who is a technician at the GIA told me that most amethyst (in its purple form) is actually untreated. Some of the very dark material is sometimes heated to lighten it. But much of the light/medium Brazilian and deeper Uruguayan material is untreated. Labs won't certify either way, however.



Did you ever end up grabbing that coral ring? And I feel like we also need to see that pendant now.
nod.gif
Yeah, I know what you mean about the color centers. The crystals are often cut very cleverly to disguise the zoning, so the color appears uniform through the table. Then the color desaturates as the stone is turned.

very good question regarding @LilAlex and that coral ring
 

mellowyellowgirl

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 17, 2014
Messages
6,335
What are YOU feeling about it now Autumn?

I think price is a finicky thing. I’ve opted out of price conversations and have a “You do you” attitude to all pricing concerns. I’ve realised there are so many factors when it comes to pricing and what someone can tolerate, another person will not.

But do you LOVE the colour? That’s the most important thing. Do you feel you MUST have this stone/colour the collection?
 
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