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Red Spinel prices - 2019 edition

Discussion in 'Colored Gemstones' started by VividRed, May 19, 2019.

  1. VividRed
    Shiny_Rock

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    by VividRed » May 19, 2019
    Good evening all!

    In my search for ruby I have, thanks to the awesome advice received from this community, been shown some red spinels as cheaper and possibly better alternatives. I’ve read a bit about it but know very little about the spinel trade.

    There was a threat on red spinel pricing dating back 2012 but the prices I see online today are way higher than those suggested then and there.

    So I thought to create a new one, hopefully more relevant for the gem collector of 2019.

    I saw a few that really struck me, here they are:

    - 3.05 carats from National Gemstones. Top color incl. full AGL report: http://www.preciousgemstones.com/305buspfs.html

    - 3.44 ct. also from National Gemstones. Similar color (a bit less red but better clarity) and AGL report: http://www.preciousgemstones.com/344buspfs.html

    - 1.59 ct. from FineWater Gems. I saw more pictures + video from Gary and it looks incredible: https://www.finewatergems.com/store/p287/1.59_ct_Burmese_Red_Spinel.html

    They are all superb and in the 3-5k per ct. price range. Surely there is cheaper stuff out there but of lower quality I presume. Is this the new standard for fine red Spinel? Vlad from Ivy New York has a few but the similarly or higher priced ones look pink to me :(

    Looking forward to hear your thoughts and experiences!

    Best,
    VRed
     
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  2. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 19, 2019
    Gary’s stone looks more orange and less saturated in the hand picture. Is there a video? It looks more pink in the studio shots, which is odd. I’m not sure how accurate his photography is??? Maybe someone can comment on that.

    The other two stones are considered orange red. In my experience, orange is a less desirable modifier than pink.

    Yes, it seems spinel prices are going through the roof even for material that isn’t considered top quality color.

    I can only imagine what a top quality pinkish red would go for.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  3. TreeScientist
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by TreeScientist » May 19, 2019
    Maybe it's just my eyes, but the stone from Gary looks pink/purple-red to me even in the hand shot (I don't see orange, but it could be differences in our monitors). The first two definitely look orange-red to me. In my novice opinion, the orange-red stones are overpriced. You can find stones with orange modifiers for much cheaper elsewhere (as TL mentioned, the stones with orange modifiers carry significantly lower premiums)

    Adamant has a nice ember red-orange spinel over 4 carats for around $1000/ct listed at the bottom of this page. Perhaps a little more orange than those first two stones, but still, it leads me to believe that those first two are not worth anywhere close to $5k/ct:
    https://www.adamantgems.com/spinel/

    But yes, the pure red/slightly purplish-red stones are going to come at a hefty price.
     
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  4. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 19, 2019
    Gary stone looks pink purple to me in the studio shots, orangey pink in the hand shot.
     
    


    


  5. TreeScientist
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by TreeScientist » May 19, 2019
    Just as an example of what pure reds are going for, here's a stone that is way out of everyone's budget, but fun to drool over. :) 7.20 carat GRS Vivid Red Tanzanian Spinel. About $7800/ct. This vendor used to be the Thai branch of Wild's.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Scintillat...973443?hash=item1caeb1d1c3:g:8yEAAOSwb39bIkDt

    OMG that color! That's about as pure red as you'll find in a spinel. I think I may see a hint of pink in a few of the photos? But that stone is RED.
     
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  6. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 19, 2019
    Maybe I’ve been looking at too many gems lately and I’m going color blind, but that looks like a Thai ruby to me. I prefer the red spinels that are more like Burma rubies, but to each their own. We all like what we like. There is also high value in the huge size of that stone and crystal.

    Thanks for posting it!! I bet it’s more beautiful in person.
     
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  7. TreeScientist
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by TreeScientist » May 19, 2019
    Old Thai rubies or the current crap? The Thai/Cambodian border region used to produce some very fine Rubies, but sadly, those mines haven't been worked for some time now. The rubies that currently come out of Thailand are mainly brick-red junk.

    Great read about the hunt for the last Thai ruby miners in the old mining regions :)
    http://www.ruby-sapphire.com/thai-ruby-the-last-thai-ruby-miner.htm
     
  8. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 19, 2019
    No I mean a very very good Thai Ruby, excellent quality of course. That is still a very beautiful stone you posted!!

    Since we were getting into the subject of high prices, we’re delving into the discussion of top quality red. It can be subjective at times. I’m super picky about red stones.
     
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  9. TreeScientist
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by TreeScientist » May 19, 2019
    Ah, okay then. :) As you mentioned, it's personal preference. The old Thai/Cambodian Rubies were definitely more of a pure red, whereas Burmese have that hint of purple. I know most people prefer that purplish-red look (the hint of purple softens the red a bit) and the Burmese rubies definitely carry a premium on the market. But if you want RED, like, super-duper red, then you can't get much more pure red then old Thai/Cambodian stones.
     
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  10. Nick_G
    Rough_Rock

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  11. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 19, 2019
    6F9DA971-6FD9-40F1-99C2-807C9B5A21A0.jpeg @TreeScientist
    I guess I like a bit of blue and pink in my red gems, not so much, because it can be too purple. Fine Burma rubies are more like this. Thank you for explaining the color nuances of Thai vs Burmese gems.

    I love this color spinel, no extinction and slightly pink. The cutting isn’t that great, but I love the color.
     
  12. VividRed
    Shiny_Rock

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    by VividRed » May 19, 2019
    @TreeScientist that thing is mighty and for 20% less I would see it as long term hedge. A large stone like that in that type of red (perhaps a hint too dark for me but still incredible) cannot depreciate much.

    @T L I was thinking the same - orange in the hand shots. Gary sent me a video and an additional picture (here below, the one on the right end). That spinel just glows, and the pink you see is, I think, fluorescence. No orange to be seen...either way I find it very beautiful!

    C1AEB1B1-C9CA-437E-B722-2606755B0A36.jpeg


    Re the larger ones from Robert - I think they are highly proced because of the high red/orange component (95%!) but perhaps the orange component, which ranges from 25 to 30% is too high?
     
  13. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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  14. TreeScientist
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by TreeScientist » May 19, 2019
    There's always room for bargaining... :whistle:
     
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  15. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 19, 2019
    Yes, the one all the way to the right is the finest of the three. At least Gary has a fabulous return policy and there’s never any worries ordering a stone from him. He’s highly reputable.

    Super orangey saturated red spinels are known as “flame spinels”’and they’re highly prized.

    I would have a heart attack holding all three of those loose several feet off the ground!!
     
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  16. VividRed
    Shiny_Rock

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    by VividRed » May 19, 2019
    Wow! do you know if this spinel is for sale? I can’t find it on his website :(
     
  17. vik84
    Rough_Rock

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    by vik84 » May 19, 2019
    I buy often from Robert (owner of National Gemstones), his stones usually have much better color and brilliancy. He also avoids stones with extinction so his spinels will not have that problem. Also, try seeing the stones under a black light for red fluorescence, that's a very distinctive feature of Burmese stones and hence comes with a price premium.
     
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  18. VividRed
    Shiny_Rock

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    by VividRed » May 19, 2019
    Honestly it’s a magnificent stone and if I wanted to invest seriously in gems - if any such thing really exists - I would only buy large, top colored stones. Like this one, at the right price...

    I might be wrong but my sense is that any small stone, if paid at retail price, can only be sold at a loss unless you have contacts or are in the business, regardless of your time horizon.
     
  19. VividRed
    Shiny_Rock

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    by VividRed » May 19, 2019
    Thanks for your input. I do believe Robert only sells high quality stones and almost exclusively with an AGL report, which says a lot and speaks for itself.

    Prices are all over the place, it’s such a mess. Rubies are a nightmare already but Spinel seems quite complicated too - I guess it’s a smaller market, which does not help.
     
  20. vik84
    Rough_Rock

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    by vik84 » May 19, 2019
    It also comes down to the colors you want to collect and your purpose. Spinel has been steadily rising in price over the years but not as sharply as unheated ruby prices. If you're just looking to buy for personal use, spinel is the more accessible stone as of now. What do you think about this color ? It's a Mogok spinel from another Thai dealer that I've bought stones from.

    pic2.png pic1.png
     
  21. VividRed
    Shiny_Rock

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    by VividRed » May 19, 2019
    For the time being I buy only for my pleasure. Investing in gemstone is a topic for the next decade :)

    This spinel, I love it - can’t see any modifier but it could be my screen! What is its size and is it for sale?
     
  22. vik84
    Rough_Rock

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  23. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 19, 2019
    Message Vlad, if not, he may have another like it.
     
  24. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 19, 2019
    I don’t think there’s such a thing as a pure red spinel, they’re either more orange or pink/purple, at least to me, and I say that is more orange. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pure red spinel, the closest is probably a Jedi spinel. I have, on the other hand, seen a pure red freshly painted fire hydrant! Lol! It was so red, it hurt my eyes! Lol, but then again, vivid color is surreal and almost fake looking.

    Also, in red gems, be careful of too many areas of extinction or dark spots. Thai rubies are typical of this, not all, but many, even nice ones.
     
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  25. arkieb1
    Ideal_Rock

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    by arkieb1 » May 19, 2019
    I agree with TL the red spinels I have are usually fire engine red so with a slight hint of orangey red but still look bright red or the Burmese material including Jedi reds tend to be pinky reds.

    The most affordable bright vivid red spinels IMOH these days are from Vietnam (they are just starting to become pricey but can have the same beautiful vivid colours as the Burmese material), new Mahenge you can no longer get because the Govt there has closed the mines and restricted miners and dealers with licences taking it out of the country driving prices up even more than they were, and the Namya mines are in the middle of a conflict zone and haven't been producing much, the Man Sin mines and the rest of Burma do offer some reds but again reds are difficult to find in decent colours and excessive in pricing. The biggest and best stones tend to be sold directly to the Asian market and don't even come up for sale anywhere where you can buy them unless you go to some of the top gemshows like the ones in Hong Kong, Tucson and Europe. And at most high end gem shows the good stuff is top $$$$s

    These guys usually have beautiful stones but you pay a premium for that;

    https://yavorskyy.com/collections/red-spinel/products/red-spinel-1-50-cts

    https://www.gemsbynomads.com/

    https://www.paulwild.com/
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  26. voce
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by voce » May 19, 2019
    I have bought a spinel from Tanzania through Litnon that I would say is a pure red. Though vivid red, it doesn't glow and gets dark in dim light. I think pure red spinels exist, but a lot of vendors stock the more fluorescent ones that aren't pure colors because the orange or purple modifiers look better across a range of light settings. The most sought after color in spinels is a saturated pinkish-red, not just a pure vivid red.
     
  27. arkieb1
    Ideal_Rock

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    by arkieb1 » May 19, 2019
    Yes the pure ruby red ones exist but they tend to be slightly darker than the brighter more glowing orange and pink based (and we are talking slight here) ones....
     
  28. Volvoqueen
    Rough_Rock

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    by Volvoqueen » May 20, 2019
    I am so glad I found this thread. I too am obsessed with Jedi Spinels, but am fearful of trying to get a true pink red (no orange) Jedi that seem to glow with an inner light (or force if you will).

    My question to any who many know, where or who would I inquire about a Jedi Spinel melee? 3mm range? I've seen smaller stones that are washed out which I want to avoid. I know there are beautifully saturated melees out there...some where.
     
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  29. arkieb1
    Ideal_Rock

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    by arkieb1 » May 20, 2019
    What you are looking for looks like;

    https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/667...lee&ref=sr_gallery-1-8&organic_search_click=1

    However, the Burmese guys explained it to me like this, you are never going to get really super duper hot pink melee stones that are round, tiny cushions maybe but when you cut a round in Jedi or anything neon unless you get someone like Richard Holmer that can concave cut rounds and any shape that is flat always appear less saturated than say cushions ovals and various other cuts. Deeper stones show far more depth of colour. For that reason they rarely cut larger stones in the neon material in rounds and the tiny melee are never as bright (from the same material) as the larger stone that might have been cut as say a cushion or something else.

    Don't get me wrong you can still find stones that are small and nice the more saturated stuff just tends to be other shapes not rounds......that is the advice from the dealers and cutters and also my personal observation as well.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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  30. VividRed
    Shiny_Rock

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    by VividRed » May 20, 2019
    Thank you @T L , I inquired and they already replied. It makes the 7 ct. Mahenge spinel posted by @TreeScientist look cheap - total price that is, not per carat :shock:

    In another life maybe :D
     
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