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Red Spinel prices - 2019 edition

deorwine

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
324
OK, here's a pic of two spinel I have right now in incandescent light. (The top emerald cut stone is a lab ruby for color reference - I hope that's okay and I can try cropping it out if not, but I have no good ruby color reference otherwise.) The middle is a Burma spinel, not ideal color, not as nice as Gary's spinel but still fairly nice in the right light. The bottom is a tiny Mahenge old stock I'm looking at and 90% sure I'm keeping at this point (the 10% is, can I really justify paying for it...)
20190525_213103.jpg
The ruby is extremely red, more so than the picture makes it look. The Mahenge is nice and saturated - you can see it might be very very slightly more orange than the ruby (the camera's coloring is all a little off though and is not showing as much red in any of them). The middle stone... is definitely going brownish in this light.
 

deorwine

Shiny_Rock
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May 5, 2005
Messages
324
20190525_185805.jpg
This was taken in shaded late afternoon sunlight. The Burma is nice in this light. The Mahenge, though, in comparison! again though the camera isn't quite getting it right - the Mahenge is bright red rather than the red-pink it looks in the pic. But I think the comparison is interesting.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Some Mahenges are also silky, to the point where they’re sleepy, and almost translucent. However, there are some that have more microscopic silk, where they still sparkle, are transparent, but the color is more even throughout. There is no extinction and no dark spots, making for a very bright gem. No one ever discusses this silk, but I think it’s a beautiful attribute.
 

LisaRN

Ideal_Rock
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Some Mahenges are also silky, to the point where they’re sleepy, and almost translucent. However, there are some that have more microscopic silk, where they still sparkle, are transparent, but the color is more even throughout. There is no extinction and no dark spots, making for a very bright gem. No one ever discusses this silk, but I think it’s a beautiful attribute.
I like that TL makes the distinction on sleepy stones that sparkle and those that are more translucent. I have found that I only can appreciate silkiness in a stone if that stone still sparkles in all but the dimmest lighting conditions.
 

TreeScientist

Brilliant_Rock
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I like that TL makes the distinction on sleepy stones that sparkle and those that are more translucent. I have found that I only can appreciate silkiness in a stone if that stone still sparkles in all but the dimmest lighting conditions.
Yes, it's important to make the distinction between silky and sleepy. To me, "silky-type" is the sub-microscopic (Kashmir Sapphire-type) silk that reduces extinction but does not impair transparency to an appreciable extent, resulting in a stone with plenty of life and beautiful glow. "Sleepy-type" is any silk that reduces transparency and sucks the life out of a stone, and can actually make stones appear darker.

Silky-type silk is beautiful and, IMO, always a positive. Sleepy-type silk needs to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis, but is typically a negative. Unfortunately, most people have only seen stones with sleepy-type silk in person, so they always view silk as a negative.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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It's really hard to buy decent reds (spinels and rubies) these days, vendors are asking top $$$$s for them, but keep looking the ones you have in photos above are average reds they aren't really outstanding vivid reds..... which is what you should be after.
 

VividRed

Shiny_Rock
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Dec 25, 2018
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221
It's really hard to buy decent reds (spinels and rubies) these days, vendors are asking top $$$$s for them, but keep looking the ones you have in photos above are average reds they aren't really outstanding vivid reds..... which is what you should be after.
Ansolutely agree with you. And indeed prices are sky-high. And I am focussing on 1.5-2ct. so nothing crazy large...
 

Nick_G

Shiny_Rock
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Sep 7, 2018
Messages
136
I think spinel is finally getting the recognition it deserves as a gem in its own right, and not just as an inferior cousin to ruby & sapphire. This is why the prices are catching up with ruby.

And what about some of those cobalt blue spinels out of Luc Yen, Vietnam? Some of them are unreal!
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Ansolutely agree with you. And indeed prices are sky-high. And I am focussing on 1.5-2ct. so nothing crazy large...
Maybe focus on 1-2 carats. You may find a vivid stone around one carat, like your ruby, that is priced well, and you can’t resist. Too be honest, they start climbing in price over 1.5 carats from what I’ve seen.
 

VividRed

Shiny_Rock
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Dec 25, 2018
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Maybe focus on 1-2 carats. You may find a vivid stone around one carat, like your ruby, that is priced well, and you can’t resist. Too be honest, they start climbing in price over 1.5 carats from what I’ve seen.
Have you seen anything worthy anywhere? I’ll take you advice any day @T L :D
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Here’s an example of a beautiful little guy. I know nothing about this seller, but it shows you that fine color doesn’t have to be large to make an impact. I also like how the regular color doesn’t differ much from the UV color. Many of these “Jedi” spinels are only photographed in UV light, so you don’t see how beautiful they are without it.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx5IL36FdLX/?igshid=1li4cf0r8om6e
 

VividRed

Shiny_Rock
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D11688DE-4AAF-4BF5-AC90-8BFE4B5D38D5.png

Friends, what do you make of this?

1.72ct. Supposedly neon pinkish red spinel from Mansin. Asking price USD 5.5k
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I thought you wanted a red spinel. That one is pink.
 

TreeScientist

Brilliant_Rock
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It's pretty, but definitely not red. The seller doesn't even describe it as red. It's hot pink.
 

VividRed

Shiny_Rock
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Dec 25, 2018
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true, but all the red spinels I’ve seen so far seem too dark without a dash of pink...this one is probably too pink though...
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I'd be curious to see whether it tends towards brownish indoors. It has that "look" that tells me it might.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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098E5E60-0C0E-480B-BC03-882CECA2B809.jpeg 8F23C165-67A2-4679-BC43-F142F7BE9B42.jpeg
I'd be curious to see whether it tends towards brownish indoors. It has that "look" that tells me it might.
Chrono read my mind! It’s really important to view red spinels under fluorescent light, where they are usually at their most unflattering, This is my pinkish red under fluorescent light. It’s my best red spinel stone. and it may not be attractive to you in this particular lighting, but it doesn’t “brown out.”

In sunlight, it is very saturated due to its strong fluorescence. Notice how brownish my orange spessartite looks in the same fluorescent light. The close up photo is under natural light in a room with no sunshine.
 
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T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I think I see a brownish tone as the stone is turned around to see the back side.
Very orangey, don’t you think? Also notice all the areas of brown extinction, kind of like a Thai ruby or a reddish garnet.
 

natasha-cupcake

Brilliant_Rock
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Yes, I see a tendency to orange undertones, too. I don't always trust my impressions because I'm too new to the colored stones world, but I am sensitive to/interested in color in general. This Colored Gemstones forum is my favorite on PriceScope and I've learned so much on here.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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1B09558C-5EE6-44B6-B448-9835DA24EDEB.jpeg I had this picture on my phone and it’s a good example of high quality red family spinels in artificial light. You can see variations in hue and tone. I really like the middle cushion and those two smaller cushions at the very top left corner (11:00 position). Jedi spinels are often photographed in sunlight to enhance their color, which is fine, but some strong red fluorescent soinels can “brown out” in artificial light.
 

deorwine

Shiny_Rock
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May 5, 2005
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Yeah, my thought is that that spinel you showed above is probably going to be a lot like the one you got from Gary.

I know it's possible to get a super-red not-pink spinel because the one I showed above is one -- it looks pink in the pic but it's really not, it's actually super red. (It's too small for you, though! less than a carat, because I can't afford any more than that.)

But like I said it's also hard to take pics! I know a lot of my smartphone pics show either an orange or (more usually) a pink hue that isn't there, it's kind of frustrating.

Here are a couple more pics of that spinel:

20190530_121931.jpg

All my pics seem to come out weirdly desaturated. This is taken in shaded overhead sunlight. The right oval is my new Mahenge red spinel (now mine for sure). The middle and left rounds are red and pink synthetic rubies for reference; you can see that the red ruby and the spinel are almost identical in color. (They look even more similar in person.) The pink lab ruby is definitely pink. On my ring finger is a lovely (Burma, I think) spinel ring I bought second-hand from NKOTB which is lighter and brighter but also a little more pink and a little more orange, whereas the red ruby and spinel are pretty much pure red to my eye (the pic looks a little more orange, but I don't see that in real life).

Here is an inside low light pic, same stones:
20190530_122313.jpg
I promise you none of these stones are going brown though the two red stones do look substantially darker, and the pink looks much more red because low light. The haloed spinel is actually a really lovely fantastic electric red in low light.

Here's one for fun:
20190529_155657.jpg
This makes the haloed spinel look much less bright than it actually is in real life, but the red spinel does glow in the sun when the light hits it just right.
 

VividRed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
221
Thank you all for the very useful help!

I am finding various things on Instragram right now:

- 1-1.5ct. quite included jedi spinels, they are neon but not red enough
- 2ct.+ supposedly vivid red Burmese spinels which I am afraid will darken out

Either significantly below my price point, which sounds too good to be true, or way above, which makes them out of reach. Ah, spinel...
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Overly included spinels are sometimes clarity enhanced, so be aware.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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@deorwine,
Very nice spinels, but don’t forget, PS messes the saturation on photo upload as well. Colors are more saturated on my iPhone than on this forum.
 
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