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Spinel... excessive pricing or finally earning its due respect?

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
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The Rubellite find in Nigeria in the 1990's was so good that man did not need to irradiate it. They were untreated. Cannot be certain about the ones found there now, but when it comes to Rubellite I'd generally stay with the African material as opposed to others.
 

newtojewels

Shiny_Rock
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Jul 16, 2020
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478
The Rubellite find in Nigeria in the 1990's was so good that man did not need to irradiate it. They were untreated. Cannot be certain about the ones found there now, but when it comes to Rubellite I'd generally stay with the African material as opposed to others.

I'm going to pretend that my "rubellite" ring that is uncerted but origin was stated to be Nigerian is in fact Nigerian with no irradiation! No one can stop me! But in all seriousness, I had no idea. I thought tourmalines didn't tend to be treated, shows what I know.

I remember spinels being relatively inexpensive stones (except when everyone here was jumping on the bright Mahenge spinels around a decade ago) but didn't pay a ton of attention to specifics since I couldn't afford anything anyways. Then I looked again at prices when I actually had a bit of a bling budget for the first time in my life and was shocked! A branded I/SI1 1.27 carat diamond just showed up in the unique/odd stones thread for ~$2700, which is way cheaper than a lot of spinels are these days in 'normal' colors, let alone the cobalts and the Jedis.
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
998
I'm going to pretend that my "rubellite" ring that is uncerted but origin was stated to be Nigerian is in fact Nigerian with no irradiation! No one can stop me! But in all seriousness, I had no idea. I thought tourmalines didn't tend to be treated, shows what I know.

I remember spinels being relatively inexpensive stones (except when everyone here was jumping on the bright Mahenge spinels around a decade ago) but didn't pay a ton of attention to specifics since I couldn't afford anything anyways. Then I looked again at prices when I actually had a bit of a bling budget for the first time in my life and was shocked! A branded I/SI1 1.27 carat diamond just showed up in the unique/odd stones thread for ~$2700, which is way cheaper than a lot of spinels are these days in 'normal' colors, let alone the cobalts and the Jedis.

Yeah, never thought about Diamonds say I color and farther away from colorless, but you are right, some Spinels are more expensive.
 
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I'm going to pretend that my "rubellite" ring that is uncerted but origin was stated to be Nigerian is in fact Nigerian with no irradiation! No one can stop me! But in all seriousness, I had no idea. I thought tourmalines didn't tend to be treated, shows what I know.

Same!
1185984wyfz8o9nxu.gif
 
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@Autumn in New England and anyone else

Why does pink tourmaline brown out? It’s such a pretty colour and then……bam….. you get brown under certain lights

That's a great question, and I'm not sure of the answer. Pink tourmaline and rubellite are colored by manganese. I suspect the former may contain trace elements of iron, which cause the "browning out" under incandescents.

@PrecisionGem Care to expound?
 

oncrutchesrightnow

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 17, 2006
Messages
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Funnily enough what attracted me to spinel was the dark grey and violet. It’s so hard to get that dark blue purple in the commonly available gemstones that are sold to most consumers, whereas that color is plentiful in spinel and sparkly to boot.

Re the prices, just speculating, but it might be due in part to the proliferation of Etsy and Instagram lapidary celebrities. Also the Crown Jewels were in the news for the 2023 coronation.
 

LC2016

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
34
Thanks for bringing this topic up.. Actually Im also looking for buying some nice red spinel, and I have gotten quote of around $20k for a 2ct namya spinel. Its really a huge sum of money for me and Im really wondering if its worth to invest money on
 
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Thanks for bringing this topic up.. Actually Im also looking for buying some nice red spinel, and I have gotten quote of around $20k for a 2ct namya spinel. Its really a huge sum of money for me and Im really wondering if its worth to invest money on

Does the seller have a reliable report stating the origin as Namya? Appearance-wise, it is often indiscernible from Mansin material. But if the stone is certified as Namya-born, it could be very valuable indeed. The production of that mine was extremely limited. I'd love to see a photo!
 
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Does the seller have a reliable report stating the origin as Namya? Appearance-wise, it is often indiscernible from Mansin material. But if the stone is certified as Namya-born, it could be very valuable indeed. The production of that mine was extremely limited. I'd love to see a photo!

Let me clarify... GIA and AGL won't certify origin beyond "Burma" or "Myanmar." But Lotus, for instance (a lab I trust), certified my red spinel specifically as "Mogok."

Since northern and central Burmese spinels share similar optical properties, I was curious what the difference was, besides production size (with the northern mine being vastly smaller). I thought this was really interesting...

"Unlike the euhedral and subhedral materials from the Mogok region, spinel from Namya usually exhibits a rounded octahedral shape."
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
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998
Spinel is not like Burma Ruby, Columbian Emerald or Kashmir Sapphire, Burma Sapphire and Brazilian Paraiba and good thing. It's all a ploy to get more money out of origin, not beauty.

Though it might be argued that Mahenge Spinel/Burma Spinel might demand more of a price than say Vietnam or Tajikistan, it really is all about the color and well it should be for all stones.

Spinel has not quite reached the level of origin price as compared to the aforementioned stones. Though its rise in price for all top Spinel is a fact of the last 20 years. It still is not qute major league.
 

LC2016

Rough_Rock
Joined
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This private collector says currently only Guild report can certify if a spinel is from Mansin/ Namya and thats what he would be providing. Im still waiting for his photo because he was travelling last few weeks.

To be honest, I havent heard about Guild until recently which gets popular amongst the Chinese vendors. Im not too sure how reliable is this Guild lab.

Another thing is, its seems like the Chinese is having some sort of connection with the Myanmar ethnic armed group that I am seeing a rise of Chinese vendors selling Namya and other Burma spinels, make me wonder if the market is just being manipulated right now
 
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LC2016

Rough_Rock
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Although Im still waiting for photo of the stone that he is selling, he did previously shared with me some of his mansin/ namya collections. (I have seen these stone in person and they are stunning)

de95a7d4-9d0b-459e-84c6-2d11208d61c8.jpeg

According to him Namya pinks (top and middle left) vs Man Sin pinks (top and middle right).

And I looked back at my previous dialogue with him 4 years ago, he offered me a 2.18ct spinel at 9,500 before and i didnt take the offer. Price has sadly doubled now :(


Let me clarify... GIA and AGL won't certify origin beyond "Burma" or "Myanmar." But Lotus, for instance (a lab I trust), certified my red spinel specifically as "Mogok."

Since northern and central Burmese spinels share similar optical properties, I was curious what the difference was, besides production size (with the northern mine being vastly smaller). I thought this was really interesting...

"Unlike the euhedral and subhedral materials from the Mogok region, spinel from Namya usually exhibits a rounded octahedral shape."
 

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This private collector says currently only Guild report can certify if a spinel is from Mansin/ Namya and thats what he would be providing. Im still waiting for his photo because he was travelling last few weeks.

To be honest, I havent heard about Guild until recently which gets popular amongst the Chinese vendors. Im not too sure how reliable is this Guild lab.

Another thing is, its seems like the Chinese is having some sort of connection with the Myanmar ethnic armed group that I am seeing a rise of Chinese vendors selling Namya and other Burma spinels, make me wonder if the market is just being manipulated right now

I recently purchased a gem myself with a Guild cert, and was wondering the same thing! I've just asked a dealer whom I trust implicitly, so we'll see what they say.

Oh dear... I hadn't heard that. A troubling development to be sure. :???:

Here is an interesting article on Namya spinel which touches on value.

 
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Is that square cushion the one you're purchasing? The color is
954900aklo76s52q.gif
. The native cutting also looks pretty darn good for this material (I thought I was seeing some abrading in the polish, but that may just be glare). How's the clarity?
 
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Wait, are these the same stone?

de95a7d4-9d0b-459e-84c6-2d11208d61c8.jpeg

bf23cf5c-9ba0-4f29-9d48-9f5c8c44e2e2.jpeg

If so, and the color in person is much more of a neon reddish-pink like the top photo as opposed to a purer neon red like the bottom one (which may be more Namya-specific and better justify the premium), then this is something to consider. Mahenge spinel comes in that very shade (top photo) and is way less $ per carat. So if it's only color you're concerned with, you may want to explore other options. But some folks are more interested in origin, prestige, and rarity. If that's the case with you, proceed! Just thought I should mention it.
 

LC2016

Rough_Rock
Joined
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They are not the same stone. I doubled checked, the stone he offered me 4 years ago is a 2ct+ burma jedi spinel but didnt mention its namya origin. That stone is great in colour and he should have sold it already. Another photo with comparison



I think I just want a nice burma spinel with good color but people are quoting like 6k per carat for a 3-4ct mahenge spinel that is less saturated and red, which makes the 20k 2ct Namya spinel looks like a fair deal……

Is that square cushion the one you're purchasing? The color is
954900aklo76s52q.gif
. The native cutting also looks pretty darn good for this material (I thought I was seeing some abrading in the polish, but that may just be glare). How's the clarity?
 

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@LC2016 I want that entire gem case. Anyway! Yeah, it looks much redder in this last photo. ❤️

So my #1 deciding factor would be this... if I feel the color of that Namya spinel rivals any other I could get from Mogok for less money, everything else being equal, then I'd gladly lay down that $20k for it. If not, I would pass, simply because origin and rarity themselves aren't very important to me personally. But for some folks, they are, and that's perfectly fine too. Good luck with your decision! It's a lovely stone to be sure!!
 

Nick_G

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
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333
Spinel is not like Burma Ruby, Columbian Emerald or Kashmir Sapphire, Burma Sapphire and Brazilian Paraiba and good thing. It's all a ploy to get more money out of origin, not beauty.

Though it might be argued that Mahenge Spinel/Burma Spinel might demand more of a price than say Vietnam or Tajikistan, it really is all about the color and well it should be for all stones.

Spinel has not quite reached the level of origin price as compared to the aforementioned stones. Though its rise in price for all top Spinel is a fact of the last 20 years. It still is not qute major league.

The world's best neon blue cobalt spinel is found in northern Vietnam, like this rough example:


I wouldn't be surprised if the reputation of the top quality material isn't already heading towards legendary status. If not yet, then when it's all mined out definitely.

I think spinel is now getting the respect it always should have deserved.

gbvsd8v3893c.png
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
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998
The world's best neon blue cobalt spinel is found in northern Vietnam, like this rough example:


I wouldn't be surprised if the reputation of the top quality material isn't already heading towards legendary status. If not yet, then when it's all mined out definitely.

I think spinel is now getting the respect it always should have deserved.

gbvsd8v3893c.png

There is no doubt that Spinel is getting it's due across the color board at a huge cost to the consumer, but it is still paying for the color not the origin. Though in the future we could very well see Cobalt blue Spinel join the majors on origin such as Vietnam's Cobalt blue.

More finds are found all over the world for many types of gemstones as the technology of mining improves and expands with demand. Much more so than the centuries old Burma Ruby, Columbian Emerald. Kashmir blue Sapphire in the 1880's.

Fact is most gemstone species from Burma will cost you more than other origins, Vietnam has not reached that level yet.


Time will tell.
 

LC2016

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
34
Just got an update from the seller, this is a screenshot of the video he sent me (left hand side stone, 2.2ct namya). The colour he described is pinkish red where he mentioned is more neon than pure red stone due to less iron impurity..

IMG_5343.jpeg

Im not sure how the girdle and pavilion looks like but judging from the face, seem there only some light inclusion:/

I also saw a number of PSer is recommending Higem who sell at a reasonable price, but Im not too sure how clean is his stone since his video/ photo arent too clear…

@LC2016 I want that entire gem case. Anyway! Yeah, it looks much redder in this last photo. ❤️

So my #1 deciding factor would be this... if I feel the color of that Namya spinel rivals any other I could get from Mogok for less money, everything else being equal, then I'd gladly lay down that $20k for it. If not, I would pass, simply because origin and rarity themselves aren't very important to me personally. But for some folks, they are, and that's perfectly fine too. Good luck with your decision! It's a lovely stone to be sure!!
 
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fredflintstone

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Messages
998
Just got an update from the seller, this is a screenshot of the video he sent me (left hand side stone, 2.2ct namya). The colour he described is pinkish red where he mentioned is more neon than pure red stone due to less iron impurity..

IMG_5343.jpeg

Im not sure how the girdle and pavilion looks like but judging from the face, seem there only some light inclusion:/

I also saw a number of PSer is recommending Higem who sell at a reasonable price, but Im not too sure how clean is his stone since his video/ photo arent too clear…

Pretty color. I'd say the stones are moderately included which means you will see some inclusions fairly easy. A video would serve best to really tell how included and well cut they really are, but pretty.:)
 
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Just got an update from the seller, this is a screenshot of the video he sent me (left hand side stone, 2.2ct namya). The colour he described is pinkish red where he mentioned is more neon than pure red stone due to less iron impurity..

IMG_5343.jpeg

Im not sure how the girdle and pavilion looks like but judging from the face, seem there only some light inclusion:/

I also saw a number of PSer is recommending Higem who sell at a reasonable price, but Im not too sure how clean is his stone since his video/ photo arent too clear…

Gorgeous color!
 

newtojewels

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
478
Just got an update from the seller, this is a screenshot of the video he sent me (left hand side stone, 2.2ct namya). The colour he described is pinkish red where he mentioned is more neon than pure red stone due to less iron impurity..

IMG_5343.jpeg

Im not sure how the girdle and pavilion looks like but judging from the face, seem there only some light inclusion:/

I also saw a number of PSer is recommending Higem who sell at a reasonable price, but Im not too sure how clean is his stone since his video/ photo arent too clear…

I think @CBianco has bought from Higems a few times, I wonder if she can help?
 

LC2016

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
34
Thanks Fred and Autumn for the advise and sorry hijacking the thread.

Yes I have requested additional video and photo for the stone and the stone is indeed should be considered moderately included. IMG_5730.jpeg

And after asking around for price, the price disparity seems to be so huge. This stone is only measuring 6x6x6 for a 2 ct namya, moderately included is asking $10k per ct, its even more expensive for some chinese vendor, they go up to $13k.

While some vendor like higems is asking 1/3 of the price, while of course his stone is more included. (Being graded moderately included 3 by AIGS)
23424703-890C-4B4F-8361-3B5377353BF1.jpeg


Im just wondering if the price difference is mostly coming from the stone clarity, or its just a random premium some vendor charges?
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
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Thanks Fred and Autumn for the advise and sorry hijacking the thread.

Yes I have requested additional video and photo for the stone and the stone is indeed should be considered moderately included. IMG_5730.jpeg

And after asking around for price, the price disparity seems to be so huge. This stone is only measuring 6x6x6 for a 2 ct namya, moderately included is asking $10k per ct, its even more expensive for some chinese vendor, they go up to $13k.

While some vendor like higems is asking 1/3 of the price, while of course his stone is more included. (Being graded moderately included 3 by AIGS)
23424703-890C-4B4F-8361-3B5377353BF1.jpeg


Im just wondering if the price difference is mostly coming from the stone clarity, or its just a random premium some vendor charges?

After color, then the next biggest jump in price is clarity for gemstones. The price from one stone to another with the same clarity depends on vendor, what they paid for it and how far down the supply chain they are.

My honest opinion is forget about Burma (all stones Spinel or not from Burma carry a higher price tag) red Spinel and go to the Vietnamese vendors. There are some fine reds coming out of Vietnam and much cheaper. Of course, shop around a few vendors from Vietnam to find the best deal.
 

LC2016

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
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After color, then the next biggest jump in price is clarity for gemstones. The price from one stone to another with the same clarity depends on vendor, what they paid for it and how far down the supply chain they are.

My honest opinion is forget about Burma (all stones Spinel or not from Burma carry a higher price tag) red Spinel and go to the Vietnamese vendors. There are some fine reds coming out of Vietnam and much cheaper. Of course, shop around a few vendors from Vietnam to find the best deal.

Thanks Fred. May I ask if it is possible to get some recommendation on Vietnamese vendors?
 

fredflintstone

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Thanks Fred. May I ask if it is possible to get some recommendation on Vietnamese vendors?

This vendor has a nice selection of Spinels though she can be pricer than others in Vietnam. Also, she deals with larger sizes but I'm sure you can ask her about two to three carat stones.

 

PinkAndBlueBling

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@fredflintstone Isn't this vendor the one who blocked some PSers for inquiring about stones?
 
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