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What affects Burmese spinel pricing?

Snowdrop13

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
2,069
Along with many others on the forum I’m fascinated by the Mansin pink-red spinels and have been considering a purchase for a wee project. I’ve seen a couple online in the 0.6ct size range with prices at around $1000 per carat. This morning I DM’d an IG seller about a 0.8ct stone, imagine my surprise when she quoted $2800 for it! I get that there will be differences in colour and clarity but it‘s not helpful when pricing is all over the place.

So anyone who has bought recently, what did you pay per carat? Are these stones really all that rare? What would induce you to pay more? I should say that my budget would be less than $1000, I wonder what I could expect for that? All advice gratefully received :)
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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May 13, 2018
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Technically they are rarer than rubies, and any spinel above 2 carats after cutting is pretty rare. I'm thinking you should be expecting around half a carat for $1k these days. I think that $2800 is cray-cray to pay for a 0.8ct spinel, but I expect that with COVID-19 and less mining, the demand is higher than supply, so prices are moving from $1000/ct where they used to be, higher.
 

fredflintstone

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
86
Demand. Always, demand.



But don't get fooled by the "Man Sin" and “Jedi” labels. Top quality spinel is found in many places in Burma, particularly "Namya” which is outside of the Mogok tract area. But also, other places in the Mogok tract, “Sakangyi” & “Shuant Pan.” The “Namya” material is more of a hot pink were “Man Sin” is redder, of course there are exceptions. Man Sin is in the Mogok tract.



Top red spinel or hot pink spinel is very rare, especially clean, but for years it was dirt cheap. You could get a dead ringer spinel for top ruby at around $250.00 (wholesale) for a 1.50 ct stone in the 90’s. It was not until two things happened that top red spinel & all spinel started rising in price. The widespread knowledge that sapphire & ruby were heavily treated, especially the late 90’s, with discovery of BE treatment (which btw is no longer prevalent) and the discovery of extraordinary gem reds and pinks in Mahenge, Tanzania. Overnight Mahenge stones in top quality were asking $2000 a carat for two carat stones. $3000 a carat for 3 carat stones. Much bigger stones $7000 to $11000 a carat, and this was just the start.



People became aware of spinel and the demand skyrocketed. People were and are tired of the treatments with sapphire and ruby. They turned to spinel for obvious reasons, and other basically never treated stones. Spinel was cleaner, had more dispersion (fire) than corundum. Its best hues matched sapphire and ruby at a fraction of the cost. But of course, with all this going on the prices were bound to rise and they did and do.



In closing, your “Jedi” Spinel can come from Man Sin or a number of other places including Vietnam. Any dealer can call their spinel “Jedi.” You are paying for a name, though the name is associated with spectacular spinel’s, and that is what you should be most concerned about, beauty, not origin when paying large amounts of money for red or pink spinel. Buy what you like, not what you read.
 

Rad_Fan

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
2,550
How "wee" are you looking for? Here are a few samples priced under 1K.


 

Lexililac

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
150
Burmese spinels are not in general rare or expensive. Its very depend on the quality. Of course Burmese spinels witch are known as "Jedi spinels" in the market (but often missused term just for advertise and pricepushing any spinel in that color spectrum) are rare and expensive. High demand is for spinels in attractive colors witch also perform well in incendescant light. As most spinel look great in daylight, so many of them black out or look dull and with bad secondary color in incendescant light. The very attractive ones perform great in all different lightning conditions and then they go expensive. Top of the line and price are Vietnamese Cobalt spinels and Burmese Jedi spinels. Then are a wide range of attractive colors witch also perform well in any kind of light and then comes the huge huge maiority of all spinels witch have problems as greyish, metallic, brownish hues. Blacks out. Look garnet like and so on.... Look just very unattractive in most of all lighning conditions. Those are not expensiv and also in Burma as in any other deposit the maiority of what comes out of the ground is far away from expensive and good quality. With the high demand for good stones some spinel varieties get also heated or diffusion treated in the meanwhile.
 

fredflintstone

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
86
Burmese spinels are not in general rare or expensive. Its very depend on the quality. Of course Burmese spinels witch are known as "Jedi spinels" in the market (but often missused term just for advertise and pricepushing any spinel in that color spectrum) are rare and expensive. High demand is for spinels in attractive colors witch also perform well in incendescant light. As most spinel look great in daylight, so many of them black out or look dull and with bad secondary color in incendescant light. The very attractive ones perform great in all different lightning conditions and then they go expensive. Top of the line and price are Vietnamese Cobalt spinels and Burmese Jedi spinels. Then are a wide range of attractive colors witch also perform well in any kind of light and then comes the huge huge maiority of all spinels witch have problems as greyish, metallic, brownish hues. Blacks out. Look garnet like and so on.... Look just very unattractive in most of all lighning conditions. Those are not expensiv and also in Burma as in any other deposit the maiority of what comes out of the ground is far away from expensive and good quality. With the high demand for good stones some spinel varieties get also heated or diffusion treated in the meanwhile.
I agree with much of what you say. But Spinel’s in general have become much more expensive. Who would have dreamed gray spinel which 5 years ago no one wanted are asking up to $250.00 a carat for two plus carat stones on many vendor sites on the internet and more in high end brick and mortar retail?


Rare or not, Spinel has risen greatly in price since 2004.

As far as blacking out in other light than sunlight, I find many black out more in direct sunlight and lesser intensities of light they are fine. But I've seen too many to count & many stones are overwhelmed by direct sunlight of many species. Cannot speak for your experience. But I do agree with many of your points.
 
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Lexililac

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
150
I agree with much of what you say. But Spinel’s in general have become much more expensive. Who would have dreamed gray spinel which 5 years ago no one wanted are asking up to $250.00 a carat for two plus carat stones on many vendor sites on the internet and more in high end brick and mortar retail?


Rare or not, Spinel has risen greatly in price since 2004.

As far as blacking out in other light than sunlight, I find many black out more in direct sunlight and lesser intensities of light they are fine. But I've seen too many to count & many stones are overwhelmed by direct sunlight of many species. Cannot speak for your experience. But I do agree with many of your points.
Yes spinel prices raised very much during the last years. And yes in direct sunlight most of all gems perform not very good.

Ive seen quite a few attractive red spinels in daylight as well as inky blue ones but in yellow light or slightly weaker daylight they looked dull and unattractive. Color and fire disapeared if there are not very good lightning conditions. The maiority is to dark or with not enough saturation that they hold the color. Some show also much life, color and saturation in good daylight but then turn to weak colored metallic looking gems in yellow light. The nice daylight color goes few steps back and a steely metalic appearence comes. That purple one is such a candidate, not to dark and not to weak saturated but in yellow light the purple goes few step back and that metalic look comes. It also has its charme but it not should have price raised so much over the years as fine and top quality ones after my opinion.
02B0A2E0-E771-4670-8BDD-558156B5AEB7.jpeg
 
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Rad_Fan

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
2,550
Gaining popularity could also be a factor. Many traditionally conservative jewelers have started to carry spinels now. This 2.65-ct spinel diamond gold ring is retailed at $49,900.00 :-o NO JOKE!

2.65-red-spinel-ring-yellow-gold.jpg 82323534_1041531746202350_6695488430954181309_n.jpg
 

fredflintstone

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
86
Yes spinel prices raised very much during the last years. And yes in direct sunlight most of all gems perform not very good.

Ive seen quite a few attractive red spinels in daylight as well as inky blue ones but in yellow light or slightly weaker daylight they looked dull and unattractive. Color and fire disapeared if there are not very good lightning conditions. The maiority is to dark or with not enough saturation that they hold the color. Some show also much life, color and saturation in good daylight but then turn to weak colored metallic looking gems in yellow light. The nice daylight color goes few steps back and a steely metalic appearence comes. That purple one is such a candidate, not to dark and not to weak saturated but in yellow light the purple goes few step back and that metalic look comes. It also has its charme but it not should have price raised so much over the years as fine and top quality ones after my opinion.
02B0A2E0-E771-4670-8BDD-558156B5AEB7.jpeg
Your speaking of CFL lighting. Yes, you are correct, but no stone looks good under CFL lights, but greens & yellows. Otherwise, LED, fluorescent & incandescent are good for 90% of gemstones. Incandescent especially for red, pink orange, or any color that includes a combination with red. :)
 

Snowdrop13

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
2,069
Gaining popularity could also be a factor. Many traditionally conservative jewelers have started to carry spinels now. This 2.65-ct spinel diamond gold ring is retailed at $49,900.00 :-o NO JOKE!

2.65-red-spinel-ring-yellow-gold.jpg 82323534_1041531746202350_6695488430954181309_n.jpg
:o

Goodness me!

This is what I mean. It’s so hard when trying to buy online, I hadn’t even thought about the considerations of different lighting conditions. Unfortunately there’s nowhere near me that would have a selection of stones to choose from in person.

Would Yavorskyy be a good place to buy from? I love that oval stone above. They get mentioned here as being reliable but expensive, although their stones seem to be in the ballpark of other vendors.

Thank you everyone for your considered and informative replies, I am learning so much here, @voce @Rad_Fan @fredflintstone @Lexililac @Nosean @kgizo
 

Lexililac

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
150
Gaining popularity could also be a factor. Many traditionally conservative jewelers have started to carry spinels now. This 2.65-ct spinel diamond gold ring is retailed at $49,900.00 :-o NO JOKE!

2.65-red-spinel-ring-yellow-gold.jpg 82323534_1041531746202350_6695488430954181309_n.jpg
Omg thats insane!! Belonged that piece to s famouse artist or something?
 

Snowdrop13

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
2,069
Well, now I can see that this piece has an amazing, intense colour. But it’s not that big. They have some spinels with certs that are around the “standard” $1000 per carat. Would anyone like to guess the price? I was thinking maybe 3-4 times normal?? Answer is at the bottom.

5E10FA62-5621-4A2C-884B-D327D5E7225C.jpeg





(It’s $9800 per carat :-o)
 

Rad_Fan

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
2,550
The color looks more desirable than that of the ring I posted.

Don't get frustrated, you just have a good eye for color. :twisted2:
 

demantoidz

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Messages
61
I should not post after an Irish coffee! Perhaps later I will reread this and not agree with some of my points, or regret writing potential misinformation, please correct or disagree with anything below.

It is important to remember that what some vendors ask for is not necessarily the common sum these stones actually sell for. Such sales probably do happen but would be outliers, though I have no data on the topic unfortunately. That said, I agree spinel is def gaining popularity.

This wide range of pricing is not just for spinel. For example, I recently inquired about an unusually attractive 5ct Afghani bluish green tourmaline and the asking price was a staggering 26k USD. I doubt that stone will sell at that price, and if it does, its an outlier sale, and does not mean its worth 26k to anyone but the buyer. Another example is in benitoite, a gem I've recently taken interest in. For top quality pieces with near flawless clarity, around 1-1.25ct, you can can find pricing anywhere between 3.5k to 10+k per ct. There are many factors that can play into this, from how many middle men were involved with a particular stone, to arbitrary pricing methods, to the vendor's interest in increasing perceived value of a material (look at all the overpriced dark gray spinel online because grey spinel is slowly gaining popularity). I'm really not sure. I think my point is that stone quality (weight, color etc) are just some of the many factors that affect gem pricing.

Again, Burmese spinels. On IG, I've seen Burmese spinel sellers only show them under lighting where they exhibit strong fluorescence, so they look insane in that pic/vid, but under other lights the stones may or may not be that great. This may be a factor in the wide range of quoted prices. There was a really good video of a burmese spinel under two such lighting conditions, but I cannot find it. It of course looked jedi under specific lights, but nothing special under normal lights.


FYI: I've inquired about Yavorskky material once or twice, they seem to always provide a 10% discount if asked, and you could probably negotiate lower.
 
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demantoidz

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Messages
61
Well, now I can see that this piece has an amazing, intense colour. But it’s not that big. They have some spinels with certs that are around the “standard” $1000 per carat. Would anyone like to guess the price? I was thinking maybe 3-4 times normal?? Answer is at the bottom.

5E10FA62-5621-4A2C-884B-D327D5E7225C.jpeg





(It’s $9800 per carat :-o)
Yeah this spinel is amazing if it looks like the photos. What is ironic to me is GRS's simple 'pinkish-red' designation, not good enough to be 'vivid' or 'vibrant'. Meanwhile, this 1ct 3k spinel gets the 'vibrant' designation. Another reason to not blindly follow lab's internal designations.

 

Nosean

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 1, 2017
Messages
387
I should not post after an Irish coffee! Perhaps later I will reread this and not agree with some of my points, or regret writing potential misinformation, please correct or disagree with anything below.

It is important to remember that what some vendors ask for is not necessarily the common sum these stones actually sell for. Such sales probably do happen but would be outliers, though I have no data on the topic unfortunately. That said, I agree spinel is def gaining popularity.

This wide range of pricing is not just for spinel. For example, I recently inquired about an unusually attractive 5ct Afghani bluish green tourmaline and the asking price was a staggering 26k USD. I doubt that stone will sell at that price, and if it does, its an outlier sale, and does not mean its worth 26k to anyone but the buyer. Another example is in benitoite, a gem I've recently taken interest in. For top quality pieces with near flawless clarity, around 1-1.25ct, you can can find pricing anywhere between 3.5k to 10+k per ct. There are many factors that can play into this, from how many middle men were involved with a particular stone, to arbitrary pricing methods, to the vendor's interest in increasing perceived value of a material (look at all the overpriced dark gray spinel online because grey spinel is slowly gaining popularity). I'm really not sure. I think my point is that stone quality (weight, color etc) are just some of the many factors that affect gem pricing.

Again, Burmese spinels. On IG, I've seen Burmese spinel sellers only show them under lighting where they exhibit strong fluorescence, so they look insane in that pic/vid, but under other lights the stones may or may not be that great. This may be a factor in the wide range of quoted prices. There was a really good video of a burmese spinel under two such lighting conditions, but I cannot find it. It of course looked jedi under specific lights, but nothing special under normal lights.


FYI: I've inquired about Yavorskky material once or twice, they seem to always provide a 10% discount if asked, and you could probably negotiate lower.
LW UV is a not acceptable light source for pink to red spinel (LED not for blue to cobalt spinel) in a vendor video or picture.

It is misleading.
 

Snowdrop13

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
2,069
Yeah this spinel is amazing if it looks like the photos. What is ironic to me is GRS's simple 'pinkish-red' designation, not good enough to be 'vivid' or 'vibrant'. Meanwhile, this 1ct 3k spinel gets the 'vibrant' designation. Another reason to not blindly follow lab's internal designations.

Yes, I was wondering about the certification and if it was worth paying attention to. Seems one needs to be sceptical about that too. I guess buying from places with a good return policy is a must!
 

VividRed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
225
Well, now I can see that this piece has an amazing, intense colour. But it’s not that big. They have some spinels with certs that are around the “standard” $1000 per carat. Would anyone like to guess the price? I was thinking maybe 3-4 times normal?? Answer is at the bottom.

5E10FA62-5621-4A2C-884B-D327D5E7225C.jpeg





(It’s $9800 per carat :-o)
Nice, they also sell a 1.5ct. Namyia spinel for more than $50’000.

nonsense
 

fredflintstone

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
86
LW UV is a not acceptable light source for pink to red spinel (LED not for blue to cobalt spinel) in a vendor video or picture.

It is misleading.
Why is LED light not acceptable for cobalt blue or blue spinel? Many homes have LED lighting for primary lighting and more will in the future.

To the price issue. Many here don't buy full retail. I don't buy full retail, but top red and pink Spinel is expensive.

3 carat Mahenge top red spinel was going for $30,000 at full retail right after the find, and there were many paying that price. It has been quite sometime since I've seen top Mahenge red spinel for sale on the internet. Many years, except for the very few occassions that a dealer will sale some from the vault or a collector needs money. They are all gone. All spoken for. So, it is no wonder Burma top red and pink spinel is following suite. You want the best, you're going to pay for it.
 

fredflintstone

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
86
Because in reality, that is not how the stone looks.
Not true, because the reality of it is, that is what it looks like in LED light. Over 30% of homes now have LED light and more have some LED lighting parts of there homes. There are many stone species that look the same in LED light as they do in sunlight. A vendor should show two or three different lighting situations for each stone he or she sales. This includes LED light.
 

ChaiK

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
978
Oh, but this is spinel pricing and we all have differing views on LED lights.

Not a problem, that is, if the vendor shows different lighting. Some vendors do refuse.

I deleted my comment because I want to stay on the topic of spinel pricing.

There is so much to learn from pricing alone. I love this thread for its discussion on pricing.
 
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