Friday, December 9, 2011

Gemstone of the Week: Spinel

Spinel is a highly varied and beautiful gemstone.  It can come in all sorts of colours.  It can be blue, pink, red, orange (sometimes called Flame Spinel or Rubicelle), and black, however, red is the most valued and desirable colour as it resembles ruby.  In fact, many of the largest and most famous "rubies" are actually Spinels.  Both the "Black Princes Ruby" and "Timur Ruby" in the English crown jewels are really very large Spinels.  There is also both a Star Spinel (generally 4 or 6 rayed stars) and colour-change Spinel.  The colour-change Spinel is very rare and tends to be a greyish-blue in daylight but purplish under incandescent light-bulbs.  Spinel can be found in Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Russia, Vietnam, and a few places in the U.S.  As with any other stone, the colour, size, and quality of the stone determines it's value.  The red  Spinel can retail for between $1,000 for stones of 1 carat to $3,000 per carat for stones of over 5 carats.  Low quality brown-ish Spinels will often sell for under $100 per carat.  Pink Spinel, is about 1/4 to 1/2 the value of red Spinel.  Blue Spinel of good colour will often sell for about $2,000 per carat.

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