What is spinel? It’s value and uniqueness

Spinel is a beautiful gemstone that forms an independent group of minerals. Large crystals of top quality are rare and have a special value. The high hardness of the gemstone allows it to be used in any kind of jewelry. The following article will tell you about this mineral, what it is valuable for, what colors and varieties it comes in, and will also help you to figure out which type of spinel is right for you.

Spinel Uniqueness

Nowadays this mineral has a special place in the gemstone market and competes with rubies and sapphires in terms of beauty and value.  The reason for this is its rarity, the great variety of colors, and its properties, such as a glassy luster and high dispersion, which give these cut crystals a wonderful play of light. 

Spinel has been frequently confused with ruby, because its color can equal ruby’s red. Only when the properties of spinel were distinguished from those of ruby by gemological methods, it turned out that these minerals have different isotropic structure, unlike ruby, spinel is single refractive. 

After the spread of the modern methods of gemological examination, it came to peoples awareness that some of the famous stones, which were long believed to be rubies, actually turned out to be a spinel.

The famous 14th century Black Prince’s Ruby in the British Imperial Crown is actually a red spinel. The imperial crowns of Russia, Great Britain, Germany, France, and parts of the thrones of the Eastern rulers are adorned with this red mineral.


The range of hues of spinel is amazingly diverse: pink, red, orange, blue, blue, purple, and black. Some of these gems also come in colorless, yellow, and green hues. Intense reds and pinks are caused by traces of chromium. The higher the chromium content, the stronger the red hue. Orange and purple stones owe their color to a mixture of iron and chromium.

Varieties of spinel

One of the most valuable varieties of spinel is Mahenge spinel. Spinel from the Mahenge mining area was first discovered in the late 1980s and amazed the lovers of this stone by its brightness and vivid  color. The most desirable hues  were commercially named «electric pink», «neon pink», and «vivid red». Inclusions in the gemstones from Mahenge have a unique aesthetic. After Baselworld Gem Show in 2008 the stone became extremely popular on the market.

Pigeon Blood Spinel is highly valued, because due to its strong fluorescence, the color of this mineral is as close as possible to the color of a ruby.

Spinel image

In bright light, the pigeon blood spinel jewelry comes to life, as if a fire is burning inside it. In this case, the more the fluorescence, the more valuable the stone.

In every group of gemstones there are the most valuable. Among spinels, there is blue spinel.

Blue spinel image

This gemstone is rarer than the pink and red varieties of the mineral. In trade, the blue, light-blue, and dark-blue spinel is often called cobalt spinel. However, not all crystals are tinged with cobalt. This is true only to the bright neon stones from Vietnam. Unfortunately, the weight of such samples rarely exceeds one carat, but the price per carat for the high-quality "cobalt" samples can reach several thousand dollars.

Buying spinel is a good investment

It is possible to predict a rapid growth of spinel's popularity, because the stone is scarce, attractive with its bright colors, and has top characteristics.  Therefore, we should expect an increase in the price of this mineral. Over the last three years, the price of spinel has risen in 2-3 times. Another example of rise in prices for this mineral is the fact that in 1992-1995, a spinel weighing from 5 to 7 carats could be bought for only $5 per carat, while now such gemstones cost $500,000 per carat. Since 1995, the price went up a hundredfold. Nowadays, pink spinel can exceed the value of pink sapphires, as pink spinel mining sites have almost dried up. So we can be sure that due to increasing demand and scarcity in the market, the price will only go up.

Spinel can be your beautiful investment for the future.

What varieties of spinel does Kantor Jewelry work with?

Kantor Jewelry works with a huge number of partners. We don't buy stones wholesale, we look for the best, most beautiful and profitable personal option for our clients. We keep looking out for the special gems  to satisfy your desires and requests. Our team  works only with genuine stones. If you have not found a stone that works for you in our inventory, then we can find the gem you would fall in love with on the world gemstone market. After you choose a gemstone, our team will help you to create a customized jewelry design. We will help you to find the best setting option for your stone so you can enjoy its beauty for many years as a part of a unique jewelry piece that will be passed from generation to generation.

We will find the right gemstone just for you!

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