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How Much is My Spinel Worth?

How Much is My Spinel Worth? Featured Image

Spinel was once known as the great imposter of gemstones. Before the rise of modern gemology, spinel was often mistaken for rubies and sapphires. One of the most famous spinels of all time, a 170 carat red gem known as “the Black Prince’s Ruby,” has a place of honor on the Imperial State Crown of England. Once the crystal structure of spinel was understood, some mis-named ‘rubies’ were correctly identified as spinel, and as a result, the reputation of spinel suffered because they were simply not rubies.

In recent years, spinel has become valued in its own right as a rare and beautiful gemstone. The extensive treatment of some lower quality rubies and sapphires has helped focus more attention on the natural beauty of spinel, which is almost always untreated. Spinel occurs in a wide variety of colors, and is valued like many colored gemstones, using the same four Cs used to evaluate diamonds: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.


How Spinel Color Affects Value

Like many colored gems, the most important factor in evaluating spinel is its color. Spinel is an allochromatic gem, meaning that when it is pure it is colorless. The color in spinel is dependent on the presence of trace elements like chromium, iron, and cobalt. Because of these slight impurities, spinel occurs in almost all colors, ranging from pink and lavender to red and red-orange, purple, blue, and even black, with pure green and pure yellow being notable exceptions.

Color in all gemstones is referred to in terms of hue (the basic color of the stone), tone, (the relative lightness or darkness of the hue), and saturation, (the intensity or purity of hue). Saturation is the color quality that will most greatly impact the price of spinel.

Because red spinel was often mistaken for ruby, red has traditionally been the most commercially valuable color. Red in spinel can range from purplish red to orangey red, with highly saturated reds being the most coveted. So called “ruby spinels,” with red hues, medium tone, and strong saturations, are among the most valuable of all spinels. Even so, a top quality five carat spinel is generally only worth about one tenth the price of an equivalent quality ruby.

The next most valuable color for spinel is blue, with colors that range from violet-blue to slightly greenish. Although most blue spinel generally occurs with lower saturations resulting in a grayish look and a more affordable stone, blue spinels that are colored by cobalt resemble blue sapphires, with highly saturated violet-blue to pure blue hues and medium tone. These cobalt blue spinels are especially valued for their rich, pure color.

Orangey red spinels with strong saturations and medium hues, sometimes called “flame spinels,”  are the next most sought after color. Vivid orange and vibrant, hot pink spinel are equally coveted.

Purple spinel with strong saturation can be somewhat valuable, though darker violet, purple, and lavender stones tend to be in less demand, and command lower prices. Any spinel with low saturation, or a steely or grayish look is generally less sought after and accordingly lower in value.


Evaluating Spinel Clarity

Clarity in gemstones refers to the existence and visual appearance of internal inclusions, or small imperfections in the stone. Spinels are generally free of visible inclusions, but any inclusions that are visible to the naked eye can greatly decrease the value of the gemstone.

Occasionally, spinel can exhibit inclusions that reflect the gems distinct octahedral crystal growth, resulting in the appearance of fingerprint-like patterns. Another potentially valuable inclusion results in asterism, or the appearance of a star effect on the surface of the polished stone.


How Spinel Cut Affects Value

Spinel can be cut into a variety of shapes, though like many other colored gemstones, cushion shapes and ovals are popular. While some commercial quality spinel is cut into standard industry sizes, most higher quality rough spinel is cut into non-standard sizes to save the overall weight of the rough stone.

Standard-cut, or calibrated stones, are usually fabricated from medium to lesser  quality rough material and is therefore more affordable. Calibrated spinel is generally fashioned into mixed-cut ovals measuring 6×4 mm and 7×5 mm, and is commonly used as center stones for rings.


Spinel Carat Weight

Like almost all gemstones, larger examples of spinel are simply more valuable than smaller ones. Because the larger sizes of spinel are rare, the per carat price rises considerably for stones greater than two carats. Fine examples of blue and pink spinel above five carats can be quite valuable, with the finest red spinel over ten carats fetching as much as $10,000 per carat.


Get a Free Spinel Appraisal

Contact Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers today for a free verbal appraisal of your spinel ring, necklace, earrings, or loose spinel gemstone. You can also get the process started online by telling us about the spinel jewelry you wish to sell in the contact form below.

Call Us Toll Free: (800) 956-8505

Real Reviews From Customers

I had a timepiece that I was looking to sell and searched high and low to find a reputable dealer to appraise the piece and would offer a fair price. I came Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers read more online. At first I was hesitant to try an online service for this type of transaction but let me tell you, they were great. Paula helped me through the process and just as their website describes, it is a safe and secure method for this type transaction. It was a very smooth, seamless transaction…and the price was fair. I hope this review will allay any concerns people may have. I was hesitant at first, but now they will be my go-to people for this type of service in the future. Thanks again Paula for great customer-centric service.

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John H.


I worked with Paula the most and she was great. Very patient, very kind; answered all my many questions. Received agreed upon payment extremely fast, as promised. It is scary to send read more jewelry in the mail, but everything worked as I was told it would. I would do this again.

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Wonderful service! Paula made the selling process so easy for me from beginning to end. I live out-of-state, and she walked me through, step-by-step, exactly what to do to work with read more Diamond Estate to sell my diamonds. The process was effortless on my part! The owner gave me an excellent price. Paula was very professional and a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend working with Diamond Estate.

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Exceedingly pleased and impressed with this service. I worked with Paula who is professional, personal, and accountable. Everything happened as said from beginning to end, which was read more hard to believe at first. I re-read reviews even after I boxed up my items because of the anxiety! Paula helped normalize a sentimental event and held my trust throughout the whole process (which was actually very fast and exactly to description). Highly recommended and would use again without hesitation. Thank you Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers, especially Paula!

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I had a wonderful experience selling them my Diamond ring. Paula was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I would definitely do business with them again.

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Diamond Estate Jewelry offered the best cash price for my watch; $300 more than the local place I talked to. And the wire transfer was very simple and smooth. Recommend them and would read more use them again

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The people at Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers were professional and courteous and offered a good price for my ring. I wasn’t sure I wanted to ship off my ring so I researched the company read more as much as I could until I was satisfied. Sure enough, their business with me matched up to the reputation I saw online. I highly recommend them.

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I had never sold anything online before, so was a little nervous about selling my Rolex. Based on Yelp reviews, I visited DEJB’s website and was pretty impressed. Worked with Paula read more to text some pics and got an estimate within hours. I got estimates from three other places and DEJB was right in line with two others, but was a touch higher. Based on the great customer service, I went with DEJB. Once I said I was in, Paula got me the prepaid, secure, insured shipping information within hours. Once received, they let me know my Rolex was as described and wired the full amount immediately. What else can I say? Fast, secure, friendly, fair – what more can you ask?

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Scott E.


This company was excellent to deal with and very fair on their offer. Paula Dabney took care of my transaction and kept me informed of everything. The money was wired to me within an read more hour after the received my watch. I highly recommend this company to deal with..

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Bill P.


When I was thinking about selling a piece of jewelry I had, I looked at several different places. I just kept coming back to DEJB. I called, spoke with Paula & she was wonderful to read more work with. So friendly & knowledgeable. She explained everything to me from the first phone call. She really put my mind at ease. My transaction was quick & easy. Paula & Carl were so easy to work with. I will definitely work with them again. Thank you Paula & Carl for everything!

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About Diamond Estate

Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers is a leading fine jewelry buyer and watch buyer serving customers throughout the US. We've built our business on core values of integrity, honesty, and superior customer service. Are you looking to sell diamonds, rings, watches, earrings or other fine jewelry? Get in touch to get your no-obligation offer.

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Diamond Estate President and Founder Carl Blackburn was interviewed in 2009 by KUSI Television, along with the Better Business Bureau's Sheryl Bilbrey, as one of San Diego's trustworthy and reputable jewelry buyers.

Ten Years later, Diamond Estate still maintains its A+ standing with the Better Business Bureau, while helping sellers nationwide become better informed through the many videos, guides, and articles published on this website.

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