Is Spinel An Expensive Gem?

By | June 25, 2024

Is Spinel An Expensive Gem?

Imagine stumbling upon a gemstone that dazzles like a ruby but doesn’t carry the hefty price tag. Spinel, often overshadowed by its more famous counterparts, is a precious gem gaining recognition among gem enthusiasts and collectors. In “Is Spinel An Expensive Gem?” you’ll uncover why spinel is a hidden treasure, its unique features, and what makes it a cost-effective yet stunning choice for jewelry. You’ll discover how spinel’s price compares to other gems and why it’s worth considering for your next sparkling purchase. Dive into the world of spinel and see why this gem might be the affordable luxury you’ve been searching for. Have you ever found yourself enchanted by the breathtaking beauty of gemstones and wondered about their value? One such gem that might have caught your eye is spinel. Is spinel an expensive gem? This question may have crossed your mind, especially if you’re considering adding it to your collection or using it in a piece of jewelry.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deep into the world of spinel, exploring its value, characteristics, and why it might be worth every penny. By the end of this article, you’ll have a much clearer understanding of whether spinel aligns with your expectations and desires.

Is Spinel An Expensive Gem?

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What is Spinel?

Spinel is a fascinating gemstone, often mistaken for other gems like ruby or sapphire due to its brilliant color range. It’s a magnesium aluminum oxide and exists in a variety of colors, including red, blue, green, yellow, and black.

Historical Background

Spinel’s history is as rich as its colors. For centuries, it has adorned the crowns and jewels of royalty, often being mistaken for other more commonly known gems. The famous “Black Prince’s Ruby” in the British Crown Jewels is actually a large red spinel!

Spinel’s Composition

Spinel’s composition contributes to its hardness and durability, making it a fantastic choice for jewelry. It has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, coming just below sapphire and ruby. This makes it suitable for everyday wear and resistant to scratches and abrasions.

GemstoneHardness (Mohs Scale)
Corundum (Rubies and Sapphires)9

Types of Spinel

Spinel comes in a kaleidoscope of colors, each with unique properties and market values.

Red Spinel

Red spinel is often mistaken for ruby due to its brilliant and rich hue. This type of spinel is among the most valuable and sought after.

Blue Spinel

Blue spinel can rival sapphires’ beauty. Its unique tones can range from pale blue to an intense cobalt or indigo blue.

Pink and Lavender Spinel

Pink and lavender spinel offer a softer, more pastel palette, perfect for those who prefer a subtler yet equally charming gemstone.

Other Colors

Spinel can also be found in green, yellow, orange, brown, and even black. Each color variant has its own unique appeal and value.

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Factors Affecting the Value of Spinel

When determining whether spinel is an expensive gem, it’s essential to consider several factors that affect its value.


Color is the most significant factor in determining the value of a spinel. Intense, vivid colors are usually more expensive. The red, blue, and pink varieties tend to command higher prices on the market.


Like other gemstones, the clarity of the spinel significantly impacts its value. Gems with fewer inclusions (imperfections) are more valuable. However, due to the natural process of their formation, it’s rare to find completely inclusion-free spinels.


The cut of the spinel can enhance its natural beauty and brilliance. A well-cut spinel will reflect light beautifully, making it more desirable and valuable.

Carat Weight

Larger spinels are rarer, and their value often increases exponentially with weight. However, the other three factors—color, clarity, and cut—are equally important.


The origin of the spinel can also influence its value. Spinels from Burma (Myanmar) are particularly prized for their exceptional color and quality.

Spinel vs. Other Gemstones

Understanding how spinel compares to other gemstones can provide perspective on its value.

Common ColorsRed, Blue, PinkRedBlue, various
Known OriginsMyanmar, VietnamMyanmar, ThailandSri Lanka, Myanmar
Average Price RangeModerate to HighHighHigh

Is Spinel An Expensive Gem?

Price Range of Spinel

Spinel’s price range is quite broad, influenced by the factors outlined above. To give you a rough idea, here’s an overview based on color and quality:

ColorPrice Range per Carat (USD)
Red$800 – $10,000+
Blue$400 – $6,000+
Pink$250 – $3,000+
Lavender$200 – $2,000+
Other Colors$100 – $1,500+

How to Buy Spinel

Knowing where and how to buy spinel can ensure you get the best value for your money.

Reputable Dealers

Ensure that you buy from reputable dealers who can provide certification for authenticity. This helps in guaranteeing the quality and value of the gemstone.


Always ask for certification from a recognized gemological laboratory. These certificates provide detailed information about the spinel’s characteristics and authenticity.

Physical Examination

If possible, examine the spinel in person. Check for clarity, color, and how it reacts to light. Remember, a high-quality spinel should exhibit a vibrant color and good clarity.

Is Spinel An Expensive Gem?

Caring for Your Spinel

To maintain the beauty and value of your spinel, proper care is essential.


Clean your spinel using warm soapy water and a soft brush. Avoid harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners, which can damage the gem.


Store your spinel separately in a soft cloth or a padded jewelry box to avoid scratches.

Regular Inspections

Have your spinel jewelry regularly inspected by a professional to ensure the settings are secure and to catch any wear and tear early.

Investing in Spinel

Is spinel a good investment? Like all gemstones, spinel can be a worthwhile investment if chosen carefully.

Market Trends

Spinel’s popularity has been on the rise, increasing its value and demand. However, market trends can fluctuate, so it’s wise to invest in high-quality, certified stones if you’re looking at spinel as a long-term investment.


High-quality spinels, especially those with unique colors or significant carat weights, are rarer and thus hold more potential as valuable investments.


Investing in a range of gemstones, including spinel, can diversify your portfolio and spread risk.

Is Spinel An Expensive Gem?

Famous Spinels

Throughout history, numerous spinels have garnered fame for their size, quality, and historical significance.

The Black Prince’s Ruby

Misnomer aside, the Black Prince’s Ruby is actually a large red spinel set in the British imperial state crown. Its rich history and regal associations make it one of the most famous spinels in the world.

The Samarian Spinel

Weighing an astonishing 500 carats, the Samarian Spinel is the largest known spinel. It’s part of the Iranian Crown Jewels and known for its exceptional size and clarity.

The Timur Ruby

Another famous “ruby” that turned out to be spinel, the Timur Ruby is inscribed with the names of the six Mughal emperors who once owned it. It sits proudly in the British Crown Jewels collection.


So, is spinel an expensive gem? The answer is both yes and no—it significantly depends on the color, clarity, cut, carat weight, and origin of the stone. High-quality spinels can command prices that rival rubies and sapphires, while more common varieties can be surprisingly affordable.

Whether you’re a gem aficionado or just someone who appreciates the finer things in life, spinel offers a unique and beautiful option. With its rich history, stunning colors, and exceptional durability, spinel could be a dazzling addition to your collection or a wise investment for the future.

Now that you’re armed with all this knowledge, you can make an informed decision about adding spinel to your life. Whether you choose it for its beauty, durability, or investment potential, you’re sure to find that this captivating gem is worth every bit of attention it receives.

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Author: marklsmithms1

Hi, I'm Mark, the author of Maura Gems and Jewellery. As a team of qualified gemmologists and goldsmiths, we bring you world-class jewellery at Bangkok prices. With offices in both Bangkok and the UK, we ethically source the finest gemstones directly, eliminating any middlemen. We offer a wide range of stunning ready-made jewellery items in our new online store, available for retail or wholesale. Additionally, we specialize in custom-made jewellery where we can bring any design to life. Whether you're a trade professional or an individual customer, we cater to all. Feel free to email me at or call/WhatsApp me at 07470547636 or +66949355718. Discover our incredible collection by visiting our online store. I guarantee you'll love what you find there!

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