Discover spinel



Spinel is a “grey cardinal” in high and designer jewelry, powerful and influential but keeping low profile compared to more famous sapphires, emeralds, rubies.
In fact, it was even confused with sapphires and rubies for many centuries (i.e., in the British Crown Jewels) till in 1793 it was first identified by the French mineralogist Jean-Baptiste Louis Romé de l’Isle. Gemological Association of America even suggests that distinguishing spinel from ruby gave birth to the science of gemology.


Don’t worry if you never heard of it before. You can see it at Cartier, Dior, Van Cleef, but it’s not really present in the mass-market as it’s nearly impossible to get similar gems for mass-production. Particularly, in North America with its focus on the “big four” (diamond, emerald, sapphire, ruby). In Europe, Japan there is more demand for it, and the prices keep growing. I think, North America is also developing more taste for this unexplored land, particularly with the new generation seeking for “something more”.
Spinel comes in a variety of colours, from discreet pale pink and thunder grey, to powerful red, deep blue ocean, hypnotic cobalt blue and neon jedi rose. Two more gifts for us are the hardness nearly equaling sapphire and ruby (8 on Mohs scale) and high refractive index which ensures excellent brilliance and fire in a well cut and polished spinel.
Prices vary largely from ~150$/ct (1ct is ~5-6mm depending the shape) for certain cuts and colours to 10 000$ /ct and even more. I recently saw an amazing Vietnamese blue cobalt spinel of 1.5ct at nearly 60 000USD per gem. The material of that size and quality is extremely rare, sometimes counts by hundreds and even tens of such gems in the whole world.
Lucky for us there are amazing and more affordable spinels.
Most spinels are mined in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Madagascar.
I’m very happy to present spinel in Montreal, at my atelier LOFT.bijoux. I know that it’s not (yet) known well here, but I find it really important to share it with my (proud to say) advanced jewelry community.

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