SPINEL GEMSTONES: The most important gemstone of this era

Perhaps the one gemstone that has truly befuddled connoisseurs and professionals through the ages is the spinel gemstone. The august birthstone has been mistaken for priced rubies and sapphires by royalties of yore. In fact many historically significant gemstones, like the Timur Ruby and the British Crown Jewel have been discovered to be spinels in reality.

Today, the humble spinel has caught the eye of the younger generations as stunning gemstones that come at an affordable pricing. A wonderful accompaniment with any other kind of gemstone, a ruby red Burma spinel or a beautiful blue Ceylon spinel or even the lesser known star spinels can be a wonderful addition to every jeweller’s collection. Let’s explore why wholesale spinels make for an interesting and effective investment for every gemstone collector’s portfolio.

Wholesale Spinel Colour Palette:

Wholesale spinel is the perfect gemstone acccompaniment to a variety of precious metals and other gemstones. This is because of the plethors of colours that they are available in. While the ruby red spinel and cobalt blue spinel are the most demanded spinel colours due to their striking similarity with rubies and sapphires, the depletion of most ruby and sapphire mines around the world, where spinels were found in association with has led to the increased popularity of other shades such as black spinel, space grey spinel, yellow spinel and bicoloured spinel such as violet-blue spinel.

We have categorised the various colours of wholesale spinel gemstones based on their availability and prices.

Wholesale Black spinel and other rare colors:

Rare and mysterious, the black spinel rarely fails to catch a connoisseur’s eye. Chemically made up of magnesium aluminate or magnesium aluminate oxide, black spinels can reach a hardness of upto 10 on the Moh’s hardness scale, earning them the epithet of “black diamonds”.  However, it must be remembered that “black diamonds” and “black spinels” are completely different gemstones, for all their similarity in shape and colour.

Black spinels are found abundantly in Thailand, where loose black spinels are available at a wholesale rate. Since black spinels are extremely compatible with a large number of gemstones, especially tanzanite gemstones, jewelers can be benefitted by investing in wholesale black spinels and creating stunning pieces.

Space Grey Spinels:

The interesting choices of colours that spinels present have opened up a whole new avenue of avante garde jewelry. Space grel spinels are a popular gemstone choice amongst millenials as a statement jewelry piece.

Main competitor of the spinel gemstone today:

With advances in gemstone technology, spinel gemstones will definitely not be mistaken for rubies today. However, with respect to the color, red spinels are often confused with garnet. A dark red garnet can imitate the likes of beautiful spinels mined from Thailand and Sri Lanka. This confusion arises primarily from the fact that both these stones are isotrpic and tend to behave similarly on refraction of light. However garnet is a softer stone than spinel and is much more susceptible to wear. In thin sections, garnet have a “roughened” appearnce whereas spinels are much more equant.

The best way to ensure that you are purchasing genuine wholesale spinel gemstones is to buy from a trusted source that has had a lot of practical experience in distinguishing between similar looking gemstones.

Spinels: The most intelligent gemstone purchase today:

Natural spinel has always been a rare and beautiful gemstone. With the decrease in availability of good quality rubies and sapphires, buying a genuine gemstone becomes a bit of a challenge. An educated gemstone purchase would be investing in natural spinel as they are 100% natural and untreated, whereas low quality rubies and sapphires are often highly treated to make them look and feel more expensive.

Combined with the absence in adulteration, their high hardness, availability in any color and compatibility with almost every other gemstone makes wholesale spinel gemstones a favourite with jewellers and jewelry enthusiasts.

While legendary spinels like the historic Timur Ruby and the Crown Jewel weigh well over a hundred carat, today finding a pure red spinel over 5 carat is an absolute rarity. Thus bigger natural spinels are an extremely rare find.

Since natural spinels are quite a rare find only specialised gem dealers who understand the futuristic value of natural spinel stock them. Along with the fact that rubies and sapphires, both treated and untreated, still enjoy a cult status, natural spinels will not be housed at retail jewelry stores. As they are a labour of love, buying wholesale spinel gemstones from exclusive gemstone dealers like Navneet Gemstones ensures that you are getting a genuine deal.


By sight alone it is possible to confuse spinels with other gemstones of similar colours. While the connoisseur will seldom make the mistake of telling a dark red spinel apart from a ruby, only a trained eye can spot the difference accurately. The great clarity of this color of spinel, together with its lack of dichroism and the evenness of its color differentiates it from ruby, which in addition to its dichroism, often has a splotchy or banded color.

The scientific way to ensure the quality of spinels is by using a refractometer and a polariscope. Natural spinels display double refraction in the form of a very slight lightening and darkening when rotated in the polariscope. A synthetic stone will not show such uniform dispersion but will look patchy due to its uneven chemical composition.

For pyropes either a spectroscope or an ultraviolet light can be used as red spinels will fluoresce under UV light. This difference can also be used to differentiate between garnets and spinels as garnets do not have the same reaction to UV light.

VALUATION of Wholesale Spinel GEMSTONES:

Undoubtedly, the most prized spinel colours are intense red to purplish red and the orange-red. However, the beauty and rarity of these spinels is not reflected in the pricing. The value of the other colours depends on their desirability. Many larger, rough spinels are cut with differently from their ideal proportions, thus compensating for the colour. Size makes very little difference in price per carat in the colors other than red, orange and pink. Perhaps this is because of the absence of dichroism, which gives the lapidary greater freedom in cutting without worrying about orientation and color banding.  Also, spinels take up polish easily and therefor a poorly polished stone faces a rapid fall in cost.