Sphalerite Appraisal


“Sphalerite Cut” by Eurico Zimbres is licensed under CC By-SA 3.0
“Sphalerite Cut” by Eurico Zimbres is licensed under CC By-SA 3.0

Question

I’ve come across what I believe is an unusual specimen and I’m looking for someone to help me come up with an approximate value for this. I’ve got a brilliant cut sphalerite that is 11.5 ct and 13mm across. It’s a brilliant orangish-red color with tremendous luster and fire. I’m thinking of having it made into a piece of jewelry for my wife. First, I want to know what the stone is worth for insurance purposes. Can you help me?

Answer

Sphalerite sells between $20 and $200 per carat. The value is dependent on many factors, but cut, color, and clarity are the biggest ones. You need to find a qualified appraiser who is familiar with rare gems. The stone must be inspected in person to get any kind of accurate idea of its value. Sphalerite is usually reserved for collectors. Be very cautious about using this gemstone in jewelry. Sphalerite is very soft, 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale. That means it will lose its luster just from normal cleaning. It’s also brittle and has perfect cleavage. There is no way this gem could stand up to the abuse a ring stone receives. However, sphalerite could be used in a pendant or brooch worn only on special occasions.

Donald Clark, CSM IMG