Natural spinel has long been overlooked. Superstars of the gem world with a similar appearance, like ruby and sapphire, as well as commonplace synthetic versions have taken its spotlight, so to speak. Now, spinel has become a popular gemstone in its own right. The colors of natural spinel can rival ruby red or sapphire blue. These gems are also available in many other colors and at broader price ranges than their corundum competitors. Our spinel buying guide can help you choose the right stone for almost any jewelry use.

Spinel Buying And The 4 Cs

Although red and blue colored spinels command the highest prices, clarity and carat weight can also have a significant effect on value. Myanmar (“Burmese”) provenance always adds value.

The IGS spinel value listing has price guidelines for spinel buying with different color grades, sizes, and cut styles.


In the GIA color grading system, color consists of three qualities: hue, tone, and saturation. The basic hues are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and purple. Tone refers to a color’s relative lightness, from colorless (0) to black (10). Saturation refers to a color’s intensity, from grayish or brownish (1) to vivid (6). The dominant…