Tips for stone care

What stone was most often confused with spinel?

Spinel has a very rich history. Although often confused with ruby ​​in the past and sometimes perceived as a less valuable alternative, spinel is precious and unique in its own way. It has such a diverse color palette that it can be called a universal gem. Moreover, as a rule, spinel is characterized by high transparency, incl. in comparison with ruby, and interesting nuances of coloring. Despite its high prevalence in nature, spinel does not form rich deposits so often. Spinel is traditionally mined in the Mogok province of Myanmar and the Luc Yen region of Vietnam. These are the areas where, since time immemorial, both ruby ​​and spinel of different shades, including bright red, have been mined at the same time. In addition to the regions of Southeast Asia, a well-known source of spinel is the Kuhilal deposit in the Pamirs (Badakhshan, Tajikistan), which has long been famous for its high-quality samples of predominantly pink and also red spinel. Today, the mine is closed due to disputes over ownership, and gemstones are not officially mined there. New sources of spinel are the Namyazeik deposit in Mogok province in Myanmar (rubies of exceptional quality were also mined there for several years in a row, but the supply was quickly exhausted), Ilakaka in Madagascar, and the Tsavo region of Kenya, famous for garnet – tsavorite. Spinel has long been mined in the alluvial placers of Sri Lanka, but red stones were rare, mostly spinel of light blue and violet color. The “thunderstorm” colored spinel that is popular today is mined mainly in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Relatively recently, small deposits were discovered in the Yunnan province of China and in the Hunza region of Pakistan. But the most valuable recent discovery in the world of this gem is the objects of the Morogoro province in Tanzania – these are the Matombo, Tunduru and Mahenge deposits. Spinel Mahenge is especially distinguished by its unique beauty and bright, rich shades of color, which delights true connoisseurs of precious stones. Ring with Mahenge spinel weighing 21,02 carats, set with diamonds totaling over 5 carats. Presented at Sotheby’s, accompanied by a certificate from the Swiss laboratory SSEF confirming the Tanzanian origin of the spinel and the absence of refinement Spinel from the Mahenge mining region was first discovered in the late 80s and amazed lovers of this stone with the brightness and richness of the color of the stones. The first discoveries were made near the village of Ipanko. Since the beginning of mining in Tanzania, large spinel crystals ranging from 6 to 44 kg have been mined, which are opaque in the center and contain a well-colored zone with a high level of purity on the outside. The most popular shades received the commercial names “electric pink”, “neon pink” and “vivid red”. After the Baselworld Gem Show in 2008, the stone became incredibly popular on the market. A sort of “gold rush” began in Tanzania in search of spinel of exceptional quality. In addition to Mahenge spinel, rubies and sapphires are found here in small quantities, as well as rare gemstones – scapolite and clinohumite. In the modern market, stones with an indication of geographical origin (origin) in the document are especially valued. The cost of such stones is higher than without indicating the origin, and the degree of confidence in such stones is higher. At the Gemological Center of Moscow State University, studies were carried out on a batch of Mahenge spinel. When studying its composition using micro-XRF, it turned out that this spinel is not a magnesian variety (if compared with the well-known Mogok spinel), but belongs to the ganite-herzenite series of spinels with a large predominance of the ganite end-member. Frequently occurring internal features of Mahenge spinel are inclusions in the form of negative crystals of octahedral habit, large crystals of dolomite and calcite, and less commonly phlogopite and apatite. The laboratory carried out detailed studies of the characteristics of these stones to further indicate the deposit in the expert report. Inclusions in spinels, especially in Mahenge stones, also have a unique aesthetic. Spinel Mahenge. In this sample weighing 5.03 carats, experts from the Laboratory of the GemCenter of Moscow State University diagnosed dolomite inclusions (see the following photo) J&W Russia There are stones whose secrets cannot be unraveled, even if you study them all your life. And there are people who are ready to devote their lives to trying to solve this mystery. Vladislav Yavorsky is in love with spinel – a stone no less precious than the recognized “leaders”, and certainly no less beautiful. The Diamond Fund houses the Crown of the Russian Empire. It was once created by the Italian jeweler Jeremy Pozier (known locally as Eremey Petrovich) by order of Catherine II. The difficulty of the order was that the total weight of the crown, which personifies the greatness of the Russian monarchy and the wealth of the country, should not exceed 2 kg. To fulfill Pozier’s important order, the best materials were provided. His choice fell on white Indian pearls, emphasizing the brilliance of the diamonds with which the crown was generously strewn. All this was destined to be crowned with a large blood-red spinel, which, out of ignorance, had long been considered a ruby. The stone was brought by the Russian ambassador in Beijing especially for Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. The ambassador bought it from one of the high-ranking Chinese officials. At that time, such stones were forbidden to be sold to foreigners in China – they had to belong to the emperor. Therefore, the ambassador did not find any other way out but to take him out secretly. Since this mineral has been studied by gemological experts, spinels have been found to sparkle in many treasures and historical regalia around the world. Although previously they were confused with rubies, and with tourmalines, and even with garnets. Noble spinel is not a free-political name for the mineral, but a generally accepted term. This stone got its name from its pointed octahedral shape (from the Latin Spinel – spike). According to another version, its name comes from the Greek spintes – spark, due to the shine and play of the stone. Spinel comes in a variety of colors, although this stone is not even characterized by colors, but by shades. From brownish-red, blue-blue and purple to dark green and gray. But the most valuable in the jewelry world is considered to be that same blood-red spinel. It is almost impossible to find it in a large size, so large specimens were given the honor of decorating royal regalia. Spinel is also rare because it is extremely difficult to find two stones of the same color. Unlike many other gemstones, spinel is not refined. Nothing can improve its quality – neither radiation nor high temperature. This stone is self-sufficient and beautiful the way nature created it. Spinel is often found next to rubies. This is probably why these stones were often confused. 95% of spinel comes from Burma. In Tajikistan there is only pink, but it is of high carat value and high quality. Spinels are also found in Vietnam and Thailand. Just twenty years ago, spinel was a fairly inexpensive stone. Since then it has gone up in price a lot. Some time ago, a stone weighing 7,03 carats, violet-wine color, went for 62.000 Swiss francs at Sotheby’s in Geneva. Well, now let’s return to Vladislav Yavorsky, a recognized expert and collector of spinels and other rare stones, a supplier to large jewelry houses. Instead of going to serve in the army, Vlad went to the Pamirs, where a stone was mined on Mount Lal from the 100.000th century, which was called “Badakhshan lal”. Here Vlad, in his words, “saw the amazing sparkle of blue sparkles in the red stone and could not forget this discovery.” Since then, eager to collect his own collection of stones, he began to travel around the world, visiting deposits, which, according to him, is very difficult for him. In order to find the stone he needs, Vladislav is ready to neglect any everyday conveniences, take off and go “hunting”. For example, during a trip to Africa, it turned out that there was nothing there except local beer. “So you drink it,” recalls Vlad, “and eat pistachios for four to five days. The water is dangerous to drink, it is dirty. And now, stunned, they bring you a stone and say $XNUMX. It’s a lot. But you buy it.” For a successful “hunt,” Yavorsky has to be an athlete, a psychologist, and simply be able to make friends. He says that he once flew to the Pamirs with a backpack full of cherries and walked 18 km up the mountain to treat the residents of the local village. They had never seen a cherry tree and were so moved that they showed where to dig. Anyone who sees a handful of rough stones will be disappointed. They are nothing like the sparkling treasures we see in jewelry. Yavorsky knows how to discern future perfection in stone. “They often tell me: the design of your jewelry is very laconic and simple,” Vlad smiles. – Of course, because I want to show the stone so that it is worth what was paid for it. Our frames are light, but they take three months to complete. And designer bells and whistles can be done on a computer in five minutes.” Having created the brand IVY (Inspired by Vlad Yavorskyy), Yavorsky moved from selling stones to his own jewelry collections to prove that a beautiful stone only needs a frame that will not interfere with it. Isn’t that what they say about a beautiful woman?

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