Go for a Spinel

With a rainbow of colors to choose from, this stone is quietly taking its place in the top tier of gems.

January 23, 2024  |  Rachael Taylor
1280x720 style JC Omi Privé three-stone ring USED 012324

There’s an underrated gemstone that’s popping up in all the best places, from the latest high-jewelry collections at Dior and Tiffany & Co. to the red carpet — though you might not spot it straight away, since its myriad hues run from deep reds and blues to soft greys, lilacs, oranges, pinks and deepest blacks. This color-versatile stone is spinel.

“Our sales for spinels have been very strong,” reports Rebecca Shukan, director of sales at jeweler Omi Privé. “Our retail partners and collectors have been eagerly acquiring our cobalt spinel rings that incorporate accents of hauyne. This season, we are also working with grey spinel, as we love how the grey is alive with undertones of lavender and blue. With that said, we still think it is one of the most underappreciated colored gemstones in the market.”

This could be a local issue. Olivier Reza, chief executive of Parisian jeweler Reza, finds that his Asian and European clients are best-acquainted with the gemstone. Though American shoppers have yet to embrace it, demand elsewhere is already pushing up prices. “The cost of [spinels] with unique coloration is comparable to the best unheated Ceylon sapphires,” he says.

Prices for fine red specimens are “astronomical,” according to Giorgio Bulgari, founder of jewelry brand Giorgio B — but he is still willing to pay. “It is very desirable among collectors and connoisseurs. The lively nature of spinels makes them very attractive, even more so than rubies at times.”

For contemporary designers, the softer, muted shades are more of a draw than the ultra-competitive blues and reds. For her latest collection, Dusk, designer Eva Fehren used grey and purplish-pink spinels in shield, hexagon and radiant cuts, setting them in blackened gold. “I was drawn to these particular spinels because of their quiet brilliance — like the colors you see on the edge of sundown,” she says. “It was my first time using spinel, but it won’t be my last.”

Raw spinel pendant on an 18-karat yellow gold chain.
(Karma El Khalil)
Spinel and diamond studs in 14-karat gold. (Natalie Perry)
Ring, featuring a 3.66-carat, pink-purple spinel and diamonds in 18-karat white gold.
(Stephen Silver)
Ring in 18-karat rose gold and black ceramic with an octagon-cut, 3.23 spinel. (Giorgio B)
Gypset ring in 18-karat yellow gold with pink spinel.
(Akaila Reid)
Akoya pearl and diamond necklace with a starfish-shaped accent centering a 2-carat blue spinel. (Tiffany & Co.)
Sea Urchin earrings with a pair of spinels totaling 8.08 carats, as well as garnets, aquamarine and diamonds.
(Lily Gabriella)
Brooch with a pearl, spinels, garnets and diamonds in 18-karat white gold. (Cicada)
Kent Geo V earrings in 18-karat blackened gold with diamonds and 4.61 carats of shield-cut spinels. (Eva Fehren)

Main image: Omi Privé three-stone ring with a cobalt-blue spinel, Paraíba tourmaline, hauyne, and diamonds. (Omi Privé)

This article is from the January-February 2024 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.

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1280x720 style JC Omi Privé three-stone ring USED 012324 Go for a Spinel

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