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Spinel, one of the Most Expensive Natural Rough Red Gemstones In The World



Lately in my line of work as a Gem and Jewelry Appraiser I’ve been saying "it is one of the rarest in the world" quite often. I did an 83 Kilo rough piece of Brazilian Emerald in Matrix, the third largest cut diamond in the world (407.87ct), a 1000ct rough Columbian Emerald, a 14 kilo piece of red spinel and another dark red Burmese gem spinel weighing 24.9 kilos. All truly amazing and very rare. Many folks have said I am a liar because gem material like these do not exist so I must be making up stories. Well here is the story and the photos of just one of these incredibly rare freaks of nature, The 24.9 Kilogram piece of dark red gem Spinel.




Red Spinel is a relatively unknown gemstone but it is the third most expensive red gem material in the world today, red diamond being first and ruby being second. For most of the written history Gem quality red Spinel was thought to be Ruby, it was found in the same ground as ruby and was the same color but a different mineral altogether. It is a Magnesium Aluminum Oxide that forms in the isometric crystal system unlike Corundum (ruby), that is Aluminum Oxide that forms in the hexagonal crystal system and gets its red coloration from the metal Chromium. The differentiation did not occur until after the 18th century. Prior it was called spinel-rubies or Balas Ruby after the Balascia, region that produced many red and pink spinels throughout history. Some spinels are among the most famous gemstones, among them is the “The Black Princes Ruby” and the ''Timur Ruby” in the British Crown Jewels, they are in fact Red Spinels.


24.9 kgs

24.9 kgs



According to Wikepedia the largest cut Red Spinel in the world is the Samarian Spinel which weighs 500cts (100 grams). Here we have a piece with the potential to cut a 5000ct piece under ideal conditions. Maybe more. The total weight of the piece is 24.9 Kilos (24,900 grams or 124,500 carats).

Normal cutting percentage even in the worst possible case would still yield at least 40% or 49,800 cts.So this piece is worth in the Tens of Millions if not Hundreds of millions us Dollars.

I have appraised it in the high end of Retail value for insurance purposes assuming the best of all possible outcomes. Let’s just say it would take many years and many cutters with a lot of money to invest to cut this piece to get such an incredible return on this stone. It is available today on the market for sale for those with money and forsight to purchase it.

PETER LUMETTA, G.G. Mbe Ste.#057 191 Silom Complex, 3rd. Fl. Silom Rd., Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Thailand, PH (668)705-38-446 (cell), Fax (662)231-3271

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Fada on December 13, 2016:

Good day Peter, is it possible to have a copy of the gems valuation? (The 24.9 Kilogram piece of dark red gem Spinel) how do i get to contact u direct?

Joe on May 20, 2013:

Hello Peter, was wondering if I was to send pics of rough stones I have could you give me any info on them if possible, types, values, best place to sell, Thank You along with a email to send them to..

PETER LUMETTA (author) from KENAI, ALAKSA on May 11, 2011:

Jillian, You read a bunch of my Hubs. The owners want to sell the way it is around $50M.

However the Banks have stopped loaning money against Gemstones. They would rather just take your cash or bonds, not even 'Gold or Diamonds' are good enough anymore. Because the Banks feel they are the only ones who are allowed to make ungodly amounts of money. I have sold this piece twice and both times the reason the deal fell through was the Bank! I'll let you know if it gets cut, you could buy one of the little ones.

Donna Lichtenfels from California, USA on May 11, 2011:

Dear Peter,

You are so knowledgable! Are the plans to cut this and sell, or sell as is, uncut? Not that I could ever afford it, but I would love to see the cut gem.

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