As with commercial grade unheated natural sapphires, commercial grade Spinels are abundant. Below are some examples of regular Spinels most people come across in stores or at their local jeweller.
Commercial grade spinels come as cheaply as $200/ct for sizes under 3cts. However, aesthetically beautiful, well-cut and 100% unheated Spinels are difficult to source. Often times, Spinels, like above, that come through our hands do not make through our quality controls. Investment-grade Spinels in shades of pink, blue and red can command a minimum of $4000/ct and upwards. This is assuming the Spinel is eye-clean/loupe-clean, well-cut with no colour zones, no areas of large windows, no areas of dark shadows.
Some examples of fine quality Spinels are as below. Well-cut, aesthetically beautiful & 100% natural Spinels are becoming increasingly difficult to source.
Yes, you’ve guessed right. It is the Imperial Topaz, which typically comes in shades of rich golden yellow, orange, (think sunset colours), to the most prized colour of Imperial Topaz: the pink-red, red hues.
A request came from a client to have a matching Imperial Topaz ring to her current pair of Imperial Topaz earrings (also crafted in-house, by yours truly).
So, we set about sourcing a matching piece of Imperial Topaz for her.
We had crafted this beautiful golden sunset-hued Imperial Topaz in our in-house blend of natural gold, with gold purity at 18K (750). Making this ring in the traditional rich shade of 18K Yellow Gold would have been too much of a clash of gold hues with the centre Imperial Topaz.
Prices of Imperial Topaz
Often times, people are of the impression that the Topaz is an easily available, abundantly occurring, hence low-cost gemstone. This is however not at all true. Topazes come in several colours, including deep blue, teal, Swiss blue (bright vivid candy blue), light brown, brown-grey, taupe tones, as well as colour-less. Topazes in all the above-mentioned shades are not overly pricey and can be had for an affordable price. Prices of Imperial Topaz in a nice warm yellow colour for sizes below 5cts can range between USD 600 – 800/ct.
The joy in appreciating the beauty of the Topaz is that it is a naturally eye-clean and usually loupe-clean gemstone.
Imperial Topaz which are of a beautiful golden sunset colour and also those with orange / peach undertones, well-cut pieces will easily fetch prices between USD 900 – 1200/ct in sizes under 5cts.
Additionally, Imperial Topaz in the most rare colours of red and pink-reds will easily fetch prices of USD 3500 and upwards. Sizes above 5 cts are rarely seen.
Natural or Non-natural?
Most Blue and Brown Topazes seen in commercial shops are very often irradiated or heat treated to achieve these shades / colours. However, true Imperial Topazes are never irradiated / heat treated / chemical treated in any way. Hence the term “Imperial Topaz” is reserved strictly for Topaz in that distinctive golden yellow, sunset yellow, red and pink Topazes that are 100% natural with no heating, chemical treatment or irradiation.
Our client did not want for diamonds on her beautiful ring so instead, we decided to craft a ring for her showcasing a beautiful and elegant gallery (notice the curved, flower petal structure on the side view of the ring below the centre Topaz).
Check out a video of this mesmerising Imperial Topaz ring on our client here on Instagram (@heritagegems):
Nothing spells luxury quite like rich green – a rare tsavorite and diamond engagement ring. In a vivid, alluring shade of green. It captures the attention of anyone who sets eyes on it.
What is a tsavorite?
As with the Spinel, and Mandarin Spessatite, true gem connoisseurs know the rarity and value of the Tsavorite. It belongs to the garnet family. It ranks 7.5 on the MOHs scale and offers good scratch-resistance.
Forget about ancient history where royalties, maharajahs and maharanis have adorned the emerald in their numerous jewels and crowns in part, because mining technology in the early 1800s just simply wasn’t able to discover the Tsavorite Garnet yet. In today’s world, 99% of all emeralds have some form of oiling or resin enhancement (yes, including those accompanied by certificates from reputable gem labs stating “Minor Oiling”). Often, they are filled with fissures and fractures that it is difficult for one to really appreciate the visual beauty of the emerald (if not for the abundant marketing telling consumers that emeralds are so beautiful).
How rare is the tsavorite?
The “downside” of the Tsavorite is that it is twice as rare as the emerald and found often, in much smaller rough sizes as compared to the emerald. With low mining and production of faceted Tsavorites, it is difficult to swarm the commercial mainstream jewellery market with Tsavorites simply because there just isn’t enough to go around. But it does not take one long to realise just how exquisite a gemstone the Tsavorite is. Relative to the emerald, the Tsavorite can withstand small knocks better mostly due to the fact that the emerald has so many fissures, internal cracks and inclusions. Due to these internal crack lines existing in 99% of emeralds, any small external impact (accidental or not) will likely result in the emerald being chipped or broken on the surface.
Tsavorites come in a beautiful range of light green, medium green to vivid and deep intense green and also in the mint shade of green.
Set in our custom-blend 18K Beige Gold, below features a vivid intense green Tsavorite and diamond engagement ring that looks so breathtaking and regal at the same time. We are in love with this piece that is not only timeless in both colour and also design. Truly elegant.
The key to finding a beautiful intense green Tsavorite is to look for one that is as eye-clean as possible. Intense vivid green Tsavorites have a tendency to look slightly lacklustre, especially if the gemstone is not well-faceted resulting in areas of dark/overcast sections. However, good quality Tsavorites usually have a ‘lively’ appearance to them, with good brilliance and scintillates even in natural daylight.
Beautiful vintage style engagement rings never fail to evoke romantic feelings.
Our client very graciously shared her wedding day photos and nothing says love better than a couple with their megawatt smiles, vintage inspired engagement ring and a stunning lace dress.
Beautiful blue Spinels are extremely rare. Yes, equally as rare as the unheated blue sapphire. Blue spinels and most other Spinels are typically non-treated and non-heated. The unique feature about the blue spinel is that it has a very magnetic shade of blue, one that seemingly grows on you rather than simply catching your eye at the first instance. Spinels have long been mistaken for sapphires, or Corundums, because its lustre and brilliance quite resembles the Sapphires.
It’s nice to be able to create your own history and story by customising a vintage styled engagement ring because there’s just something alluring and romantic about it. They make for great photos as well!
Photo Credit: From Client, taken by Daniel Sim Photography
Photo Credit: From Client, taken by Jasper Avenue Sydney