New Mineral Named After GIA’s John Koivula
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 Post subject: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:00 pm 
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Hello all,
Here are a group of pink Spinel I have been examining. I'm mostly comfortable with my conclusions, but I'd love for you to have a look and let me know if your thoughts are any different. Regarding Spinel in general, it's the gemstone I'm am most interested in pursuing right now. The only concern I have is that flux/hydrothermal synthetics can be incredibly convincing.

One question I have for the experts: is an expert level of experience examining inclusions sufficient for you to separate natural from synthetic Spinel, or are capabilities like UV-VIS-NIR / FT-IR / RAMAN Microspectroscopy now considered basic required tools for a field gemologist, like a microscope or refractometer.

Here's what I have for some Spinel specimens. Stones are posted in same order as photo (1 - 6).
RI: 1.71
SG: Not tested
LWUV: Strong
SWUV: Weak
Birefringence: Not observed
Pleochroism: Not observed
Dichroism: Not observed
Polariscope reaction: ADR (some inclusions exhibit DR, and some remain light throughout rotation which I suspect is due to microcrystalline structure)
Purchase location: Afghanistan
Stated origin: Badakhshan Province
Price: Stone 1 - 2.34ct Rectangle Purplish Red $70/ct; Stones 2,3,5,6 Purplish pink 3.88cttw $100/ct; Stone 4 Light Pink 2.1ct Pear $300/ct

Regarding these specimens, I am confident that 2,3,5, and 6 are natural due to what looks to me like Euhedral and Anhedral crystals (perhaps amphibole and/or apatite).

For 1 and 4, I also think they are natural. I found what looks like negative crystal and fingerprints in 1. In 4 it looks to me like there are tiny anhedral and octahedral crystals, a "flying pyramid", and sulphur deposits.

I am a beginner at microscopy and photography, but I'm guessing that your experience plus my crappy pictures will garner a more accurate interpretation than my eyes looking down the tubes. I'm not sure if my photos are adequate, but assuming they look familiar to you, my question is whether this is sufficient for positive ID of natural origin or if something like raman would be necessary to achieve certainty.

Let me now if there are any questions or any other angles etc. you'd like to see. Enjoy!

Attachment:
Pink Spinel.jpg
Pink Spinel.jpg [ 32.36 KiB | Viewed 351 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:56 pm 
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Inclusions in the 1st spinel
Fingerprints and, a negative crystal?

Attachment:
Spinel 1 Inclusion 1.0.jpg
Spinel 1 Inclusion 1.0.jpg [ 841.88 KiB | Viewed 338 times ]

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Spinel 1 Inclusion 1.1.jpg
Spinel 1 Inclusion 1.1.jpg [ 800.69 KiB | Viewed 338 times ]

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Spinel 1 Inclusion 1.2.jpg
Spinel 1 Inclusion 1.2.jpg [ 1.24 MiB | Viewed 338 times ]

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Spinel 1 Inclusion 1.3.jpg
Spinel 1 Inclusion 1.3.jpg [ 1.17 MiB | Viewed 338 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 1 Inclusion 1.4.jpg
Spinel 1 Inclusion 1.4.jpg [ 1.31 MiB | Viewed 338 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:00 pm 
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Spinel #2
Negative crystal "Boot" inclusion, with sulfur deposit?
Attachment:
Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.0.jpg
Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.0.jpg [ 1.29 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.1.jpg
Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.1.jpg [ 1.38 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

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Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.2.jpg
Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.2.jpg [ 1.16 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

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Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.3.jpg
Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.3.jpg [ 1.14 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.4.jpg
Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.4.jpg [ 1.16 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:05 pm 
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Spinel #2 negative crystal "Boot" inclusion.
Attachment:
Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.5.jpg
Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.5.jpg [ 939.74 KiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.6.jpg
Spinel 2 Boot Inclusion 1.6.jpg [ 1.21 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]


Spinel #2 euhedral crystal inclusion?
Attachment:
Spinel 2 Inclusion 2.0.jpg
Spinel 2 Inclusion 2.0.jpg [ 1.19 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 2 Inclusion 2.1.jpg
Spinel 2 Inclusion 2.1.jpg [ 1.3 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 2 Inclusion 2.2.jpg
Spinel 2 Inclusion 2.2.jpg [ 1.03 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:08 pm 
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Spinel #3 anhedral inclusion (apatite?)
Attachment:
Spinel 3 Inclusion 1.0.jpg
Spinel 3 Inclusion 1.0.jpg [ 1.28 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 3 Inclusion 2.0.jpg
Spinel 3 Inclusion 2.0.jpg [ 1.07 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:13 pm 
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Spinel #4 inclusion landscape near culet
Attachment:
Spinel 4 Culet Inclusions 1.0.jpg
Spinel 4 Culet Inclusions 1.0.jpg [ 1.66 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 4 Culet Inclusions 1.1.jpg
Spinel 4 Culet Inclusions 1.1.jpg [ 1.17 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

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Spinel 4 Culet Inclusions 1.2.jpg
Spinel 4 Culet Inclusions 1.2.jpg [ 1.61 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]


Spinel #4 "flying pyramid" inclusion?
Attachment:
Spinel 4 Girdle Inclusion 1.0.jpg
Spinel 4 Girdle Inclusion 1.0.jpg [ 1 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 4 Girdle Inclusion 1.3.jpg
Spinel 4 Girdle Inclusion 1.3.jpg [ 1.04 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:16 pm 
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Spinel #4 inclusion: at first I thought it looked like flux, but under different lighting I now believe to be sulfur in a negative crystal
Attachment:
Spinel 4 Inclusion 2.0.jpg
Spinel 4 Inclusion 2.0.jpg [ 1.41 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 4 Inclusion 2.1.jpg
Spinel 4 Inclusion 2.1.jpg [ 1.27 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 4 Inclusion 2.2.jpg
Spinel 4 Inclusion 2.2.jpg [ 1.42 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 4 Inclusion 2.3.jpg
Spinel 4 Inclusion 2.3.jpg [ 1.24 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:19 pm 
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Spinel #4 inclusions: at first I thought this to look like flux
Attachment:
Spinel 4 Inclusion 3.0.jpg
Spinel 4 Inclusion 3.0.jpg [ 1.99 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 4 Inclusion 3.1.jpg
Spinel 4 Inclusion 3.1.jpg [ 1.31 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 4 Inclusion 3.2.jpg
Spinel 4 Inclusion 3.2.jpg [ 1.76 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:25 pm 
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Spinel #5 crystal inclusion (apatite?). Part of the crystal is out of focus, but it's a fully formed structure floating in the gem and each surface can be brought sharply in to focus. It's right in the face of the table, but it's a very beautiful inclusion.

I wonder if you could offset the location of the inclusion by marketing a microscopic picture with the gemstone?

Attachment:
Spinel 5 Inclusion 1.0.jpg
Spinel 5 Inclusion 1.0.jpg [ 2.22 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 5 Inclusion 1.1.jpg
Spinel 5 Inclusion 1.1.jpg [ 680.65 KiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 5 Inclusion 1.2.jpg
Spinel 5 Inclusion 1.2.jpg [ 886.58 KiB | Viewed 337 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:27 pm 
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Spinel #6 - Lots of tiny inclusions and crystalline structures. This looks like an apatite crystal to me.

Attachment:
Spinel 6 Inclusion 1.0.jpg
Spinel 6 Inclusion 1.0.jpg [ 1.31 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
Spinel 6 Inclusion 1.1.jpg
Spinel 6 Inclusion 1.1.jpg [ 1.18 MiB | Viewed 337 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:55 pm 
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Nice presentation, Mr. H.
That "boot" is a strange one.
What scope are you using?

Very well done!


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:57 pm 
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love the photos! Ive bought quite a few spinel over the years purely for fingerprint inclusions. Love em.


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:49 pm 
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Thank you for the kind words Ms. Voltaire :)

I'm using a refurbished Leica StereoZoom 6 courtesy of Jeff Wildman's Porta Lab, combined with my Samsung Galaxy S6 camera :oops:

I was strongly considering investing in the Eickhorst trinocular, but after reading the ad nauseum discussions here regarding microscopes (anyone here miss those days from a few years ago?) I concluded that Jeff's kit was the best value for acquiring the essentials, especially given the environment I'm exposing it to. Jeff is a wonderful person so I couldn't be happier all around with the recommendation and with his execution.

My girlfriend was the first to appreciate the resemblance to a boot, then a good laugh turned to despair as she informed me she would be perpetually appreciating "her boot". Spinel happens to be her birthstone so it works out. Now I'm charged to find a collection of greyish accents for a ring.


Raj, thank you for the compliment. Out of such a small sampling I'm astounded by the variety of internal beauty discovered. It's a magical material and I can't wait to find more. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I'd love to see some of your collection.


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 Post subject: Re: Pink Spinel
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:25 am 
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The stereozoom 6 is nice--the old discussions rag on it a bit because that one list has it as 'not recommended', and its construction is more plasticy than earlier SZ models (it's amazing how much lighter it is than a stereozoom 5!) but honestly I think that list is mostly about how happy they were to do maintenance work on them. The ones I've used have had very nice ergonomics and produced a good image.

You can always upgrade to trinocular later, either an SZ6photo/SZ7 with photo port as a drop-in replacement, or with an adapter you can use a standard 76mm head. The adapters are kind of scarce but sometimes you'll find a head with one, like this Wild M7: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Wild-Heerbrugg ... 3742860713

The porta lab is a very cool concept. I haven't used the Gemological Products one, but the GIA one is an exceptional piece of equipment (I am not sure what their precise relationship is).

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