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 Post subject: HUGE Spinel from Tajikistan
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:14 am 
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I've been traveling around Tuscon shopping for rough with fellow GO members Roger Dery, Steve Wallner, Gary Braun, and Naomi Sarna, a gem carver, (who I hope we've talked into becoming a GO member in the near future). It's been an absolute joy walking the shows with this group of professionals -- the insights and laughs alone have been worth my trip.

As others have pointed out, the weekend attendance has been very low. This, of course, works to some advantage for our buying, but I feel very badly for the dealers (especially the guy with the multi-kilos of Paki peridot refusing to let anyone pick -- $30K+ lots only. We suspect he'll change his terms in a few days).

Yesterday, we visited a long established dealer at the LaQuinta show. We purchased a good deal of rough from him at good prices. As things progressed, he pulled out a parcel of somewhat purple, red rough and handed it to us. My jaw dropped when he said, "it's spinel from Tajikistan."

We were holding an approximately 330gram parcel of the largest pieces of spinel I've ever seen -- the smallest piece was probably around 4grams, the largest had to be around 70grams. The most amazing part of it was that the parcel was mostly clean!

Happily, I had my point & shoot camera along and received permission to take some quick pictures. All of the lights were incandescent and I didn't use a flash -- I'm typing this from the hotel, so I can't tweak these pictures. Check this out

Image

Image

Image

Asking price? $500,000. We encouraged him to contact the GIA, AGTA or some high-profile gemologist to document this lot before it gets sold.

As always, you can click through the image to my Flickr photostream for a larger version.

Update: I spoke with the dealer again today and he gave me permission to post his info: you can see this lot at Five Lions Gems. Presently, they're at La Quinta, room 115. But they'll be transitioning to GJX some time tomorrow -- they'll be at booth 1033. Ask for Wali.

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Last edited by Peter Torraca on Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:29 am 
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:shock:

very cool, glad you had your camera with you so we get some of it too!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:19 am 
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WOW! Just, WOW! :shock:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:20 am 
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Hum, from here it looks very nice...

The Kul I Lal spinel mines at the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan are known to have produce many very large and clean stones for more than 1000 years. They were rediscovered at the beginning of the XXI century.
For more info:
http://www.fieldgemology.org/gemology%20tajikistan%20ruby%20spinel%20pamir.php
and
http://www.ruby-sapphire.com/tajikistan_ruby_and_spinel.htm
and also:
http://www.ruby-sapphire.com/spinel-resurrection-of-classic.htm

Would have loved to see there. Sadly I'm in Bangkok...

All the best,

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www.conservationgemology.org

The views expressed here are V. Pardieu’s opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of GIA Laboratory Bangkok (http://www.giathai.net)where he is an employee since Dec 2008.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:37 am 
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Holy Crap! Fantastic colour in unbeliveable sizes!


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 Post subject: Re: HUGE Spinel from Tajikistan
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:57 pm 
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pt wrote:
Asking price? $500,000.


So, did you buy it Peter ? :smt042 :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:55 pm 
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Spinel from Tajikistan can be quite large, and certainly very beautiful. The color is very consistent, a slightly orangish, slightly purplish, light-medium pink.

The rough is much more expensive now that it was even several years ago. While the rough usually goes through Peshawar, there is high demand in Russia for the best faceted stones.

Inclusions usually are in the form of minute specks. These can be difficult to see in the rough, and makes buying rough Tajik spinel somewhat risky. With the light tone, even one small spot is easily seen in a faceted stone. As such, if possible, one should cut Tajik spinels to be absolutely loupe-clean.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:41 am 
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I just updated my original post with the dealer's show info -- if you're in town, stop by and take a look!

peter

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 Post subject: Spinel
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:47 am 
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Is it possible to know the name of the buyer?Or the number's room?
Best regards.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Five Lions Gems. Presently, they're at La Quinta, room 115.
:D


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:35 am 
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... and today they're at GJX 1033.

Like Five Lion, many transition to GJX or AGTA shows from the smaller shows.

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 Post subject: RE Five Lions Gems
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:54 am 
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I went by the Five lions booth today at GJX. The spinel was unbelievable, but hehad a lot more than the Spinel (which was out of my league.) He had seafoam and neon blue-green color tourmaline to die for. Also saw the three largest, most perfect Kunzite crystals of deep fushia color. They were worth the trip alone. Beryls and peridot all of sizes you never see any more. I haven't really seen any other rough dealers yet with Wali's quality and sizes. Prices were very fair for the quality and size.

Tom Kidwell


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:31 pm 
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I too paid Wali a visit and was absolutely floored by the spinel. I saw him early on at LaQuinta and again yesterday at GJX. The size was incredibly-impressive, but equally so was the clarity. Some of the pieces looked completely flawless to my brief inspection. Some lucky (and extremely well-funded) cutter or cutters will have some killer spinel by the end of the show....

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:28 am 
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I've dealt w/ wali.. he's quite the stone guy.. those spinels are incredible and what i'd come to expect from him.. unfortunately he doesn't break those parcels down ( he's the guy I got that sky blue tourmaline rough from you like Barbara).

I'll have to say hi and take a look..

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 Post subject: Spinel
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:57 pm 
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Just curious the price he was asking per gram for Spinel....


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