Gemstones - MAHENGE Spinel

So what is Mahenge Spinel??

Below, are two screen grabs of information we found online pertaining to Mahenge Spinel, as well as a nice looking larger gem. This is followed by All That Glitters Mahenge Spinel Inventory, if available. We recommend that those who haven't seen this material, seek out fine examples at a show to see what this material can look like. Most likely stores, especially chain stores, will not have this gemstone as it is more of a collector gemstone or for those in the know versus the average consumer. If you wish to read more about Mahenge Spinel, you can scroll towards the bottom of this page where you will find the story of Mahenge Spinel as well as two articles on the subject.

mahenge spinel info

mahenge spinel rarity

Here is an example of a rather large Mahenge Spinel found online - pricing is decent if the color is accurate, as after the original strike, not many large pieces of rough have been found. Even small pieces of wonderful color and brightness wholesale at high prices. The piece depicted here is at about $5800/ct and does have some small inclusions on the far right which would probably not be seen by the naked eye. We would anticipate the All That Glitters price for a similar piece to be priced in the ballpark of $14,000; just an estimate as it all depends on the size, color, cuttting, clarity and price as to whether it would be added to the All That Glitters Inventory...(that would be about $4000/ct, a savings of $2000/ct - note that pricing is now very outdated, so expect prices out there, wholesale and retail, to be higher for this unique gemstone. (04/15/2023)

mahenge spinel rarity

View All That Glitters Limited Inventory of Mahenge Spinel Below...

Please note that the photos do not really show the brightness of these gemstones. We recently invested thousands on a special lightbox and phone/camera that should be capable of producing better photos. We hope to be retaking these photos, as these deserve to look better than they do in the photos below... Stay tuned!

mahenge spinel
A very bright neony 1.16ct Mahenge Spinel of a unique color, perhaps best called a reddish pinking orange. Very bright as expected from this famous/costly locality. Well cut and clean. Prices of this material have constantly gone up in the price and this is an amazing price for what it is. (mwgems-23-01) $2,267
uniquely colored neon orange mahenge spinel
A uniquely colored 0.81ct (approx 7x5mm) Neon Orange Mahenge Spinel; have never seen this color from the Mahenge area, or for that matter, from any country! (btgem-15-02) $1,725
bright salmon orange spinel - mahenge
An unique very bright lively color and cut - 1.50ct Round Salmon Orange Spinel from Africa (Mahenge). Spinel is not commonly seen in rounds - and you can't help but see this blowing Salmon Orange from even 10 feet away! A glowing ember colored Spinel. (egaj-15-65) $3,450
View Video
1.32ct mahenge spinel of a neon reddish-orange-pink color
1.32ct mahenge spinel of a neon reddish-orange-pink color
1.32ct Mahenge Spinel of a Neon Reddish-Orange-Pink color. Vivid color and just a beautiful gem. Eye clean, though like many Mahenges and other gems, there are a few things under a loupe - and would most likely be other Spinel crystals as is quite common in Spinel. Very well priced for Spinel of this color and famous location. Second photo is another attempt to show the color and beauty of the gem, but this is something one has to see in person. For those familiar with Spinel from this location, the color gives away the origin of this gem - Mahaenge! (ctmc-17b-01) $3,339
large 2+ct mahenge neon padparadscha orangy pink
large 2+ct mahenge neon padparadscha orangy pink
A large 2.26ct Oval Mahenge Spinel of a NEON Padparadscha Color - Neony Orangy Pink. A must see in person - of course, one can also see this from across the room. Color is everything in colored gemstones, and this has it! Well cut, brilliant, eye clean, large and a color that is just incredible. Really nothing else in color looks like this out there in the gem market. The photo is not capturing the true color and is showing more red and more saturation. A true must see and for anyone who wants a one-of-a-kind color or fantastic Spinel, look no further. (ctmc-17a-02) $8,588 We have seen prices for Mahenge Spinel of similar size but without this fine unique color selling at the same wholesale price per carat... (That being said, the colors of those other Spinels were still drop dead gorgeous, bright, etc. but just not exactly the same color that All That Glitters has been so fortunate to encounter, negogiate and actually purchase for inventory.) We've added a second photo attempting to obtain the best color rendition and saturation that one sees with one's eyes. It is difficult, as we have seen slight shifts in color between photo apps and even within the Chrome browser; the glowing factor can also vary. As always, best to see in person. This Spinel, for those in the know, screams Mahenge! (The parcel paper in which this gemstone can be found is marked as - "Spinel (MAHENGE!) - Large Neon Orangy Pink, Pad-like, Oval, 2.26ct)". We think that the color description suites it well.
pad colored spinel; orangy pink spinel
pad colored spinel; orangy pink spinel
pad colored spinel; orangy pink spinel
2.54ct Padparadscha Colored MAHENGE Spinel from Tanzania. A Great Color - Not Usually Seen in Spinel.
Believe this is the second of this color we have ever had in our 35 year history. Color will vary depending on the lights/wavelengths available. Hard to describe, but under fluorescent lights it is a medium bright orangy pink, perhaps slighly more orange; under incandescent, it tends to be more pink with a slight glow. It is neither fully pink or fully orange. It is not a neon color like some Mahenges, but the color is very attractive, and it certainly is brilliant and sparkles under incandescent light. We are displaying three different photos; the color is very attractive under various lights - but like many gemstones, may color shift a bit. It looks very much like Sapphires that we have seen or have in inventory. We find this color very attracitve. There are some inclusions deep in the gem as to be expected, and they are most likley Spinel Crystals. We can see this in a setting with white diamonds and perhaps even with other colored gemstones like blue Sapphire as accents. A photo from GIA was available decades ago that showed a Padparadascha Sapphire in a ring and surrounded by both white Diamonds and blue Sapphire - it was stunning and it is still remembered to this day! (Actually, we found the photo on line and thought we would share it - our Pad Spinel is slightly more saturated in color, another plus for this fine unique Spinel!) Measures approximately 8.7x7.0x5.4mm (crtzn-16-01) $6,287

L. Allen Brown (Gemologist - GIA)/All That Glitters, July 2020

Mahenge Spinel took the world by storm in about 2007 when incredibly beautiful bright clean Spinel was found in the Mahenge Region of Tanzania. Mahenge is a town in the Mahenge Mountains of Tanzania. It is the headquarters of Ulanga District in Morogoro Region. Some of the neony colors and brightness really hadn't been seen in the world of Spinel preiously - it lacked the potential grey component that Spinels from other country possess. (Years later, in about 2015, the area began to produce beautiful Garnet also - clean, dispersive, bright colors in pinks, magentas, purples and some oranges as well as true Padparadscha colors.)

A few of these original Mahenge Spinel crystals were massively huge, but were also highly fractured; however, there were clean sections. The color was very bright pinks and reds. In time other colors were found, such as orange, Padparadscha (just like Sapphires!), other interesting and odd colors. An associate and friend of mine offered about $110,000 for a chunky piece of bright pink Mahenge Spinel, but the dealer wouldn't part with it at that price, and sold it for much more! That was many years ago now, and it is rare to find rough or even larger sized gemstones of Mahenge Spinel - large is now a few carats in general. A unique/odd color of Mahenge Spinel was seen personally by me in 2018 - a 4ct trilliant of what seemed to be black from a distance, but was just a very deep purply blue perhaps. The color was very different along with the other visual properties, that even a gemologist or gem trader who knows his colored gems, would be hard pressed to sight id/determine the gem species. This wasn't a very attractive color, but it had life in that it had dispersion and many colors dancing deep in the stone as the light bounced around in the pavilion. The wholesale cost on this was high - the color was not what one would typically expect when one hears the word Mahenge associated with Spinel, but that goes to show you that the color range of the deposit is great. The stone was still really beautiful and anyone would surely love to have it in a piece of jewelry or collection (it was indeed set into a ring with diamonds the following year and the owner of the businesss wears it herself, and really doesn't want to part with it! I actually visit her annually, just to see that gemstone again...) Not every Spinel or gemstone coming from the Mahenge will be highly priced - it is all dependent on color, clarity, cutting and size, just as it is in all gemstones, whether colored ones or even diamond!...

NY Times Article, 2011

August 2007... The discovery of a deposit of jumbo-size pinkish red spinel crystals in the district of Mahenge in Tanzania started a rush for the gem and inspired a flurry of striking new designs that highlighted its transparency and versatility. "Spinel is a very rare stone, very beautiful, and it's now starting to get its due," said Richard W. Hughes, a gem expert in Hong Kong and co-author of "Terra Spinel," a coffee table book published in February... Mr. Hughes said spinel's rediscovered allure had drastically changed its price. "I had never heard of people paying more than $3,000 per carat for it, but when Mahenge came out, they started asking $10,000 per carat and I even saw someone asking $18,000 per carat," he said. Beyond its value, spinel has much going for it. It is a hard stone - registering 8 on the 10-point Mohs scale of hardness, just below ruby and sapphire - making it suitable for setting in a ring. It is also bright. "It's gorgeous, and it's got a high refractive index, so it has a lot of brilliance," said Shane McClure, director of identification services at the Gemological Institute of America Laboratory in California. "It makes a very good gemstone. It's got a lot of things that ruby has going for it." Two things that distinguish spinel from ruby make it especially desirable to buyers: For the most part, the stone does not require, or accept, treatment, unlike the enormous volume of heat-treated rubies on the market, and the U.S. government's ban on importing Myanmarese jadeite and rubies does not apply to spinel, lending the red variety a clear advantage in the U.S. market. Still, consumers' knowledge of spinel remains scant. "What you hear a lot is: 'Spinel is my favorite gemstone but my customers don't understand it,"' said Jonas Hjornered... At the high end, however, spinel has many devotees. James de Givenchy, a New York designer, fell in love with the gem before the Tanzanian strike brought it to the fore. In his five-year-old collection for Sotheby's Diamonds, he has incorporated spinels - cut to look "like red mirrors" - to attract a new, more daring customer. "They're so much brighter than pave rubies," he said.Other jewelers have also caught spinel fever. Adeleh Petochi, co-founder of Eclat, a manufacturer based in New York, began using spinel in 2005, when she was able to buy huge lots of the gem. "People like us - we're stone people - are very attracted to spinels, but we can't buy that kind of merchandise anymore because prices have gone up so tremendously," Ms. Petochi said. More recently, spinel has earned a following among some unexpected players in the jewelry business. The pearl jeweler Mikimoto, for example, has historically used diamonds and sapphires to accent its cultured pearls, but this year, the company chose a few neon-bright spinels for a collection introduced at the Baselworld jewelry fair in March. At Harry Winston, where diamonds have always been king, spinel featured prominently in the house's November 2010 Court of Jewels collection, including a vivid 84-carat blue spinel that had members of the gem trade buzzing. The furor over the stone does not surprise Evan Yurman, son of the jeweler David Yurman and an accomplished designer in his own right. A passionate collector of spinel, he uses lavender and pink stones in couture pieces that he describes as "evening jewelry." "Spinel has this mystical quality of being alive at night," Mr. Yurman said. "It feels like an antique gem; it speaks of the world that's come before it."

Jewelry Connoisseur Article

SELLING THE MAHENGE MYSTIQUE - Exotic provenance Retailers have a built-in story when offering Mahenge spinel or garnet to their customers. Common forms of garnet, such as pyrope or almandine, have been recognized by the general public. Spinel, in contrast, has always been more of a collector's stone. However, the Mahenge gem varieties offer an exotic provenance to consumers. The rugged province that produces these stunning stones sets the stage for jewelry fans to fall in love. The far-flung setting of Mahenge, Tanzania, is out of the way for most people, yet they can connect culturally via these colored jewels.

Affordable luxury
For an exotic gem, the Mahenge stones still present an affordable luxury. "I think for their tremendously high-impact look, much of the Mahenge material is extremely well priced," says a designer. "Spinel has definitely been 'discovered' and has witnessed appropriate price increases since I began working in them."

Pricey lookalikes
Consumers are discovering sensationally priced rare gems that are stunning, but well out of their range. Padparadscha sapphire was the gorgeous central stone in UK Princess Eugenie's engagement ring this year. Some of the exotic, similarly pinky-peach-hued Mahenge garnet is also wowing collectors. Alexandrite, named for 19th-century Russian czar Alexander II, left jewelry lovers slack-jawed with its dramatic color-change. Mahenge spinel comes in both color-shift - meaning it displays different colors when turned around under the same lighting - and color-change, which changes color completely under different lighting. This unexpected color show is infinitely repeatable, and adds another layer of fascination to Mahenge goods.

Solid value
"If you compare Mahenge spinel pricing to top-quality-ruby pricing [the closest comparison by looks], Mahenge spinel suddenly feels very reasonable". So while the prices of Mahenge goods may escalate with the current supply chain in flux, these gorgeous anomalies present excellent value for their rare, coveted natural colors.

Note: Magnification and bright lighting is required to photograph gemstones.  Some inclusions may be visible under these circumstances. You are viewing photographs as if you were using a loupe or microscope - not your unaided eye.  Under normal conditions, these inclusions may not be visible.

Not responsible for mismatches of prices, photos, stocknumbers, etc.

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