Malachite and spinels - are they gems or not?


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Fire up the Quattro!
Mar 3, 2009
In the middle of nowhere!!
Years ago I had so much malachite, I had friends who always went on holiday to South Africa, and when they came back they always gave me a piece of malachite, earrings, necklaces and rings! one necklace was copper with inlaid pieces of malachite (at 14 years of age i thought this to be the single handedly most horrendous piece of jewellery ever) the people whom bought me the malachite, told me that it was the ore from which copper was mined, so i didnt class it as special; I was having a major declutter several years ago, and i threw it all out.

Likewise I was bought for my 21st birthday,(many many many years ago!) a beautiful victorian style ring, with what i thought was sapphire and diamonds, i took it to a jewellers to have it valued, and he said it was not worthy of a valuation.

Now when i see spinels and malachite on gemstv, i wonder if i was a tad hasty when i was younger - what are your opions regarding spinels and malachite - and what gems are your favourite and why?
Hi Persianglitter, here are a couple of links about Spinel and Malachite. Personally I really like Spinel and have seen some nice pieces very occasionally on TJC. If I remember correctly Argey recently bought some Malachite from Gems TV so she'll probably be along soon to tell you her views. At least I think it was Argey and I think it was Malachite but the old memory isn't what it was these days!! Actually come to think about it I've probably got that totally wrong!! :thinking2: Hope this helps.
Hi PG - Klos is absolutely right - 'twas I recently bought a Malachite ring and I also managed a very nice pendant on a £1 drop. I think it is one of most beautiful of the minerals and if you can get hold of a good dark piece with near black and very well defined banding, in my opinion you have a treasure.
I own a few bits and pieces, a huge pendant that I've had for a good few years, several slices, and a pair of goblets that were bought for me as a gift.

Scientifically there is are differences between a gem and a mineral, but if you mean in terms of beauty then a gem is whatever you see as such. If you mean in terms of value then, although malachite is relativel expensive for a mineral, it has no value as, say, a diamond or ruby would have, no matter it's size or quality.

I've a feeling Meesh is the one to tell you about spinel. xxxxxxxxx
Hi PG, Spinel is a lovely gemstone and comes in a mix of colours and unfortunately GemsTV seem to have had very little of it in recent times.

But the stone comes with good provenance as the link will show you.
The Black Prince Ruby which is set in the Imperial State Crown is actually a 170ct Spinel with a history dating back to the 1300'sAD.

I believe that Spinel is also known as the 'master of disguise' it a it a Sapphire? :33:


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I do regret being so stupid, and throwing it all out - AB is right, malachite does have some lovely greens, and some grains that make up some wonderful patterns. Thank you Klosblue, AB and Sacha for all you information, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
I think spinel is such an underrated gemstone. It has great brilliance and usually good clarity and being an 8 on the Mohs scale, can be worn without too many worries. The best thing of all though, because I'm getting to be a gemstone anorak, is that it's rarely heated treated or irradiated to improve its colour. I've seen some mouth watering red and bright pink spinels. The Ayanna spinels that Gems sold had good colour; it's a pity they were all small carat weights.

Ah well PG never mind. I'm sure we've all got rid of things we've regretted. I never regretted getting rid of my first husband though! :lol2:

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