AIGS Launches Jedi Spinel Grading Reports
by Julius Zheng
The neon hot pink to red spinels from Myanmar have increasingly gained popularity in Asian markets in recent years. They are often referred as “Jedi” spinels, a trade name originally coined by Vincent Pardieu, a world-renown field gemologist.
Inspired by the legendary characters from the movie series “Star Wars”, Vincent Pardieu first used the code name of “Jedi” to communicate with Henry Ho, the founder of Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences (AIGS) during their 12 trips to Myanmar from 2002 to 2004. The code name was their secret code intended to identify a spinel of highly saturated pink to red spinels with strong fluorescence. These spinels did not have any dark tone, as they were indeed “untouched by the Dark Side.”
Gemologist Hai An Nguyen Bui inspecting a neon red “Jedi” spinel crystal reportedly from Namya of Myanmar. Photo © Vincent Pardieu
The name of “Jedi” spinel became popular after the publication of a field report by Vincent Pardieu in the spring 2013 issue of Gems & Gemology and its translation into Chinese. “ Jedi” was adopted by the gemstone dealers as a trade name over the years, and has become widely known in recent years in Asian market,especially in China with surging demand for colored gemstones. However, there has been discrepancies in the interpretation of the quality standard of “Jedi” spinel.
AIGS has recently launched its Jedi spinel grading reports, in order to transform the trade name of Jedi to a strict quality standard. The Jedi grade from AIGS for Spinel is not only a color code, but a comprehensive quality evaluation in six aspects: color, fluorescence, clarity, cut, brilliance, treatment and origin. By the AIGS standard, it refers to natural, untreated, faceted spinels with evenly distributed hues of red, pinkish red, reddish pink to orangy red, in medium to high saturation and without dark tones. AIGS-graded Jedi spinels are exclusively from Myanmar mining areas and have eye-clean clarity, excellent brilliance and medium to strong fluorescence. The proportions of the spinels and the way they are cut should be appealing to the eye.