The carat price depends on the quality, cut and color, for a Piegon Blood Red Spinel, the average high carat price $1000 - $1200 per carat.
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In order to corroborate with the gem expert you met with today, I would need to inspect the gem in person under a loupe. Unfortunately, photos, in this case will not serve as a proper inspection of a gemstone. However, the going price per carat for top quality Pigeon Blood red spinel stones is $1000 - $1200 on today's market. A lesser quality one sells for $200 - $300 per carat. I can send you a premium services offer for sending the gem to be inspected in person if you like.