Spinel is most commonly found in Myanmar, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Tajikistan.
Spinel may be considered one of history’s most underappreciated gemstones. Ancient mines would produce spinel for the royal courts but would often become confused with more pricey sapphires and rubies. Mines in southeast Asia would produce large spinel crystals becoming known as Balas rubies. The supposed rubies were treasured as spoils of war, adored by kings and emperors.
One of the most famous illusions is known as the Black Prince’s Ruby. This gemstone is set in England’s Imperial State Crown displayed at the Tower of London. In 14th century Spain, the Prince of Wales, known as the Black Prince, received the stone as payment for a battle victory. Since then many English monarchs including Henry VIII have cherished the gemstone. Today the gemstone has survived the centuries, including World War II bombing raids attempted thefts and fires and became one of the centerpieces of the English Crown Jewels.
Spinel is a beautiful gemstone, found in colors like blue, purple, red, and pink. The vibrant colors of this gemstone are what make this stone so popular. It is also a great stone for everyday wear, as it is a harder gemstone. Spinel has been worn by many kings and emperors, and their queens. You’re a queen right? Pair spinel with blacks and greys to really bring out the color and make it the true focal point it deserves.
Spinel is found as a metamorphic mineral and a primary mineral in mafic igneous rocks. The crystal of spinal is singly refractive, like garnet and diamonds. Spinel’s crystal shape shape characteristics are that of an octahedron. Flattened crystals may also form when the pyramids that form an octahedron rotate against each other during growth known as a twinned crystal. Spinel ranges in color from orange to an intense red, pink and all shades of purple and blue. Intense red and pink spinel are caused by traces of chromium. While purple stones are caused by a mixture of iron and chromium. Violet and blue spinel contain traces of cobalt causing a vibrant blue tone.
Cleaning & Care
It is best to clean spinel with warm soapy water and a soft brush. An ultrasonic or steam cleaner may only be used on stones without fractures. Avoid prolonged exposure to high heat and light to prevent discoloration of the stone. Gemstone Cleaning and Care Guide >
Spinel is never treated to enhance color.
Scratch resistance through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material.
The relation between the density of any substance and the density of water.
The ratio of the velocity of light in a vacuum to its velocity in a specified medium.