Natural Spinel; the origin of the name is uncertain and is thought to have come from either the Greek word for “spark”, due to its bright colour or the Latin word “spina”, meaning thorn, due to its pointed crystal form. Spinel comes in many colours and has been used in jewellery for several centuries. A very bright and hard natural gemstone (Mohs hardness scale – 8 to 8.5), Spinel was only recognized as an individual mineral 150 years ago. Before this time it was classed as Ruby and some well-known Rubies are really Spinel, such as the ‘Black Princes Ruby’ in the English crown.
Spinel is highly desired in the world gem trade, available in a range of red, pink, blue, mauve, steely-grey and jet black colours. Spinel can be a great alternative to the more expensive Ruby and sapphire, and a more durable option to some of the other softer gems like, Tanzanite and Tourmaline. Spinel is found in Burma, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, with the addition of newer deposits in Vietnam and Madagascar.
Can I wear it every day? Absolutely, it is very hard and tough, and wears very well.
Is Spinel a birthstone? No, not really, but it can be used as an alternative to Ruby in our opinion, which is the birthstone for July.
Is Spinel expensive? It can be. Large red Spinel is quite expensive with the softer tones being very affordable and in our opinion, very good buying.
What colours do Spinels come in? Spinel comes in a great range and variety of colours, red, blue, violet, steely grey or blue, crimson and black.
There are many alternative gemstone choices that have similar colour & visual characteristics to Spinel. If you’d like to learn more about your best options or arrange a personal gemstone viewing in our Parramatta studio, please call us on (02) 9689 3396 or contact us here.