Spinel

The history and origin of Spinel

One of the most beautiful and rarest gemstones available today is the Spinel. While you might be able to find a gemstone called Spinel at your local jewelry stone, it is probably synthetic and only loosely based on the beautiful qualities of true Spinel.

Spinel was usually associated with Rubies, due to the fact that large red Spinel were found in the same mines that Rubies were mined at. Since they had the same characteristics and practically looked the same to the naked eye, they were often believed to be Rubies. Many Spinels were worn by kings and queens throughout history and even are included on many priceless royal artifacts such as the Black Prince’s Ruby, the 170 carat red Spinel that is set in the Imperial State Crown of England and a Spinel is also part of some of the British Crown Jewels. Henry V even wore Spinel as part of a battle helmet.

Besides red, Spinel comes in a wide variety of beautiful colors including green, blues, purples, orange, pink and a very prized hot pink. Spinel is associated with many other gemstones including tourmaline and garnets. They are all made from the elements iron, chromium, zinc and magnesium; however, they have differing amounts. Some of these minerals can even include nickel and aluminum. Usually these differences will create specific colors and attributes.

Today, you can find Spinel that is synthetic and usually created from synthetic Corundum. However, natural Spinel is definitely worth the price due to its natural beauty, rarity and wonderful attributes.

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What is Spinel used for?

Spinel is a wonderful gemstone that is much rarer than many consumers think. Unfortunately, the moniker of Spinel that is used at most jewelry stores refers to synthetic Spinel that is usually created from synthetic or real Corundum. However, true Spinel is available, but much harder to find. Spinel comes in a large variety of colors including beautiful cobalt blue, greens, purples, violets, oranges, a very hot pink and beautiful reds. Up until a few hundred years ago, Spinel was mistaken for the Ruby. Spinel was mined from the same areas and red Spinel does take on many of the beautiful characteristics of Rubies. In fact, you can find Spinels on some of the Crown Jewels, including the Imperial State Crown.

Since Spinel is such a rare mineral, it is only used for ornamental jewelry. However, it should be noted that the qualities of Spinel are so attractive, many of today’s ornamental jewelry are made to simulate Spinel as is the case of synthetic Spinel. Most of the time synthetic Spinel will be sold as birthstones with varying colors such as the above colors mentioned, as well as other colors that do not occur naturally, specifically yellow.

True Spinel, can be purchased, however you will need to look hard for it. One of the most interesting colors found in true Spinel is a hot pink with an orange tinge. Another color that is pursued is a gorgeous cobalt blue. Usually these stones make beautiful rings, earrings or can be worn as charms.

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How and where is Spinel formed and found?

Spinel is generally considered to be a very rare gemstone. While you might find it at every jewelry counter in America, most Spinel that is sold commercially is usually a synthetic mineral, mostly Corundum.

Spinel is similar to a few other minerals in composition, specifically Garnets and Tourmaline. All these minerals are usually made with magnesium, iron, chromium and other trace elements. Spinel is usually found in non-silica rock usually in alluvial or eluvia deposits. Most Spinel is formed due to intense heat from volcanic activity or hydrothermal underwater streams.

Spinel is a wonderful gemstone that comes in many different color varieties, most notably, red which looks extremely similar to the ruby and for a long time (up until a few hundred years ago) was thought to be a ruby.

Natural forming Spinel is rare. It is even more rare than Rubies and while they each look incredibly gorgeous, Rubies are usually more valued and expensive. Spinel is usually less valuable due to the fact, that most people have never seen true Spinel and so demand for it lacks.

Spinel can be found in Burma, now Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and part of the former Soviet Union Tadzhikistan. Usually red Spinel comes from specifically Myanmar, which is also one of the most popular mining locations for Rubies.

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The colors, shapes and sizes that Spinel comes in

Spinel is one of the most beautiful gem stones in the world. It was thought in many instances to be beautiful Rubies and was set in many royal crown jewels throughout history. Today, Spinel is rare. While you can purchase Spinel at many jewelry stores, the vast majority of Spinel sold today is synthetic and usually made from Corundum. Since most people probably never seen natural Spinel, demand for true Spinel lacks.

Spinel is a great stone for high end jewelry pieces. It comes in a many colors including cobalt blue, violet, orange, green, gray, attractive reds and pinks. One of the most sought after color of Spinel is the hot pink with a hint of orange. This color is quite possibly one of the most unique in the gem world.

Spinel can be found in many carat sizes, and Spinel found over 360 has occurred. However, because of the rarity and cost of these gemstones, only stones weighing a few carats at most are sold. If you are interested in purchasing Spinel, usually the best setting for it is in ring form. Spinel is extremely hard with a score of 8 on Moh’s hardness scale and will stand up to normal wear and tear. Spinel, since it is so rare, should be showcased and shown to everyone, which is why the ring is possibly the most noticeable and most attractive items that include natural Spinel. However, other types of jewelry compliment this beautiful gemstone including earrings, charms, bracelets and brooches.

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