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10 Facts About August Birthstone Spinel That You Want to Know

zina Published On Wed Dec 11 2019   Modified On Wed Dec 11 2019
10 Facts About August Birthstone Spinel That You Want to Know

Spinel is the newest birthstone of August and is the prettiest. It is one of the three August Birthstones; Peridot, Sardonyx, and Spinel. It is a beautiful stone that is made up of aluminum, magnesium, oxygen. 

Since it is newly discovered gems and recently listed as a birthstone of August, it is obvious that the August babies would love to know more about it. Therefore, in this article, I am writing about Spinel and its facts that you might not know.

Birthstone and Anniversary Stone

As mentioned above, Spinel is one of the three August birthstones. It is named as the August's alternative birthstone in 2016. However, it is not only the birthstone of August but also is given as a gift on the 22nd wedding anniversary for couples. The zodiac sign Leo and Virgo also fall in the month of August, it is also the stone for these two zodiac signs. 

History of Spinel - Discovered in Afghanistan

The very first Spinel was discovered in Afganistan, near Kabul in the Buddhist tomb. It was also known as the name 'Balas Ruby' which was named after the region of Northeastern Afghanistan. It was the main source of spinel for many years.

One interesting fact about spinels is that it was first mistaken for Ruby and not until the late 19th century, it was recognized as a different gemstone. 

Hardness

These beautiful gems are not only pretty but also is very hard compared to other gemstones available. Therefore, it can be worn daily without fearing its easy break. However, it should avoid hard knocks ad it is not unbreakable. 

It has the hardness of 8.0 on the Mohs while diamonds are the hardest with 10. It is hard enough to be used for polishing and cutting. 

Found in Many Colors 

The natural Spinel is colorless but comes in a variety of colors if elements like iron, chromium or cobalt get mixed in the recipe. The mix of the chromium leads the gem to be pink or red whereas the iron and cobalt lead it to be violet and blue. The combination of the elements leads it to become purple or orange. 

Mistaken With Ruby

Although this stone is said to be discovered recently, it was already found a long time ago but was confused with Ruby. It is often confused with Ruby and Red Sapphire. 

The Black Prince's Ruby which is set in the crown of England’s Imperial State is a Red Spinel in actual. Also, the stone named Timur Ruby is actually a red spinel of 361 carats.

The Imperial Crown of the British.
Imperial Crown of the British
Image Source: Geology.com

It can be distinguished from other gemstones from its single refraction and octahedral crystal structure which make it distinct from other gems. 

Places Spinel is Mined

Spinels are mostly found and mined in Asia. It is mostly mined in Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Burma including other countries like Nepal, Australia, Tajikistan, Nigeria. The Tajikistan in Gorno Badakhshan region is the mine which is the main source for the red spinels.

Metaphysical Properties

It is believed that this stone has high healing properties by the crystal healers. It is thought to protect the body of wearer from diseases and evil eyes. It sends the negative energy to the person causing it and only surrounds its wearer by the positive vibes. It is a soothing stone that aids in the peace of mind, calmness, release anger, and allows the person to have thoughtful communication. 

Uses of Spinel

The use of synthetic Spinel is both military and commercial due to its durability and higher strength against pressure. The other uses of this beautiful gem are for making stunning jewelry like rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and other many pieces of jewelry. 

Rarely Heated

While most of the gems that you buy in the market are heated, the Spinel is rarely heat-treated. The elements found in it contributes to the beautiful colors which do not need color enhancement by treating it with heat. 

Cleaning Process of Spinel

As Spinel is known for its durability, chemical or exposure to light will not much affect it. You can use both ultrasonic and steamer for cleaning. It can also be cleaned with mild soap and warm water with a soft-bristle brush. Avoid hard knock on any strong substance and also avoid high heat. High heat won't have much effect on it but the color will fade to some extent.

Visit Stoneharu for more information about birthstone and other gems.