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Home birthstones Spinel Gemstone | Everything You Need to Know

Spinel Gemstone | Everything You Need to Know

limz Published On Thu Jan 23 2020   Modified On Thu Jan 23 2020
Spinel Gemstone | Everything You Need to Know

Along with Peridot, Spinel is the birthstone of August and zodiac stone for Sagittarius. Traditionally, these stones are given as gifts on the 9th, 16th, 27th and 65th wedding anniversary. 

During the old days, most of the people were confused with Spinel and Ruby. The famous "Black Prince's Ruby" is a 170 carats Red Spinel. These stones have a lot of interesting and great history.

Let us learn more about Spinel:

Meaning

Spinel is a hard glassy mineral and the magnesium or aluminum member of the larger Spinel group of minerals. These stones are known as the stone of hope as it helps the wearer to bring bright and positive effects in life. It is a stone that boosts your courage and confidence in your worst times.

Why is Spinel Birthstone for August?

August-born babies are most likely to be more confident, organized, and smart. They are very tolerant, fortunate, and motivated people. They make quite a good leader and they are devoted to achieving their dreams at any cost. These beautiful traits make Spinel perfect for August's birthstone.

Origin and History

The Timur Ruby.
The Timur Ruby.
Image Source: Stalking the Belle Époque

The word "Spinel" is believed to be derived from the Latin word "Spina" which means "thorns" in reference to the sharp-pointed crystals. In ancient Sanskrit writings, these stones were referred to as "daughter of Ruby". 

For centuries, most of the Red Spinel were mistaken as Rubies because of their same color. The Timur Ruby was believed to be the largest known Ruby weighing over 350 carats but in fact, it is a Red Spinel. Currently, it is owned by Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom.

Formation Process

Spinels are found in rare mafic igneous rocks as a metamorphic and a primary mineral. In these types of rock, the magmas are relatively inadequate in alkalis relative to aluminum. During this, if the aluminum oxide combines with magnesia, Spinel is formed.

Formula

The chemical formula of Spinel is MgAl2O4 (Magnesium Aluminate). These stones have a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale and they have a vitreous luster. 

Types

Spinel is a beautiful stone that has no types of its own.

Colors Available

  • Red
  • Pink
  • Blue
  • Violet
  • Black
  • Colorless
  • Brown
  • Dark Green

Mines Available

Spinels are mostly mined in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and other countries. Let us have a look at some of the mines and places where these stones are mined.

  • Kuh-i-Lal mine, Badakhshan region, Tajikistan
  • Mogok Gem Mine, Myanmar
  • Kimberley Mine, South Africa

Cost Per Carat

The Hope Spinel.
The Hope Spinel.
Image Source: Sparkle

The price of Spinel can range from $200-$500 and $600-$1200 according to its size and quality. The Samarian Spinel is the largest of its kind to be ever discovered. It weighs 500 carats and currently It is part of the Iranian Crown Jewels. In 2015, the Hope Spinel was sold for $1.47 million at the Bonhams London fine jewelry sale.

Uses

  • Spinel is mostly used as a gemstone in jewelry like - bracelet, necklace, ring, and earrings.
  • These stones are used as refractory to produce heat-resistant coatings on metal tools.
  • It is also used as an additive in making refractory bricks and ceramics.

Spiritual Properties

  • Spinel helps to enhance positive energies, bring hope, heighten confidence, balance the chakras, and promote love and wisdom.
  • These stones help to treat illness, reduce fatigue, improve digestion, and detoxify the body.
  • It also helps to reduce stress, anxiety, fear, depression, stimulate creativity, and promote emotional balance.

Facts

Blue Synthetic Spinel.
Blue Synthetic Spinel.
Image Source: Etsy
  • Just like a Diamond, Spinel forms cubic crystals.
  • These stones are commonly found in the deposits of peridotite, a rock consisting of small crystals of olivine.
  • Recently in 2016, Spinel was announced the birthstone for August.
  • The production of synthetic Spinel was accidental.

Jewelry Stores Near You

  • Maison Birks, Toronto, Canada
  • Lang Antique and Estate Jewelry, San Francisco, USA
  • Hatton Garden Jewelers, London, United Kingdom

Online Stores

Visit Stoneharu for more information about stones and gems.