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 Spinel

 

Gemstone :
Spinel

Birthstone Month :
Spinel is not associated with any particular birthstone month.

Zodiac :
Spinel is not associated with any particular zodiac sign.

Chemical Symbol :
MgAl2O4

Chemical Make-up :
Spinel is a Magnesium Aluminum Oxide or Magnesium Aluminate.

History & Lore :
It is not known for certain how the name Spinel originated. The most common suggestion is that it may have derived from the Latin word 'spina' meaning thorn, possibly referring to its fiery color or the sharp pointed crystals that are found within some Spinels. Spinels were often referred to as 'balas rubies' in ancient times. 'Balas' or 'Balascia' is a territory in Northern Afghanistan known as Badakshan where Spinels may have first been discovered. This area in the Middle Ages was an active gem-producing region that had discovered large beautiful red to pink Spinels that were first thought to be rubies and on top of this, were considered the best rubies of their time!

Many royal crown jewels thought to contain rubies that have actually turned out be Spinels. The Black Prince's Ruby on the British Imperial State Crown is a 170-carat red Spinel. The Timur Ruby that has the engraved names of the Mogul emperors on its face was once thought to be a Ruby as well. This magnificent 352-carat stone is in fact a red Spinel and is now owned by Queen Elizabeth.

 

Spinels are associated with love and helps the wearer to put their ego aside and become devoted to another person. The Spinel also encourages passion and is said to increase the duration of one's life.

Availability :
Spinel is relatively unknown to the common consumer, nor has it been marketed by any of the major gem companies. Because of its rarity, if the demand was to rise the supply would not be enough to keep up with it.

Sources :
Myanmar (Burma) supplies the finest quality of Spinels. There are also known Spinel deposits in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Italy, Madagascar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Sweden, Tajikistan (part of the former U.S.S.R), Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the United States, and Vietnam.

Evaluation :
Spinels are rated at 8 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and are a durable stone that lacks cleavage, making it suitable for all jewelry purposes and well-suited for every day wear. Spinels can be found in an assortment of colors including red, yellow, brown, pink, rose, orange, blue, green, violet, purple, black, and colorless(white). Both Blue and Red Spinels are extremely rare. Top quality stones should be deep and rich in color, eye-clean, and without any traces of secondary brown colors. Spinels are a favorite of gem connoisseurs and gem collectors due to their brilliance, hardness, and wide range of beautiful colors. Although Spinel gemstones are a rarity, Spinel makes a beautiful stone for almost every jewelry purpose.

Common Cuts :
Spinel is a durable stone that lacks cleavage and for this reason it is suitable for almost all jewelry purposes. It is most often found in oval, round, and cushion cuts and due to its rarity can not currently be found in calibrated sizes.

Routine Enhancements :
There are no known enhancements for Spinel.

Care & Cleaning :
Spinel is a very durable stone that lacks cleavage making it difficult to chip and scratch. Steam and ultrasonic cleaners are generally considered safe, but they should be used with caution. Avoid household chemicals and prolonged exposure to excessive heat that could permanantly alter the color or damage the stone. Spinel can also be cleaned in warm soapy water with a soft brush to remove lingering grease and dirt. Always store your Spinel in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items so as to avoid scratching.

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