Spinel is a gemstone which is available in a variety of colours. Pure Spinel stone is colourless, but impurities owe to the wide range of colours. The most valuable and preferable Spinel colour is a deep blood red, though blue spinel, black spinel, orange, yellow, pink, and purple colours also make fine gemstones. Spinel is commonly fluorescent in ultraviolet light, and this can be quite useful in its identification.
Spinel gem has a very limited supply, and thus gem and jewellery corporations don't really market this gemstone to the consumer.
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Factual Information About Spinel Stones
Black spinel is actually the black variety, opaque known as Pleonast, contains a good luster and is used as a black gemstone.
Blue Spinel Meaning
Blue Spinel may have a resemblance to Zircon, sapphire and Topaz; while pink Spinel may imitate Morganite, pink Topaz, and pink Tourmaline. Purple Spinel stone may seem similar to Amethyst, though Spinel is generally bluer in tone than Amethyst.
Uses of Spinel Stone
The deep-red variety, often popularized as a Ruby Spinel, is the most prized form and is actually an excellent alternative for Ruby. Spinel is also a significant pink gemstone.
Spinel naturally takes place in octahedral crystals. In well-carved red crystals, gem cutters may even out a crystal into an ideal octahedron. These "crystals" can occasionally be worn as a jewellery piece without any further faceting.
Though spinel has been used in jewellery since primitive times, this gemstone has gained the attention it deserves. Until the onset of modern gemology in the early 20th centuries, spinel was often determined as corundum, since they are found in the same mines. Nonetheless, these minerals are chemically isolated.
Following which, as jewellery cartels have had an understanding that some of their treasured rubies and sapphires were actually spinels, the stone’s reputation suffered significantly. Synthetic spinel is common and inexpensive. It has commonly been used as a stimulant for other gems in birthstones and class rings, which has impacted its public perception.
Natural spinel, however, is a rare and beautiful gem and is deeply appreciated on its natural beauty by educated consumers.
Varieties of Spinel
Spinel is Synthesized in Different Varieties and is Thus Known in Different Names as Below:-
Sources of Spinel Stones
Found mainly and traditionally in Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka, spinels have been unearthed recently in different sites in Australia, Africa, Russia, and Vietnam. These gems are generally not mined from the hard rock fundamental deposits in which they form but rather from alluvial or placer deposits where weathered material has been washed downstream.
Care of Spinel Stones
Spinels are relatively hard and durable gemstones and thus need no special cleaning or care instructions. One can refer to the Gemstone Jewellery Care and Cleaning Guide for various cleaning systems.
Trade Names of Spinel
In prehistoric times, red spinels were referred to as “balas rubies,” possibly after Balascia, the primitive name of a region now partitioned between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. This was a significant source of these gems.
Although spinels were determined as sapphires and rubies centuries ago, they are now recognized as distinct gemstones. Nowadays, Any references made to “spinel ruby” or “spinel sapphire” are erroneous. Red or green garnets are sometimes called “Arizona spinels.” Almandines are wrongly called “candy spinels.”
Spinel is most popular for its deep red variety that nearly simulates Ruby.
Spinel stone and ruby can be very difficult to distinguish as they not only look identical but are found in the same localities too.
Fine red Spinel is rarer than Ruby of equal colour.
Spinel stone cost is still undervalued, with its cost about 30% lower than comparable Ruby.
The scarcity of good Spinel stone is a major factor for its lack of popularity and demand. This further hampers Spinel from being a mainstream gemstone.
Spinel is easily synthesized, thus can be created in any colour by adding impurities.
Synthetic Spinel often imitates many other gemstones such as Diamond, Zircon and Sapphire.
The enormous "Ruby" that creates the centerpiece of the royal crown of England (the Black Prince's Ruby) was actually identified to be a Spinel.
Note: Because of the plenty of synthetic Spinels, one must always be careful to only buy this gemstone from trusted sellers/jewellers. Remember that, almost all colourless Spinel gemstones are synthetic, as they rarely materialize colourless in nature.