Spinel is a good candidate for the title of “History’s Most Under Appreciated Gem.” Some of the world’s most illustrious “rubies” have actually turned out to be Spinel. One of these is the Black Prince’s Ruby, a polished but unfaceted red Spinel that weighs about 170 cts. It sits in the Imperial State Crown of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
In addition to its attractive colours, spinel is a hard, tough stone that’s suitable for daily wear in any type of jewelry. It will always be popular with customers who like beautiful and unusual gems.
The Mahenge Spinel is a relatively new find from Tanzania. This area has produced some of the brightest and most intense pink and red Spinels ever seen. Almost all of the Mahenge Spinel on the market today has been cut from one huge crystal that has been broken up and cut into the cleanest possible stones.
Spinel Information – Color
Spinel can be found is just about every color of the rainbow. The most common colors are Violet, Blue, Orange, Red, Pink, and Purple.
Some of the special colors of Spinel that are worth mentioning are
- Red Spinel can rival fine ruby.
- The best blue spinel is “cobalt blue.” (most blue spinels are colored by iron which are usually a low satulation color.
- Color Change and Star are rare.
Hardness (Mohs scale) 8.
Major: Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand (usually black)
Other: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Vietnam, Tajikistan
Spinel Enhancement and Treatment
No commercial enhancement
Care and Cleaning
Type of cleaning that is advisable:
- Ultrasonic cleaning Usually safe
- Steam cleaning Usually safe
- Warm, soapy water Safe
Did you know?
Spinel usually come in the same alluvial as corundum (Ruby and Sapphire).
Some Spinels show color-change or a star phenomena.