What is Spinel Gemstone?

Spinel stone

Spinel Gemstone is one of the newest gemstones to hit the market. And is sometimes called the most important gemstone of the new age. Spinel comes in almost any color and is found all over the world. Once upon a time, Spinel located in the same area as Rubies. There was no access to modern gemological tools. Or knowledge in those days. So it was challenging to distinguish mineral varieties. All the red stones pulled out of the ground. Where they are simply called Ruby. One of the most famous Spinels in the world is The Princes Black Ruby. It is located in the middle of the British Royal Crown.

Table of Contents

1. What is Spinel Gemstone?

Spinel is most famous for its deep red variety that closely resembles Ruby. Beside, these two gems can be tough to distinguish. Until the late 19th century, there was no distinction between Ruby and Red Spinel. As they looked identical and were found in the same locality. Many of the famous “ruby” were, in fact, Spinel. For example, the giant “Ruby” that forms the center of the British royal crown (Ruby of the Black Prince) is Spinel.

Spinel stone
Its deep red variety resembles with Ruby

Read more: Ruby stone benefits and many things you need to know

2. Natural color of spinel

Firstly, spinel is a gemstone that comes in a variety of colors. Pure Spinel is colorless, but impurities takes responsibility for a wide range of colors. The most valuable and desirable Spinel color is a deep red. Although blues, yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples also make good gemstones. Spinel is usually fluorescent in ultraviolet light. And this can help identify it.

Secondly, fine red spinel is rarer than Ruby of comparable color. However, it is an underrated gem. With its cost being about 30% less than Ruby. The scarcity of good Spinel is the reason for its lack of demand and popularity. Thus, Gem Spinel is in minimal supply. Therefore jewelry companies and gem cartels do not market this gem to consumers. This inhibits Spinel from being a more mainstream gem.

Spinel stone
Spinel jewelry

Finally, Spinel is easily synthesized. And it can made into any color by adding impurities. Synthetic spinel is often simulated to reproduce many other gemstones. Such as Diamond, Sapphire, and Zircon. Because of the abundance of synthetic spinel. Beside, we’re careful to purchase this gem from reputable dealers. Almost all colorless Spinel gemstones are synthetic. As it rarely occurs colorless in nature.

2.1 What is the quality of the spinel gemstone?

Spinel is a highly durable gemstone with a hardness of 8 on the MOHS scale. This makes it suitable for use in everyday jewelry. Furthermore,  Its stability and durability are reflected in the State Crown, which is more than 1000 years old. Spinel is a unique refractive gemstone that can be red, pink, blue, colorless, and purple. Some of the most vivid stones come from Mahenge in Tanzania. These Spinels have an intense rose-red color and are solely responsible for the popularity that it enjoys today.

The most important Spinel deposits occur in Tanzania, Tajikistan, and Burma. These products are the most vibrant and sought-after Spinel gemstones. Other locations include Sri Lanka, Vietnam (known for producing cobalt blue Spinel), Cambodia, and Thailand. Synthetic Spinel and Immortal. Further, there are commercially available synthetic spinels made through flame synthesis. Beside, these stones are easily detectable through basic gem equipment. Spinel’s main fake is Garnet. Specifically, the dark red Garnet may look like Spinel from Thailand and Sri Lanka.

2.2 How to quality control and price spinel

The deep red variety, commonly known as Ruby Spinel, is the most prized form and a good substitute for Ruby. Spinel is also a critical pink gemstone. The opaque black variety has the name is Pleonast, has a good luster and uses as a black gemstone.

Spinel stone
Red spinel is the most expensive stone

Finally, Spinel naturally occurs in octahedral crystals. In well-shaped red crystals, gem cutters can even make a crystal into a perfect octahedron. These “crystals” are sometimes worn in jewelry without the addition of facets.

3.Colors of spinel

Almandine Spinel – Spinel with purple to blue-violet color.

Balas Ruby – Spinel with pink to light red color.

Blue Spinel – Various dark green to dark green colors of Spinel.

Flame Spinel – Spinel from orange to red-orange.

Gahnospinel – Zinc-rich form of Spinel, usually dark green to dark green.

Picotte – The brown form of Spinel.

Pleonast – Dark green, dark blue, or green to black color of Spinel.

Rubicelle – Yellow to orange spinel form.

Ruby Spinel – A variety of Ruby Red Spinel.

4. Where the most mined spinel gemstone is?

The most mined spinel in terms of size, color, and quality is from Burma. Other sources of Spinel gemstones are Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Tadjikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Madagascar.

Spinel stone
Several type of this stone


5. Similarities among other stones

Additionally, Red spinel is identical to Ruby. However, spinel is usually lighter, and dark red spinel is usually brick red rather than ruby red with a little blue or purple. Red spinel is the same as ruby. On the other hand, Spinel is typically a lighter hue, and dark red spinel is typically brick red rather than ruby red with a hint of blue or purple. On the other hand, only optical characteristics and hardness can identify these two stones. Red Spinel is similar to Red Tourmaline, and Dark Red Spinel is similar to Garnet.

Moreover, Green Spinel is similar to Zircon, Topaz, and Sapphire, while Pink Spinel is similar to Morganite, Pink Topaz, and Pink Tourmaline. Purple Spinel might resemble Amethyst in appearance, although Spinel is generally bluer in hue than Amethyst.

6. Factors affecting the price of spinel gemstone

In Addition, four factors to consider before estimating the price of spinel gem: Color, Clarity, Cut Style, Weight. 

The value of the Spinel stone and where to buy it

Until recently, Spinel has been underrated with little to no recognition of the consumers. Rising demand for the substitute of ruby has arisen appreciation for the history. And the great red color of the Spinel stone. In ancient times, the mines in South East Asia provided enormous Spinel crystals. For the kings and emperors. Becoming their precious possessions and often being passed on like victory trophies.

The price of the Spinel stone usually varies according to the discussion between suppliers and buyers. High-quality Spinel stone in Vietnam is rare. So it is not usually found and made into other products. It is crucial to differentiate Spinal from Garnet stones. Because their colors and reflective flight are somewhat similar. So it is easy to get scammed. That being said, Thien Moc Huong has a collection of High-quality Spinel stones available. Should you want to have a look, please feel free to contact us.  

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