Starting at Rs. ₹400.00 Per Rati
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Spinel is a hard vitreous magnesium aluminum oxide that has been used as a gemstone for centuries. The beauty of spinel has caused it to be mistaken for ruby and sapphire in the past. However, spinel deserves to be recognized as a gemstone that is worthy of appreciation in its own right. Spinel occurs in a range of colors, such as rose pink to rich red; lavender to deep violet; light to deep blue, orange, yellow, brown and black.
The name spinel is thought to have come from either the Latin word, “spina”, meaning thorn, due to its pointed crystal form, or the Greek word for “spark”, in reference to its bright color. Spinel has been mined for centuries and one of the most famous historical spinel gemstones is known as “the Black Prince’s Ruby”. As the name suggests, this is a red gemstone, which was thought to be a ruby. The “Black Prince’s Ruby” was acquired by Edward, Prince of Wales in 1367. It is set into England’s state crown and is held at the Tower of London.
Spinel is often assumed to be other gemstones, such as ruby and sapphire. However, spinel can be distinguished from other gemstones by its octahedral crystal structure and single refraction. Additionally, spinel has a lower Mohs hardness than ruby and sapphire
Natural spinel is a gemstone that is not well-known in the commercial jewelry world but has become a great favorite with gem dealers and gem collectors. One might even say that spinel is for gemstone connoisseurs only.
Spinel occurs with ruby and sapphire, and significant deposits have been found in Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and Thailand. Other locations where spinel deposits have been found are Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania and the USA.
The rarest and most desirable spinel gemstones are vivid ruby-like red, followed by cobalt blue, bright pink and bright orange. Paler colors such as lavender tend to be more affordable. Other popular colors include black spinel, violet-blue, greenish-blue, grayish, mauve, yellow, brown and pink spinel.
Good quality spinel gemstones should have no visible inclusions. Inclusions typically decrease the value of spinel gemstones. However, desirable inclusions can result in asterism (the star effect). Inclusions in spinel can resemble its octahedral crystal structure or a human fingerprint. Spinel has a vitreous luster.
Spinel is considered to be a soothing stone because of its calming energy. Therefore, it is recommended for those who are suffering from stress. It is also thought to encourage renewal and healing. Different healing properties are attributed to spinel depending on its color. Red spinel is thought to enhance vitality. Both green and pink spinel are said to encourage love and compassion. Violet spinel is associated with spiritual development and yellow is linked to the intellect. Spinel is a non-traditional zodiac stone for Gemini and is associated with the planet Mercury. In feng shui, spinel is said to carry yang fire energy.
World-famous spinel gemstones include the Black Prince’s Ruby, which is a 170 carat red spinel set into the English state crown and displayed in the Tower of London.
The Samarian Spinel is believed to be the largest fine spinel in the world. It is a red 500 carat gemstone that is part of the Iranian Crown Jewels.
The Mogul Names Necklace is comprised of eleven red spinel gemstones amounting to a total carat weight of 1,131.59 carats. It sold for $5.2 million at a Christie’s auction in 2011.
The Russian Imperial Crown is adorned with a red 398.72 carat spinel gemstone. It forms an integral part of the Moscow Kremlin Armory State Diamond Fund collection.
Lastly, the 352.5 carat “Timur Ruby”, which was believed to be the largest ruby until 1851, is actually a spinel. It is named after the Turko-Mongol ruler, Timur and is now part of the Crown Jewels of England.