Encyclopaedia of stones
The Spinel takes its name from the Latin word "spinella" meaning small spine, in reference to its sharp crystals with very sharp edges. In addition to the "red spinel" which was confused with the ruby there is another variety, "The Cobalt Spinel", which was related to sapphire. There is another variety, "Star spinel", which is very rare. The Black Spinel is certainly the most famous stone in the world, elegant and timeless this semi-precious stone has been much talked about in recent years.
See all jewels with spinel...
Colourless, red, black, all colours
India, Canada, Sri Lanka, Burma
Spinel is a stone of calmness and renewal. Said to offer encouragement in difficult situations, it is believed to help ease a situational crisis, like a job change or a divorce. It is said to lower stress and anxiety.
Spinel is most famous for its deep red variety that closely resembles ruby. The black spinel is also famous although spinel also occurs naturally colorless, as well as in every colour of the rainbow, including pink, orange, yellow, blue, violet, green and brown.
Spinel has only been recognized as such since around 1850. Before that, red spinels were confused with rubies, as the two can be very difficult to distinguish. It has since been discovered that many of the world's historically famous ‘rubies' are in fact ruby-red spinels! These stones were probably mined in the legendary Badakhshan mines, located on the present-day border of Afghanistan. Tajikistan is the source of many large, fine spinels between 1000 and 1900 AD. An example is the enormous ‘ruby' that forms the centerpiece of the royal crown of England (‘the Black Prince's Ruby') – it is actually a red spinel!
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