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Gem of the Month: SPINEL

This month’s featured gemstone is the underdog of shiny objects. Until very recently, spinel has gone unnoticed and underappreciated, even though it has a lot of the same luscious qualities and worthwhile characteristics of the ever-popular ruby. 

So what is the story behind this mysterious stone?

Spinel August Gem of the Month

Brilliant Cut Spinel Gemstones

SPINEL HISTORY

The name “spinel” comes from the Latin word “spina,” meaning “thorn,” which refers to the mineral’s thorn-shaped crystal formations. Spinel tends to be found in areas of the world that are also rich in rubies and sapphires, which is part of why spinel has gone under the radar for so long: People throughout history have repeatedly mistaken spinel for other gemstones! There’s a famous stone called “Black Prince’s Ruby” that was passed around in royal circles for multiple centuries before they discovered that it wasn’t a ruby at all – it’s a 170 ct spinel! This is why spinel has been dubbed “the great imposter.”

Spinel August Gem of the Month

Rough Spinel Gemstones

SPINEL FACTS: WHY THEY ROCK

Even though other gemstones seem to get all the credit, we’re here to change the narrative and let you know the many possibilities spinel holds: 


  • Historical significance: Distinguishing spinel from ruby in the 1700s gave birth to the science of gemology!
  • Spinel naturally comes in a whole wealth of vibrant colors: reds, pinks, oranges, purples, blues, blue-greens, and rich black. You can even get this gem in a sweet pale lavender color at a more affordable price point
  • Spinel is an 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, so it is durable and versatile in numerous applications, even rings!
  • Spinel is stable when exposed to light and chemicals
  • Spinel has an alluring iridescent quality
  • Cushion and oval shapes show off spinel’s natural brilliance
  • Fine-quality spinel can be found in up to 5 carats, which is 5 times larger than the larger end of rubies!
  • Spinel is only a fraction of the cost of rubies, but as people are starting to catch on to their value, this margin is starting to shrink. Now is the time to invest in some spinel of your very own!
Spinel August Gem of the Month

Close up of Cushion Cut Spinel Gemstone

SPINEL POSSIBILITIES

Because of their versatility, royal history, and bright future, Spinel just might be the perfect stone to select for your very own Custom Jewelry piece. It can shine in both modern and traditional applications, and it is sturdy enough to star in any type of jewelry, from bracelets to earrings to rings. I can imagine a multi-carat spinel as a gorgeous pendant centerpiece, or even sourcing smaller spinels in multiple colors for a pair of statement earrings. The sky's the limit! 

Get in touch today to start your custom design process.
Let spinel's beauty be a source of inspiration!
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