Spinel is an ideal gemstone to work with. It registers hardness of 8.0, has consistent quality with superior reflectance and is devoid of any cleavage.
The name spinel comes from the Latin "spina," meaning thorn and the Greek word for spark, alluding to the gem's intense color and the spikey crystals present in certain varieties.
With its strength and beauty, spinel is commonly mistaken for diamond, ruby or sapphire. However, this gem is exceptional in its own rights. Unfortunately, the global market is currently facing a dwindling supply of spinel, making this a stone precious due to limited availability.
- A gem known as the Black Prince's ruby, set atop the British Imperial State Crown, is actually a 170-carat red spinel.
- During the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, King Henry V sported a helmet adorned with spinel. Henry received a massive blow that almost took his life. Members of his court believed that the spinel saved the king's life, allowing him to carry on and lead his troops to victory.
- The Timur Ruby, inscribed with the names of the emperors who once possessed the gem, was once believed to be the largest ruby in the world. The splendid 352-carat gem is actually a red spinel, now owned by Queen Elizabeth II.
- Practitioners of the "dark arts" were thought to use spinel to call on evil spirits and as a talisman to shield them from fire.
- Some cultures carried spinel amulets for safety.
- Spinel is thought to foster relationships and aid in settling issues. It is associated with passion and is believed by some to extend one's life.
- Spinel is linked to affection, dealing with pride and caring for others.
LOCATION: Thailand, Tanzania
Thai Black Spinel is sourced from the Bo Phloi district in the Kanchanaburi province in Thailand. With a stark black palette like a starless night sky, the black spinel is a distinctive gem. Unlike most gems, it does not require routine enhancements to keep its luster. Only simple polishing is required.
Mahenge Red Spinel: Pulled from the Mahenge mines of southern Tanzania, this gem displays a lush red canvas with pink undertones.
Mahenge Purple Spinel: Treasured for its brilliance and spectacular purple hues and lavender undertones, Mahenge purple spinel is one of the gem kingdom's best kept secrets. This gemstone's popularity has rapidly increased in recent years, making this a rare prize.
- Ranks 8 on Mohs hardness scale.
- Colors available primarily in black and red. Additional colors include pink, purple, lavender, yellow, brown, blue violet, green, orange and blue.
- Sourced from Thailand and Tanzania.
- Member of the spinel family.
- 100 percent all natural gem; no treatments.